U.S. delegation visits jailed contractor Alan Gross

(JTA) — A delegation of Americans visiting Cuba met with jailed American contractor Alan Gross.

The group met for two hours with Gross, 62, who is serving a 15-year prison sentence for "crimes against the state" for distributing laptop computers and connecting Cuban Jews to the Internet, on June 10 in Havana. They delivered a letter to him from his Washington-area synagogue, according to Reuters.

Gross was convicted and sentenced last month. Cuban authorities detained Gross in late 2009 on his way out of the country, saying he was a spy. He has appealed his conviction and prison sentence.

The group came to Cuba under the auspices of the Washington-based Center for Democracy in the Americas, which advocates for better U.S.-Cuba relations.

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter visited Gross in March.

Gross is in ill health. His daughter has breast cancer and his mother was diagnosed with cancer as well. The delegation told the Associated Press that Gross has lost nearly 100 pounds in prison.

Cuba and the United States have not had diplomatic relations since the 1960s. The U.S. has economic and financial sanctions in place against the island nation.
 

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