Alan Gross, the American contractor imprisoned in Cuba since 2009 has been released. Gross, 65, was released on humanitarian grounds at the request of the American government and is returning to the United States on a U.S. government plane, the Washington Post reported.
Gross, a Potomac resident, was arrested while working as a subcontractor for the U.S. Agency for International Development. Gross was there to connect Cuba’s Jewish population to the Internet. He was convicted of crimes against the state in 2011.
In a statement, U.S. Rep. Ellot Engel (D-N.Y.) called Gross’ release “long overdue.”
Michael Siegal, chairman of the board of trustees of The Jewish Federations of North America, in a statement, thanked “President Obama and Vice President Biden for their instrumental role in bringing about Alan’s long-overdue return trip home.”
Greg Rosenbaum, chair of the NJDC Board of Directors, said in a statement that Gross’ release during Chanukah “can only feel like a miracle.”