Gross remained in jail over Rosh Hashana

October 2, 2011 23:47

Leaders of Cuba Jewish community spent time with Maryland native who has been jailed for almost two years on charges of “undermining the state.”

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Alan Gross and his wife Judy in Jerusalem, 2005.

alan gross_311 reuters. (photo credit: Ho New / Reuters)

Leaders of the tiny Jewish community of Cuba on Rosh Hashana met with jailed Jewish-American Alan Gross, they said an e-mail over the weekend.

Adela Dworin and David Prinstein told press that they spent time with the Maryland native who has been jailed for almost two years on charges of “undermining the state.” Prinstein and Dworin said Gross looked gaunt and weak yet he voiced concern over the health of his family in the US.

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“We gave him a promise to have them present in our prayers for a quick recovery,” they were quoted as saying.

The Jewish leaders said their meeting ended with exchanges of “Shalom” and “Shana Tova” with the prisoner.

The 62-year-old Gross was arrested in 2009 for bringing satellite phones into Cuba. He said the phones were meant to establish a communications center for the local Jewish community on behalf of USAID, a governmental relief group. But local authorities say the program was an attempt to undermine the government in Havana headed by the Castros for decades.

Hopes that Gross might be freed soon were recently dashed after an unsuccessful visit by former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson. The former US envoy went to Havana last month to negotiate his release but left empty-handed amid mutual accusations with Cuba over the failure of talks.

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