Alan Gross, held in Cuba for four years, launches hunger strike
April 8th, 2014
10:09 AM ET

Alan Gross, held in Cuba for four years, launches hunger strike

By Kevin Liptak

Alan Gross, the former American subcontractor who's spent four years imprisoned in Cuba, launched a hunger strike last week in a bid to spur both the United States and Cuba to resolve his case.

Gross has called on President Barack Obama to become personally involved in securing his release from the small Cuban jail where he's been incarcerated since 2009. Gross' lawyer on Tuesday said the U.S. government had put a resolution to his case in jeopardy after secretly setting up a social media network designed to help Cubans communicate.

"I am fasting to object to mistruths, deceptions, and inaction by both governments, not only regarding their shared responsibility for my arbitrary detention, but also because of the lack of any reasonable or valid effort to resolve this shameful ordeal," Gross wrote in a statement distributed by his U.S.-based public relations firm.

"Once again, I am calling on President Obama to get personally involved in ending this stand-off so that I can return home to my wife and daughters," he wrote.

Gross, who was working for the U.S. Agency for International Development when he was arrested, was charged by a Cuban court in 2011 of being an American spy. USAID has said he was in the country working on a U.S. government project setting up satellite internet connections.

Earlier this week, the U.S. government acknowledged the aid agency had secretly built a Twitter-like social media network meant to help Cubans communicate, though officials denied the website was meant to undermine the island's leftist government. The website was first made public in a report from the Associated Press.

Gross spoke to his lawyer, Scott Gilbert, from a prison in Havana on Tuesday, calling the social media effort "the last straw" in his determination to go on the hunger strike.

In a statement, Gilbert criticized USAID for setting up the network, called Zunzuneo. Gilbert said the disclosure had put Gross case in danger.

In a statement Tuesday, a lawyer representing Gross criticized USAID for setting up the network, called Zunzuneo. Scott Gilbert said the disclosure had put Gross case in danger.

"Once Alan was arrested, it is shocking that USAID would imperil his safety even further by running a covert operation in Cuba," Gilbert said. "USAID has made one absurdly bad decision after another. Running this program is contrary to everything we have been told by high-level representatives of the Obama Administration about USAID's activities in Cuba."

Gross last ate solid food in the evening of April 2, though he continues to drink water, according to his lawyer, and so far on the hunger strike, he's lost 10 pounds.

Since Gross was arrested, he's lost more than 110 pounds, according to his representatives. They note he's confined in his cell for 23 hours a day, where lights remain on throughout the night.

The 64-year-old still has 11 years remaining on his 15-year sentence.

"I've been begging our government for more than four years to bring Alan home," his wife, Judy Gross, said on Tuesday. "I'm worried sick about Alan's health, and I don't think he can survive much more of this."

soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. Replica Oakley M Frame

    l from desire,Fake Sunglasses China, to suggest the reasoning in no way only have to turn out to be tidy towards a practical structure, environment not to mention end up being believed being structure.Advocates basic position typically the subject precipitates to some good sized hassle-free personal preference, exploiting matter customers' mind's eyeball is substantially less significant used. Awareness typically the difference from the only two methods reasoning is extremely important. Vision m

    September 4, 2014 at 5:36 am | Reply
  2. louis vuittonアクセサリー ルイ ヴィトンキーリング ストラップス

    I am not sure where you're getting your info, but good topic.
    I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more.
    Thanks for great info I was looking for this information for
    my mission.

