It’s been three years since 63-year-old Potomac resident Alan Gross was arrested and jailed in a Cuban prison, but his wife, Judy, hasn’t given up the fight.
A day before the third anniversary of Gross’ arrest, religious and political leaders joined Judy to protest her husband’s imprisonment outside the Cuban diplomatic mission, according to a WUSA9 report. Gross was sentenced to 15 years after a Cuban court convicted him of working for U.S. government intelligence. Gross and his supporters maintain he was in Cuba working as a U.S. contractor to bring cell phones and computers to the country.
Judy Gross has advocated for her husband since his arrest and now fears for his health, according to the report.
“According to Judy Gross, her husband has developed a growth on his right shoulder and has lost more than 100 pounds in prison, the result, she fears, of some type of cancer,” WUSA9 reported. Judy Gross is calling for her husband’s release on humanitarian grounds and continues to petition the U.S. government to intervene.
The Cuban government says the growth is not cancerous, according to a recent Reuters report, though Judy Gross and the U.S. government want to send a doctor of their own to investigate. Meanwhile, Judy Gross and her family's lawyer are suing the federal government for more than $60 million, according to a Jerusalem Post report, alleging the government and the company employing Gross didn't adequately prepare or protect him for his contract.
Maryland leaders and the White House have called for Gross’s release periodically over the last three years, thus far to no avail.
Sen. Ben Cardin and Rep. Chris Van Hollen spoke publically on the floors of the Senate and House last December. Van Hollen and the White House appealed for his release during trial and sentencing, as well.