Thursday, April 24, 2014

Cuba's Foreign Minister Meets Jailed American's Lawyer

Cuba's Foreign Minister Meets Jailed American's Lawyer
By Arutz Sheva Staff
First Publish: 4/24/2014, 5:42 AM
Cuba's top diplomat has met with a lawyer for jailed U.S. contractor
Alan Gross who is serving a 15-year term in Cuban prison, his defense
team said Wednesday, according to AFP.

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez met with Gross's lawyer Scott
Gilbert on Wednesday in Havana, stressing Cuba's willingness to speak
with the United States on the case, Gilbert's team said in a statement
released in Washington and quoted by the news agency.

After a two-hour discussion, "Rodriguez reiterated his government's
interest in having high-level officials meet with their U.S.
counterparts to discuss terms of a resolution. Rodriguez emphasized that
Cuba would place no preconditions on such a negotiation," the statement

Gross ended an eight-day hunger strike on April 11 to press for his
release from prison, where he has been held for four years.

The now 64-year-old was arrested in December 2009 for allegedly
distributing telecommunications equipment to members of Cuba's Jewish
community under a contract with the U.S. Agency for International

He was sentenced to 15 years in prison in 2011 after being convicted of
"acts against the independence or territorial integrity of the state."

Cuba, the only communist-ruled country in the Americas, does not have
full diplomatic relations with the United States. Washington has had an
economic embargo clamped on Havana since 1962, and the neighbors have
never moved off a Cold War footing in their ties.

The Cuban government has expressed its willingness to free Gross in
exchange for the United States free the so-called "Cuban Five",
intelligence agents convicted in a 1998 U.S. spy case.

Havana acknowledges the five men - two of whom have been released after
serving their sentences - were agents but says they were spying on
"terrorist" exiles and hails them as national heroes.

Secretary of State John Kerry has said in the past that Washington would
work to free Gross but outright rejected a deal with Havana to swap him
for the five Cuban spies.

Source: Cuba's FM Meets Jailed American's Lawyer - News from America -
News - Israel National News -

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