Alan Gross’ wife hoping Cubans reciprocate humanitarian gesture

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The wife of Alan Gross welcomed a judge’s decision to temporarily release a convicted Cuban spy to visit his ailing brother and said she hoped the Cuban government would grant a similar request to her husband.

“I empathize with Rene Gonzalez’s need to visit a dying family member and am pleased that he has been granted permission for a temporary visit,” Judy Gross said in a news release Tuesday. “I now hope that President [Raul] Castro will grant Alan’s request to visit his ailing mother Evelyn, who is suffering from inoperable lung cancer. Evelyn’s final wish is to see her son one last time.”

Last week, Judy Gross likened her husband’s request to visit his ailing mother with that of Gonzalez, a convicted Cuban spy, who wished to visit his brother in Cuba who is suffering from lung cancer.

On Monday, a federal judge freed Gonzalez for two weeks so he could make the visit.

Evelyn Gross also is suffering from terminal lung cancer. In a March 7 letter to Cuban President Raul Castro, Gross’ counsel, Peter Kahn, said that Evelyn Gross’ condition has worsened and she wished to see her son one last time.

“We are reaching out to you directly, with the knowledge that you have the power to grant such humanitarian requests, as you have done in the past, and with the hope that you will extend a humanitarian gesture not only towards Alan, but to his ailing mother,” Kahn wrote in a letter obtained by JTA.

Gross was arrested in 2009 and sentenced last year to 15 years on charges related to his efforts to connect the island’s small Jewish community to other communities through the Internet.
 

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