From the Office of U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski:
Senator has continued to push for his release since his arrest on December 3, 2009 in Havana
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) today heralded the release of Marylander Alan Gross from his imprisonment in Cuba since December 3, 2009.
“I was so pleased to be at Andrews AFB this morning to welcome Alan Gross as he touched ground back in the United States of America. ?I am so honored to be part of his first day back home in five years. Today is a new day and a monumental breakthrough.
“Last night I got the call from Vice President Biden that Alan Gross will be coming home after so many years of imprisonment by the Cuban government, and I was overwhelmed with emotion. I am so honored and want to thank all those who helped make this happen.
“During his long imprisonment, Alan’s health deteriorated. He suffered tremendously. His wife Judy and two daughters fought every single day for his release. Today that ends and Alan is free.
“I applaud his release and hope that he can finally get the care and assistance he so desperately needs. I am looking forward to learning more details when the President speaks this afternoon.”
Since his imprisonment in 2009, Senator Mikulski has continued to call for his immediate and unconditional release. Since his imprisonment in 2009, Senator Mikulski has continued to call for his immediate and unconditional release. In March, she wrote (available here) to President Obama calling for the administration to redouble their efforts to secure the release of Mr. Gross ahead of the President’s trip to the Vatican. On the third anniversary of his imprisonment in 2012, Senator Mikulski lead bipartisan Senators in introducing a resolution (available here) calling for his release. In 2011, Senator Mikulski joined a bipartisan group of Senators sending a letter (available here) directly to the Cuban government calling Alan Gross’ continued incarceration a ‘major setback in bilateral relations.’
She has stayed directly in touch with Mrs. Gross and the Gross family, and has called for ‘whatever steps necessary’ to secure his release.
Alan Gross was arrested on December 3, 2009. He was held for 14 months without being charged with a crime. After a two-day trial, he was given a 15-year prison sentence by Cuban authorities for facilitating communications between Cuba’s Jewish community and the rest of the world. Mr. Gross was in Cuba working as a sub-contractor for the United States Agency for International Development, helping a small, peaceful, non-dissident community. He was doing the type of work he had done his whole career in international development – helping others in need.
A 65-year-old husband and father, Mr. Gross has lost a significant amount of weight since his arrest and suffers from severe degenerative arthritis that affects his mobility, as well as other health problems. Members of his family have also faced serious illnesses during this time.