MIAMI (WJZ/AP) — The Maryland man who spent more than five years in a Cuban prison, accused of spying, says he wants to go back to Cuba in an exclusive interview with CBS Miami.
Alan Gross, who lives in Montgomery County, was arrested in 2009 while working as a government contractor.READ MORE: 3 Dead In Domestic-Related Laurel Shooting, Child Hospitalized
In December 2014, Gross was freed on what the Cuban government called humanitarian grounds.
But living behind prison walls didn’t shake Gross who says he would go back to Cuba in a heartbeat.
“If for no other reason than the people of Cuba. There is something very symbolic about me going back. I was a catalyst. An unintentional catalyst perhaps. Since I have been released, I am an intentional catalyst. By allowing me to return I think that sends a message out there that there is a new chapter for all of us,” Gross tells CBS Miami’s Michele Gillen.READ MORE: DC Michelin Star Restaurant Little Pearl Temporarily Closing In Part Due To Cicada Season
In a new era for the United States, President Obama, along with his family, will make an historic trip to Cuba on Sunday.
Obama will stroll the streets of Old Havana and meet with President Raul Castro in his presidential offices — images unimaginable just a few years ago. He will sit in the stands with baseball-crazed Cubans for a historic game between their beloved national team and Major League Baseball’s Tampa Bay Rays.MORE NEWS: Inside The Case: How Federal Agents Built Their Investigation Into Catherine Pugh's 'Healthy Holly' Book Scandal
Ahead of his trip, Obama announced moves to further lift U.S. restrictions on Cuba, including easing travel restrictions for Americans and restoring Cuba’s access to the global financial system. Cuba has been slower to approve U.S. businesses operating in Cuba and to take other steps sought by the U.S. But Cuba did announce plans to lift a 10 percent conversion fee on U.S. dollars.