Alan Gross, imprisoned for five years in Cuba for his efforts to assist its Jewish community, said “history will never absolve” the late Cuban leader Fidel Castro.
Castro’s death at the age of 90 was announced on Friday night by his brother, Raul, Cuba’s current president.
“History will never absolve him. But perhaps now the voices of Cuba will be heard. Speak up, Cuba,” Gross tweeted shortly after Castro’s death was announced.
In later tweets he called for the US to lift its embargo on Cuba.
When he was arrested in 2009, Gross, of Potomac, Maryland, was working as a US government subcontractor for the US Agency for International Development setting up Internet access for Cuban Jews.
Gross was released in December of 2014 as part of a broader exchange in which three Cubans convicted for spying were released from American prisons. The same day, US President Barack Obama announced renewed ties with the communist nation.
Gross has called for improved ties between the United States and Cuba. In September, he endorsed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, citing, in part, her commitment to the Obama administration’s new openness to Cuba.