    July 9, 2014 at 12:50 am | Reply
  3. low concord 11s for sale

    a drastic suggestion to cure college grid illsGordon Sharwood was born in 1932 into the English speaking establishment in Montreal. Adams is one of the few Americans who knew George Washington and Abraham Lincoln (Lincoln served one term in Congress with JQA shortly before Adams death). "Had to pass jordan concord lows 2014 it to see what is in it", according to Polosi on the Health Care debauchery. It reportedly is negotiating to leave the Big East this summer, too, accelerating its plan to joi

    April 19, 2014 at 11:00 am | Reply
  4. concords for sale

    "But as I listened to my colleagues as we discussed her evaluation, it appears the majority of the board doesn't feel her skill set matches the skill set needed in a chancellor. Naval Academy Board of Visitors and recently completed 11 years of service on the George Washington University Board of Trustees. Craig Mundie, Microsoft Corp. And, at the end of the day, hopefully we'll have sustainability as a value equal to other core social values that we have.". Alice is a wealthy individual who sit

    April 19, 2014 at 7:06 am | Reply
  5. kaiypov

    II
    My name is Emil Kaiypov. I am a citizen of the Kyrgyz Republic, a lawyer, and a father of two children. The proposal for which I am asking your kind support is the suspension of all currently existing hostilities on Earth.

    The main goal of my entire project is to save and improve the lives of children who are suffering from the present conflicts and violence.

    The challenge is to create a moment of "pause" [a technical term from video language] in hostilities now and in the future, as well as to refusal to restart them at all. I believe that in this context, such "pause" in the war action seems do-able and practical, much more effective than the idealistic and utopian pressing of an imaginary "stop" button. In the future the first action will equate to the second: "pause" will become "stop". In order to alert the international community and potential supporters, I made a demonstration of my own at 18 October 2013 on the territory of Syrian embassy in Beirut, with poster "pause the war".

    The purpose of this demonstration, is to show through an example that:

    1) one person has the power to perform an action directed to the benefit of all mankind.

    2) no one should be indifferent, when war is concerned.

    3) war requires us to drop everything else, in order to stop it. Daily activities, against the background of war, look meaningless and empty.

    I believe, that this idea will resonate and supporters will wish to join it. The age of information technologies, will help to spread it around the globe. Definitely there will be supporters among the world's famous celebrities. In the event that a large number of ordinary people and celebrities join this campaign, the dream to stop all military actions on the planet will be realized. This will serve as an occasion to announce the call for volunteers in the "international army of peace". It will consist of unarmed "soldiers" who are ready at any time, to go to the hot spot to "pause" the hostilities with the fact of their presence and to encourage the warring parties to engage in dialogue. Ideally, this army should consist of a world-famous and beloved celebrities from all spheres of human activities.

    I suggest that countries be ready to support my initiative, in solidarity, by placing on the cloth of their national flags, the well-known pause symbol "II". I believe that in the course of implementation of this anti-war action, the reasons for which the suspended armed conflict began, will be resolved or continued in a civilized manner. This anti-war action will bring about a new peaceful reality, when there will be no state left, which "international army of peace" had not visited.

    The termination of all hostilities, will become the point of departure for further continuous progress in all directions.

    We are able to bring about the time, when the world will be fairly managed by a workable international organization which will be trusted by all citizens of the earth. When this happens, all kinds of weapons will be transferred to international United Nations control, the purpose of which, will be the preservation of peace and sustainable development of mankind.

    We live in a world, when the collective effort makes possible the colonizing of other planets in the foreseeable future. I believe, that we have enough strength and resources for the child born tomorrow to see a world, where uniform international standards of education, labor, pension and medical care, will be established everywhere. A world, where the primary human needs will be satisfied for free.

    A world, where nobody talks about freedom, because absolute freedom will accompany each person from the moment of birth, to his last breath. A world, where the happiness and freedom of the individual, will not happen in isolation but will include freedom and happiness of all of humanity. A world without war.

    A world without war is undisputed goal, that sooner or later humanity will definitely reach. It is the primary duty of every adult to fulfill a "world in peace"– everyone’s childhood dream. Every child surrounded by the horrors of war dreams that one day somebody will come and say "It is enough!" and by saying it bring war to an end. Then war will stop. That day has come! It's time to combine our efforts in order to make that dream come true.
    _______________________________________________________pause the WAR

    April 10, 2014 at 12:03 am | Reply
  6. John Smith

    USAID a branch of CIA, secretly Created 'Cuban Twitter' To overthow Communist Government. Alan Gross is a CIA agent who tried to overthrow Cuban government. Alan Gross should not waste any oxygen. Alan Gross a evil Jew.

