Former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson is going to Cuba to try to negotiate the release of jailed American contractor Alan Gross, CNN's Wolf Blitzer first reported Wednesday on 'The Situation Room'.
"We are aware of Gov. Richardson's trip to Cuba and have been in contact with him," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told CNN. "While Gov. Richardson is traveling as a private citizen, we certainly support his efforts to obtain Alan Gross' release."
"We welcome any and all dialogue that ultimately will result in Alan's release," the Gross family said in a written statement. "We are grateful to Governor Richardson for his continued efforts."
CNN Foreign Affairs Correspondent Jill Dougherty recently sat down with Gross's wife who discussed how difficult her life is without him, and her fear of him never returning home. Watch Jill's report here.
–CNN Senior State Department Producer Elise Labott contributed to this report