HAVANA - Cuban Jewish leaders celebrated Hanukkah this week with jailed American Alan Gross, who told them he was still hoping to be freed despite not being included in a huge pardon of Cuban prisoners announced last week by President Raul Castro.
Adela Dworin, president of Cuba's small Jewish community, said on Wednesday that Gross appeared to be in good shape mentally and had put on a little weight since they last met in September in the Havana military hospital where he is being held.
"He looks stronger. He has gained a few pounds and is doing a lot of exercise," she told Reuters.
Gross, 62, has been jailed in Cuba since Dec. 3, 2009, and is serving a 15-year sentence for providing Internet gear to Cubans under a semi-covert US program promoting political change on the communist-ruled island. Cuba views the program as subversive.