Washington, D.C. – Rep. Eliot L. Engel, the senior Democratic Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released the following statement regarding the fourth anniversary of the incarceration of Alan Gross by the government of Cuba.
“December 3 marks the fourth anniversary of the incarceration of Alan Gross by the government of Cuba. Alan was arrested while working for the U.S. government, specifically on a USAID program bringing internet connectivity to ordinary Cubans. This is the same type of work the United States does in many countries around the world, and for the government of Cuba to declare that his actions were intended to subvert the Cuban revolution and sentence him to 15 years in jail was completely outrageous. Alan needs to be released at once.”
“While in jail, Alan has lost 105 pounds, suffered from significant debilitating ailments, and experienced unimaginable stress. His family members have suffered critical illnesses, and his wife Judy has strained, emotionally and financially, to keep up the fight to bring her husband back home. We have lost count of the number of people from the U.S. and beyond who have pleaded with the government of Cuba to release Alan on humanitarian grounds. I repeat that plea today and urge the Obama Administration and the international community to redouble their efforts and seek new ways to bring Alan home and reunite him with his family. Anything less runs the danger of appearing as though we have left one of our own behind.”