MIAMI - A US contractor jailed in Cuba after being convicted of crimes against the state sued the US government and the company that hired him for $60 million on Friday, blaming them for his imprisonment and not warning him about the risks he faced in the communist-run island.
Alan Gross, 63, has been jailed in Cuba since Dec. 3, 2009, and is serving a 15-year sentence for providing Internet gear to Cubans under a US program that Cuba views as subversive.
In the lawsuit filed in US District Court in Washington, Gross and his wife, Judy Gross, allege that his employer, Maryland-based Development Alternatives Inc, or DAI, and the US government "failed to disclose adequately to Mr. Gross, both before and after he began traveling to Cuba, the material risks that he faced due to his participation in the project."
The suit also charges that DAI and the government "failed to take adequate measures" to train and protect Gross on his trips to Cuba, and that they "ignored Mr. Gross' repeated security concerns so that DAI could continue to generate significant revenue and the Government could continue to use Mr. Gross as a pawn in its overall Cuba policy initiatives."
The Department of Justice did not respond to the lawsuit on Friday. "The case is being reviewed," said spokesman Charles Miller.
The case has put a hold on US-Cuba relations that warmed slightly after US President Barack Obama took office in January 2009.