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American aid worker held hostage in Cuba by Castro regime begins hunger strike

Alan Gross has begun a hunger strike to protest not only the Castro dictatorship that has taken him hostage and is holding him for ransom, but to protest the U.S. as well for not paying that ransom.

Good luck with that...

Via USA Today:

American prisoner in Cuba starts hunger strike — An American contractor who has been held in a Cuban prison for over four years started a hunger strike to protest what he described as the inaction of both the U.S. and Cuban governments to secure his release.

Alan Gross, who was arrested by Cuban authorities in 2009 for importing and distributing communications equipment for the Jewish community there, started the hunger strike on Thursday. His attorney said he decided to take the extreme measure after the Associated Press reported on a secret program run by the U.S. government to facilitate cellphone communication between Cubans on the island.

Gross was arrested while acting on a contract from the U.S. Agency for International Development to improve communication on the island, where Internet use is heavily restricted by the Cuban government. The program uncovered by the AP, dubbed the "Cuban Twitter" by officials who ran it from 2009 to 2012, was also run by USAID and initiated after Gross was imprisoned.

Gross, who estimates he has lost more than 110 pounds since he was imprisoned, said in a statement that he was frustrated by the continued lack of effort by the U.S. government to orchestrate his release.

"I am fasting to object to mistruths, deceptions, and inaction by both governments, not only regarding their shared responsibility for my arbitrary detention, but also because of the lack of any reasonable or valid effort to resolve this shameful ordeal," Gross said in a statement released by his attorney. "Once again, I am calling on President Obama to get personally involved in ending this stand-off so that I can return home to my wife and daughters."

Gross' attorney, Scott Gilbert, said he had not spoken directly with Gross since he started the hunger strike on Thursday but received a message at his office. Gilbert, who expects to speak with Gross this week, said he doesn't know whether the Cuban prison officials will force-feed him, a common practice when prisoners go on hunger strikes.

Continue reading HERE.

3 comments to American aid worker held hostage in Cuba by Castro regime begins hunger strike

  • […] are considered “chronic illnesses that are typical of his age.” He said in a statement (h/t Babalu) that he was frustrated by the continued lack of effort by the U.S. government to orchestrate his […]

  • asombra

    Maybe Gross should forget Obama and focus on Steven Spielberg.

  • asombra

    Even if Gross is prepared to go dangerously far, it will only serve the interests of Castro, Inc. (which would blame US "intransigence" and/or "those people" for any harm he might suffer, and all the usual suspects would echo that meme). I'm pretty sure Gross is primarily out to push Obama to trade the jailed Cuban spies for his release, and that is indeed more likely than Castro, Inc. caving in and releasing him for humanitarian reasons. The fact that would be a travesty of justice naturally does not concern Gross, but Obama's woeful mishandling (or rather, non-handling) of this situation should be quite clear to him, because it could hardly be more obvious. Of course he's not going to take that bull by the horns, because it's virtually certain he's been told by those holding him hostage that a swap for the spies is the ONLY way he'll be freed. Unfortunately, this is a no-win situation, since Obama is clearly not prepared to play hardball, which is why this thing has dragged on for so long. No matter what happens, "those people" will get the short end of the stick, one way or another. Castro, Inc. knows that, counts on it, and figures that even if it doesn't get the spies back, it still won't lose. It's a bad business.