Thursday, March 8, 2012

Free Alan Gross from Incarceration

In anticipation of Pope Benedict XVI’s upcoming trip to Cuba from March 26-28, the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington has launched a new nationwide on-line petition drive humbly appealing to His Holiness to make whatever efforts necessary so that he may obtain Alan Gross’ release from Cuba while he is there.  We are respectfully requesting that you encourage people to sign this petition and forward it electronically (email, Twitter, Facebook) to your database and ask them to sign and forward the petition to others. We are also pleased to list your organization as a sponsor if you would like. Please contact Adina Remz at, to have your organization listed.
Alan Gross, a resident of the DC Metropolitan Area, was arrested in Cuba in December 2009 while working with the small Jewish community there to improve their Internet access and to create an intranet for them.  He has been incarcerated ever since. He languished in prison for over a year until he was finally charged by the Cuban government.  He was convicted by a Cuban court of "actions against the integrity of the State," and sentenced to 15 years in prison. He subsequently appealed his sentence to the Cuban Supreme Court and the court reaffirmed the sentence, exhausting all of Alan’s legal remedies. His only avenue left is commutation of his sentence by Raul Castro, President of Cuba. 
Alan and his supporters have fervently rejected all accusations that he did, or intended to, do anything to harm the Cuban government.  Quite to the contrary, his work in Cuba was meant to help the Cuban Jewish community improve its access to information through the Internet and intranet. The President of the United States, senior Administration officials, several high-ranking members of the United States Department of State, Members of Congress, various national leaders, and newspaper editorials have all called for his immediate release.
We too are urging Alan’s immediate release on humanitarian grounds.  Alan has lost approximately 100 pounds and is suffering from several ailments. Since his incarceration, his wife Judy has undergone surgery for an undisclosed medical issue and his two daughters, one of whom was recently diagnosed and treated for breast cancer, fear they will never see their father again.  Alan's 89-year old mother is fighting inoperable lung cancer and is also afraid that she may never see her son again.  The Gross family continues to suffer greatly—physically, economically, emotionally and spiritually—and we must do everything we can to bring this to an end.
Please help us fulfill the primary Jewish value of pidyon shivuim, redemption of the captive.
Thank you.
Ronald Halber
Executive Director


Post a Comment