Home > Cuba, United Nations, United States of America > Conference of Presidents seeks meeting with Cuba’s UN Ambassador on Alan Gross imprisonment

Conference of Presidents seeks meeting with Cuba’s UN Ambassador on Alan Gross imprisonment

 NEW YORK (Press Release)– The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations has requested a meeting with the Cuban Ambassador to the UN Pedro Nunez Mosquera to discuss the plight of Alan P. Gross, who has been held in a Cuban jail since December 3, 2009. The Conference also addressed this issue in a letter to President Barack Obama.

“It is outrageous that Mr. Gross, who was clearly not engaged in espionage or inappropriate activities would be imprisoned for more than seven months with no charge. He was in Cuba as a US Agency for International Development subcontractor working on a U.S. government program to help the local Jewish community stay in contact with each other and with similar groups abroad. We have been approaching intermediaries to urge Mr. Gross’ immediate release. We hope Ambassador Nunez Mosquera will meet with us and convey our concerns about Mr. Gross’ improper imprisonment and his failing health to the Cuban government,” said Conference of Presidents Chairman Alan Solow and Executive Vice Chairman Malcolm Hoenlein.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has repeatedly called upon Cuba to release Gross, stating that his continued detention is harming U.S.-Cuba relations. Solow and Hoenlein voiced appreciation for the work of the Administration and the State Department to secure Mr. Gross’ release and expressed hope that Cuba will recognize that “Mr. Gross is not a man who is motivated by politics, nor by any agenda other than providing humanitarian support to people in need.”

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Preceding provided by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

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  1. July 16, 2010 at 6:45 am

    It will not help free Alan Gross for Jewish leaders to premise their case on falsehoods. While Mr. Gross was not involved in espionage as far as anyone knows, he was engaged in “inappropriate activities”, covert action that is as illegal in Cuba as it would be in the US.

    Under Cuban law, any program undertaken with funds from USAID’s democracy program is illegal because of its overt agenda of intervention in domestic affairs, seen by the Cuban government as destabilization.

    In addition the hi-tech satellite communications equipment he was distributing is illegal and could be used by anyone to transmit encrypted messages.

    Finally Mr. Gross was an unregistered agent of a hostile foreign power (traveling to Cuba repeatedly on a tourist visa), the same charges the US levied against the sleeper Russian agents and the Cuban Five.

    I believe the Cubans should publish all the charges against Mr. Gross and release him for time served. If the same problem is not to arise again, the US must stop funding aid programs without the normal diplomatic protocol of consultation with the host country.

    Senator John Kerry has pressed for such a reform in US policy.

    Any American who has made a political donation has signed that it does not come from foreign sources. If the richest and most powerful country in the world is so sensitive to outside influence in its political life, how can we expect that a small country under decades of hostile pressure from the US will not feel the same.

    The Conference of Presidents can make a major contribution by meeting in a spirit of mutual respect with Cuba’s UN Ambassador, or more appropriately the head of its Interest Section in Washington. To do so it must reset its premises.

    John McAuliff
    Fund for Reconciliation and Development
    director@ffrd.org

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