Today marks one year since Cuban authorities detained Alan Gross. Mr. Gross is an international development worker who traveled to Cuba to help connect members of the Jewish community in Havana with other Jewish communities throughout the world. We have repeatedly called on the Government of Cuba to immediately and unconditionally release Mr. Gross, who has been held all this time without charges.
Leaders and human rights organizations from the United States and other countries have appealed to the Government of Cuba to release Mr. Gross on humanitarian grounds, but to no avail. In June, Secretary Clinton met with Mrs. Gross and family to express her sympathy and concern for Mr. Gross’ arrest and detention and stated publicly that the United States would view favorably the release of Alan Gross so that he can return to his family.
It is long overdue for Cuban authorities to release Mr. Gross. He has languished in a Cuban jail for a full year and the Cuban Government has yet to explain reasons for his detention or file charges. His arrest and continued detention without charge violate international standards of due process and judicial procedure. Mr. Gross is a husband, a father, and a dedicated professional with a long history of development assistance and support to communities in more than 50 countries. We are deeply concerned about his welfare, as well as that of his family members who are eager for his return.
Officials of the Department of State often meet with members of the Gross family to discuss Mr. Gross’ continued incarceration and to express our concern for the family’s plight. We will continue to use every available channel to urge the Cuban Government to put an end to Mr. Gross’ long and unjustifiable ordeal. We have made it very clear to the Cuban Government that the continued detention of Alan Gross is a major impediment to advancing the dialogue between our two countries.