Jewish ex-prisoner of Cuba: ‘History will never absolve’ Castro
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Jewish ex-prisoner of Cuba: ‘History will never absolve’ Castro

Alan Gross, jailed while working for US development agency, calls on Cubans to speak up about deceased dictator

Alan Gross, freed from a Cuban prison earlier in the day, waves after concluding his remarks with his wife, Judy, at a news conference in Washington shortly after arriving in the United States, December 17, 2014. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Alan Gross, freed from a Cuban prison earlier in the day, waves after concluding his remarks with his wife, Judy, at a news conference in Washington shortly after arriving in the United States, December 17, 2014. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

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.

https://twitter.com/AlanPGross/status/802481723493650432

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.

Then-Cuban President Fidel Castro (L) and his brother Raul, Minister of the Revolutionary Armed Forces, chat in Havana, during the last meeting of the Cuban Parliament on December 23, 2003. (AFP PHOTO/ADALBERTO ROQUE)
Then-Cuban President Fidel Castro (L) and his brother Raul, Minister of the Revolutionary Armed Forces, chat in Havana, during the last meeting of the Cuban Parliament on December 23, 2003. (AFP PHOTO/ADALBERTO ROQUE)
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