Lawyer for Alan Gross Responds to Cuban Government
Jared Genser, attorney for imprisoned USAID sub-contractor Alan Gross, this week issued the following comments:
In a statement released yesterday to the media, Cuban Foreign Ministry Official Josefina Vidal stated “Cuba reiterates its willingness to talk with the United States government to find a solution in the case of Mr. Gross and continues to await an answer.” While Alan’s family desperately wants this statement to be a genuine expression of the Cuban government’s intentions, there is unfortunately no evidence currently to support her assertion. On the contrary, my independent conversations with officials at the White House, State Department, and on Capitol Hill make clear that the Cuban government has been repeatedly asked through formal and informal channels to explain how Alan Gross’s case can be resolved. It has been consistently reported to me that Cuban government officials have been unwilling to put a concrete proposal on the table. I truly want nothing more than to be proven wrong. If Ms. Vidal is serious, I would urge her to convey through diplomatic channels a clear proposal to initiate meaningful discussions with the United States to secure Alan’s release.
In addition, Ms. Vidal asserted that Alan’s “health situation continues to be normal and he does intense physical exercises regularly.” First, Ms. Vidal has never met Alan. She is in no position to offer an opinion about his health situation when she has never taken the time to inquire about his health from him. I would urge her to go meet Alan directly. Second, Alan has lost 105 pounds during his incarceration in Cuba. He has degenerative arthritis and an unexplained growth behind his right shoulder. Such conditions are not normal. Finally, if as Ms. Vidal asserts his health situation is indeed “normal,” then the Cuban government should have never objected to allowing him to have a doctor of his choosing visit him and conduct an independent physical examination. Its repeated failure to allow such an examination raises serious doubt about the validity of the medical examinations provided by Cuban doctors, who happen to be employed by the very same government which imprisoned him in the first place.
While the Gross family is grateful that the Cuban government is detaining him in a military hospital and is not actively abusing him, it should not misunderstand their perspective. Providing “all the facilities” and the “best conditions” for his wife’s visit last week is cold comfort when he shouldn’t be detained in the first place, his health is declining, and his ongoing detention is in flagrant violation of international law.
Visit www.BringAlanHome.org to learn more about Alan’s case.