Alan Gross lobbies for easing U.S. travel, trade restrictions with Cuba


(JTA) — Alan Gross, the Jewish-American government contractor who was jailed in Cuba for five years as a spy, is lobbying for easing trade and travel restrictions between the island nation and the United States.

Appearing Monday at a fundraiser for New Cuba PAC, which is pushing more access for Americans to Cuba, Gross led an “off-the-record discussion on modernizing U.S.-Cuba policy,” according to The New York Times. The suggested contributions were $1,000 to $5,000.

Gross’ attorney Scott Gilbert, who hosted the fundraiser, told the Times that Gross would like to return to Cuba if it would help promote good relations. Gilbert also said that Gross had “transcended the imprisonment he suffered for five years” and had promised since his release to “do what he could to promote a more constructive relationship” between the United States and Cuba.

Gross, 66, was released from prison in December. He was arrested in Cuba in 2009 and charged with crimes against the state after setting up Internet access for the Jewish community there while working as a contractor for USAID. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison but was freed following an agreement by the U.S. and Cuba to work to renew diplomatic relations and improve commercial ties.

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