    April 9, 2014 at 2:48 pm | Reply
  7. John Smith

    USAID a branch of CIA, secretly Created 'Cuban Twitter' To overthow Communist Government. Alan Gross is a CIA agent who tried to overthrow Cuban government. Alan Gross should not waste any oxygen.

    April 9, 2014 at 2:46 pm | Reply
  8. John Smith

    America is the root of all terror. America has invaded sixty countries since world war 2.
    In 1953 America overthrow Iran's democratic government Mohammad Mosaddegh and installed a brutal dictator Shah. America helped Shah of Iran to establish secret police and killed thousands of Iranian people.
    During Iran-Iraq war evil America supported Suddam Hossain and killed millions of Iranian people. In 1989, America, is the only country ever, shot down Iran's civilian air plane, killing 290 people.
    In 2003,America invaded Iraq and killed 1,000,000+ innocent Iraqi people and 4,000,000+ Iraqi people were displaced.
    Now America is a failed state with huge debt. Its debt will be 22 trillion by 2015.

    April 9, 2014 at 2:44 pm | Reply
  9. Terry Gould

    And? We are what, supposed to be awed? Shame the man has to be incarcerated but then again he knew the risk. I am so ashamed to be in America and wish to leave and denounce it.

    April 8, 2014 at 7:14 pm | Reply
  10. russ

    See you Alan, it's been swell. Sorry you got caught spying for the US/Zionist regime. One good thing about it, you'll only need a couple of pallbearers if you perish from a hunger strike.

    April 8, 2014 at 6:39 pm | Reply
  11. The GOP Solution

    The GOP Solution: Turn all the Old, Sick, Poor, Non-white, Non-christian, Female, and Gay people into slaves. Then whip them until they are Young, Healthy, Rich, White, Christian, Male, and Straight. Or until they are dead. Then turn them into Soylent Green to feed the military during the next "unfunded/off-the-books" war. And don't forget the GOP all time favorites........TAX CUTS FOR THE RICH!!!..........and........GET RID OF SS AND MEDICARE!!!

    April 8, 2014 at 5:15 pm | Reply
  12. John the baptis

    Just like the subcontractors on the "death star" he should have known the risks as to what he was doing. We have screwed with Cuba for long enough. All over Miami voting cubans. Enough is enough. If I can legally visit north Korea which is a major threat to us why can't I go to cuba?

    April 8, 2014 at 4:26 pm | Reply
  13. Frank

    In some countries, hunger games are a real thing.

    April 8, 2014 at 1:20 pm | Reply
  14. George patton

    What Barack Obama needs to do now is to get together with Raul Castro and set up a dialogue similar to the one Richard Nixon did with China back in 1972. Then discuss the return of Alan Gross plus whatever number of political prisoners remain in Cuba for the exchange of five Cubans prisoners here who may or may not be guilty of espionage among the Cuban exiles in Florida. Unfortunately, Obama won't do this because he wants to remain politically "correct" and please his right-wing henchmen in Washington!!!

    April 8, 2014 at 11:02 am | Reply
  15. Where To Buy Jordan 1 Big Size White Black Red Online

    Once the grill is hot, coat it lightly with olive oil, then place the skewer on it. Keep turning the skewers as the scallops cook, and they should be cooked in under 7 minutes. Other than the distance, I thought everything was going well, as in I thought we would eventually get back together. Suzi gave me all the hints that suggested it (or maybe I just wanted to see those hints). As Where Can I Buy jordan 4 cavs stated, brochures can How Much Will black stealth 23s Cost come in different forms

    April 10, 2014 at 11:43 pm | Reply

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.