HAVANA - Cuba said on Wednesday that jailed US contractor Alan Gross is in "normal" health, despite his wife's claims to the contrary, as it reiterated its willingness to talk with the US government about resolving the case.
Gross, arrested in Havana in December 2009 for illegally bringing in Internet equipment and setting up wi-fi networks under a controversial US program, is serving a 15-year sentence handed down in an April 2011 trial. The case halted a brief warming in relations between Washington and Havana.Wife Judy Gross said in a statement on Tuesday she had just visited her husband and found him to be in deteriorating health.
"I am devastated by his appearance," she said. "While his spirit remains strong, I fear he is not going to survive this terrible ordeal." She said her husband, 63, has lost 105 pounds (48 kg), has degenerative arthritis and a "mass" behind his right shoulder blade.
On Wednesday, Cuba refuted her allegations.