WASHINGTON, DC—Representative Eliot L. Engel, the leading Democrat on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and former chair of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, today made the following statement regarding the release of Alan Gross:

“I am pleased to hear news reports regarding the release of Alan Gross from prison in Cuba. It has been five very long years for Alan and his family, and his release is long overdue. Alan’s release during the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah is appropriate as Hanukkah celebrates hope at a time of seeming hopelessness. I wish Alan and his family a happy and healthy holiday season.”

Representative Engel will issue an additional statement today following President Obama’s remarks.