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Conference of Presidents calls for Cuba to free Alan Gross
By Gil Stern Stern SHEFLER
03/10/2011
Verdict not been released in case of Jewish-American aid worker arrested on espionage charges while setting up communications center for island nation’s Jewish community.
Leaders of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations have asked Cuba to release Jewish-American aid worker Alan Gross for time served following the completion of his two-day trial.

A verdict has not been released but is expected within the next few days.

“We are disappointed that the prosecution presented Mr. Gross as attempting to destabilize the Cuban government when the project he was working on in Cuba was aimed at helping communication in the local Jewish community. As we mentioned in the appeal we sent to President of Cuba Raul Castro prior to the trial, Mr. Gross has managed multiple humanitarian projects around the world and believed he was advancing his humanitarian work in Cuba, Conference of Presidents Chairman Alan Solow and Executive Vice Chairman Malcolm Hoenlein said.

“He has already been held in prison for more than 15 months and we urge President Castro to release him for time served and allow him to be reunited with his family, especially his sick daughter,” they said.

Gross was arrested on espionage charges on December 3, 2009, while setting up a communications center for the island nation’s Jewish community.

If convicted, he would face up to 20 years in prison.

Meanwhile, American Jewish Committee director David Harris said his organization was also lobbying for the prompt release of Gross.

Harris, who set off on a two-week trip to Latin American on Monday, said he was deeply concerned by the plight of the incarcerated aid worker and was monitoring the situation closely.

“We’ve been in this from the beginning and have tried exhaustively to secure his release,” he said.
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