What About the Other American 'Left Behind'?

Alan Gross has been imprisoned in Cuba for 5 years: Ruth Marcus
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 4, 2014 11:18 AM CDT
What About the Other American 'Left Behind'?
In this Nov. 27, 2012 photo, Alan Gross poses for a photo during a visit by Rabbi Elie Abadie and a lawyer at a military hospital.   (AP Photo/James L. Berenthal, File)

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 years. The 65-year-old was imprisoned for bringing communications gear into the country "under the auspices of the US government," Marcus writes in the Washington Post.

His goal was, reportedly, to link Cuban Jews to the Internet to help boost democracy. Cuban officials have suggested they'd let him go in exchange for three Cuban intelligence officers convicted in Miami of spying in 2001. But the US says it won't make a link between actual spies and Gross, who wasn't one. Marcus' response: "Oh, please." Unlike the Taliban figures released for Bergdahl, the Cuban agents—members of the so-called Cuban Five—wouldn't pose much of a national security risk to the US; the danger in releasing them is only political. (Full column here.) Incidentally, an already-released Cuban agent has also called for such a release following the Bergdahl exchange, the AP reports. (Click to read about another American seeking freedom abroad.)

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