WASHINGTON (WJZ) — Losing hope. A Maryland man imprisoned in Cuba says he can no longer fight. Family members say Alan Gross has said goodbye to them as he plans to take his own life in prison. Now calls for his release are growing louder.
Meghan McCorkell has more on the desperate situation.
Alan Gross has said he will do whatever it takes to ensure he won’t spend more time behind bars.
He’s 100 pounds thinner, losing vision in his right eye and barely walking, imprisoned in a cell around the clock. The family of Alan Gross says he has given up.
“He’s just very, very depressed and very hopeless and talking about doing something drastic because he refuses to stay where he is,” said Judy Gross, Alan’s wife.
During a June trip to Cuba, Judy Gross said her husband told her goodbye.
Alan Gross, an international aid worker with US Aid—was setting up internet services for the Jewish community in Havana when he was arrested in 2009. For nearly five years, he’s been locked in a Cuban prison, accused of spying.
“If this issue has been resolved, he will come home to his family. If it is not resolved, he will come home dead,” said attorney Scott Gilbert in April.
Now, a group of 300 rabbis—including the rabbi emeritus here at Temple Oheb Shalom in Baltimore—have signed a letter to the White House calling for President Barack Obama to secure Gross’ release.
In the letter, the rabbis write, “Alan went to Cuba on behalf of our government. His immediate release from prison in Cuba and return to the US must be a priority for our nation.”
“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,” Judy Gross said.
Gross still has 10 years left on his prison sentence.
According to his attorney, Gross is now refusing most visitors and has said a life in prison is not worth living.
US officials say they continue to use diplomatic channels to push for Gross’ release.
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