Alan Gross

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How a Secret Pregnancy Nearly Jeopardized US-Cuba Talks

White House worried Adriana Pérez's belly would raise suspicion

(Newser) - The American flag will be raised above a reopened embassy in Havana today for the first time in more than 50 years. It's just the latest sign that US-Cuba relations have been transformed in the last 18 months, but a secret pregnancy could have derailed it all. The New ... More »

Ex-Cuba Prisoner, CVS Boss Among Michelle's Guests

President preps for State of the Union amid healthier poll numbers

(Newser) - President Obama goes into tomorrow's State of the Union address with some momentum : A Washington Post-ABC News poll finds his approval rating now stands at 50%, which is the highest since spring 2013; improving views on the economy are a big factor, the Post reports. Meanwhile, the White House... More »

Freed Cuba Prisoner Settles With Feds for $3.2M

USAID says it's reached deal with former subcontractor Alan Gross

(Newser) - The former subcontractor freed last week after five years in a Cuban jail will receive $3.2 million from the federal government as part of a settlement with the Maryland-based company that employed him at the time of his 2009 arrest. Alan Gross had been working in Cuba to set... More »

Inside the Secret Ottawa Meetings on Cuba

Pope, Canada played key roles in talks that began in June last year

(Newser) - The historic thaw in US-Cuba relations didn't happen overnight, but came after more than a year of secret talks that had already been going on for months when President Obama caused a stir by shaking Raul Castro's hand at Nelson Mandela's funeral last year. Insiders tell Bloomberg... More »

Obama: Time for 'New Chapter' With Cuba

President says current approach is 'outdated,' needs to go

(Newser) - President Obama today confirmed that the US is going to play nice with Cuba after a half-century of frosty relations. "We will end an outdated approach that has failed to advance our interests," said Obama, speaking after Havana released US prisoner Alan Gross . "Neither the American nor... More »

5 Years Later, Alan Gross Is on US Soil

Cuba released ailing American held in detention

(Newser) - American Alan Gross landed on US soil this morning, touching down with wife Judy at Andrews Air Force Base after Cuba released him after five years in prison. He was released on humanitarian grounds by the Cuban government at the request of the United States, a senior Obama administration official... More »

What New US-Cuba Relations Look Like

US to cut travel restrictions after release of Alan Gross

(Newser) - With the release of American Alan Gross , the beleaguered relationship between the US and Cuba is poised to undergo major changes. The two countries are preparing to normalize their diplomatic relations, which were severed in January 1961, the Wall Street Journal reports, and the US plans to re-establish its embassy... More »

Wife: American Held 5 Years in Cuba Is 'Wasting Away'

She calls on Obama to secure Alan Gross' release

(Newser) - As of today, American Alan Gross has been in a Cuban prison for five years, Reuters reports, and his wife is calling on President Obama to bring him back before it's "too late." "I am afraid that we are at the end," says Judy Gross.... More »

What About the Other American 'Left Behind'?

Alan Gross has been imprisoned in Cuba for 5 years: Ruth Marcus

(Newser) - Regardless of where you stand on the controversy surrounding Bowe Bergdahl's release —Ruth Marcus calls herself "tentatively against the (prisoner) swap"—it serves as an argument for aiding another captive American. Alan Gross, a state department subcontractor, has been in a Cuban prison for almost five... More »

American on Hunger Strike in Cuban Jail

Alan Gross has been jailed for 4 years, wants out

(Newser) - After four years cooling his heels in a Cuban prison, American Alan Gross has begun a hunger strike he says is a protest against his treatment by both Havana and Washington. Gross, 64, was arrested in 2009 while working for USAID as a sub-contractor to get Internet access to Cuba'... More »

50 Years Later, You May Be Able to Mail Letter to Cuba

US, Cuba resuming talks this week on the subject

(Newser) - Since 1963, the only way to get a letter from the US to Cuba, or vice versa, was to go through a third country. That could soon change. The AP reports that diplomats and postal service reps from both countries are to meet in Washington this week to discuss the... More »

Kerry Considers Removing Cuba From Terror List

Boston Globe: State Department officials think Havana has cut ties with terror groups

(Newser) - With senior US diplomats determining Cuba is no longer supporting terrorist groups such as Colombia's FARC rebels, the State Department could be poised to remove Cuba from its list of states that sponsor terrorism, reports the Boston Globe . "There is a pretty clear case ... that they don’t... More »

Cuba to Free 2,900 Prisoners

But American Alan Gross not among those to be released

(Newser) - With a nod to Pope Benedict's upcoming visit to the country, President Raul Castro yesterday announced that Cuba would pardon 2,900 prisoners, a group that includes some convicted of political crimes, many inmates over the age of 60, and a number of women. He referred to the act... More »

Cuba Accuses Bill Richardson of 'Blackmail'

They say 'slander' doomed his attempt to free American prisoner

(Newser) - Bill Richardson's attempt to free an American prisoner in Cuba has gone off the rails, with Cuban officials now accusing him of "blackmail" and saying he was never invited to the island in the first place. "The release of ... Alan Gross was never on the table,"... More »

Bill Richardson in Cuba to Push for American's Release

Former governor trying to win freedom of jailed Alan Gross

(Newser) - Bill Richardson is back in high-profile duty for the time being: The former New Mexico governor has gone to Cuba to try to win the release of American Alan Gross, who has been jailed since 2009, reports CNN . The 62-year-old Gross, a US government subcontractor, is serving a 15-year sentence... More »

Jimmy Carter Lands in Cuba

He may push for release of American prisoner

(Newser) - In a bid to thaw tense US-Cuba relations, former President Jimmy Carter arrived in Cuba today for a three-day stay. Carter was invited by the Cuban government and will meet with President Raul Castro; the Carter Center calls the trip a "private, nongovernmental mission." But Politico notes that... More »

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