(JTA) — Two U.S. senators met with Jewish-American contractor Alan Gross in a Cuban prison.
Sens. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), and Tom Udall (D-N.M.) met Tuesday with Gross for two hours, according to reports.
The senators told The Associated Press that there was no indication that a development in releasing Gross was imminent. Cuba has expressed an interest in negotiating a trade of Gross for three Cubans who are in jail in the United States on espionage charges.
Gross, 65, of Potomac, Md., was jailed Cuba in 2009. He is serving a 15-year sentence for “crimes against the state” for helping to provide Internet service for the island’s small Jewish community while working for the U.S. Agency for International Development.
He suffers from several chronic illnesses.
“I do feel we’re closer there, one because what Alan Gross has said himself, this is going to end one way or another,” Flake said in answer to a reporter’s question about Gross going free.
In August, Gross said he could no longer take life in prison and reportedly said goodbye to his family. Last week, his wife told CBS in Miami that she was concerned that he will take his own life.