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American on Jewish humanitarian mission held in Cuban prison

January 13, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WJC)–A man jailed in Cuba last month and denounced as an American spy was working on a US government project to help the small Cuban Jewish community access the internet, according to the United States Agency for International Development in Washington.

Alan P. Gross, 60, had gone to Cuba to provide communications equipment to Jewish non-profit organizations as part of a government-sponsored program, according to American officials.

“His work in Cuba was focused on facilitating communications among people in a non-violent, non-dissident religious organization,” the agency said in a statement.

The case has raised concerns that the Jewish groups involved in the project could face repercussions. Under Cuban law, it is illegal for citizens to cooperate with US democracy programs, the ‘Washington Post’ reports. The government in Havana has not charged Gross but kept him in prison since his arrest on 4 December 2009, and it has portrayed his activities as part of a long-running American campaign for regime change in Cuba.

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Preceding provided by World Jewish Congress

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  1. Carole Johnson Phillips
    January 15, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    Is Alan Gross Jewish? Was he raised Episcopalian? I knew a person by this name years ago at my church in Bethesda, MD. I’ve lost touch with his family, although I knew some of them well. Is this Alan Gross the one I knew?

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