Question: Can you confirm that the Government of Cuba has scheduled an appeal on July 22 for Alan Gross? What is the US reaction?
Answer: Alan Gross was sentenced to 15 years in prison on March 5, 2011 for “crime against the independence and territorial integrity of the state.” On July 7, the official Government of Cuba website “Cubadebate” published a notice advising that the Cuban Supreme Court would hear oral arguments related to imprisoned American Alan Gross’ appeal. The Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs also officially informed the U.S. Interests Section on July 7, when representatives were called in and handed a diplomatic note advising of the hearing date of July 22, 2011. His attorneys have appealed his sentence and the July 22 Supreme Court hearing is the next step in the appeal process. Representatives from the U.S. Interests Section plan on attending.
The Department of State remains committed to seeking the immediate and unconditional release of Mr. Gross. We will continue to use all diplomatic channels to press for his release so that he can be reunited with his family. We refer all questions about Mr. Gross’ case to his attorneys.