HAVANA (WJZ) — A dire warning from Havana, Cuba. Alan Gross, a U.S. contractor accused of spying, says he will take his own life if he’s not released from prison. He’s served five years of a 15-year sentence.
Meghan McCorkell has his wife’s plea from Cuba.
There are still 10 years left in Alan Gross’ prison sentence. His wife, Judy, who’s in Cuba right now, says her husband won’t make it much longer.
For a sixth time in five years, Judy Gross travels to Cuba to try and free her husband.
“They need to get him home now,” she said.
Alan Gross, 65, was working for USAID setting up Internet services for the Jewish community in Havana in 2009 when he was convicted of being a spy and sentenced to 15 years in prison.
“He’s just very, very depressed and very hopeless and talking about doing something drastic because he refuses to stay where he is,” Judy Gross said.
Gross says her husband is heartbroken he didn’t get to spend a last moment with his mother, who died last week. She says he is in the worst shape he’s ever been.
CBS Havana producer Portia Siegelbaum tells WJZ Judy Gross is also strained.
“She looks much more worn, much thinner. You can see that it has taken a definite toll on her,” said Siegelbaum.
That toll was even more difficult as Judy Gross watched the U.S. exchange five Taliban prisoners for the return of soldier Beau Bergdahl. She wants to know why a similar deal can’t be worked out for her husband.
“He was a contractor working for the United States government. And Alan has said he feels like he has just been left in the field and forgotten about,” said Gross.
The only response the family says they’ve gotten is “the State Department is working on it.”
Judy Gross is expected to meet with her husband once again Thursday.
A U.S. delegation visited Cuba in April to try to push for Gross’ release.
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