Wednesday marks the fifth year that Alan Gross, a U.S. Agency of International Development contractor, has been imprisoned in Cuba. He is in poor mental and physical health, and in a statement, his wife, Judy Gross, said she believes, "we are at the end."
"Enough is enough. My husband has paid a terrible price for serving his country and community. Alan is resolved that he will not endure another year imprisoned in Cuba, and I am afraid that we are at the end," Judy Gross said. "After five years of literally wasting away, Alan is done. It is time for President Obama to bring Alan back to the United States now; otherwise it will be too late."
Gross has refused some recent visitors - including family and U.S. diplomats - and says that this year will be his last. There appears to be little movement on the U.S. government side when it comes to securing his release. Someone familiar with Gross' situation said he is threatening to begin a hunger strike as he did last April. It lasted for nine days and only ended at the request of his mother, Evelyn Gross, who died in June.
Unlike in prior years, the family is not planning any vigils or public events or doing any interviews.
Gross was arrested for smuggling satellite equipment to Cuba as part of a US government pro-democracy program and was sentenced to 15 years in prison. He is 65 years old.
Cuba is asking to swap him for the release of the remaining three Cuban spies who were captured in Miami in 1998. Amnesty International and a United Nations group have both said that Cuban spies did not receive a fair trial. The U.S. and Cuba remained deadlocked.