USAID: A CIA Front ‘In Desperate Need of Adult Supervision’

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USAID: A CIA Front ‘In Desperate Need of Adult Supervision’

Postby admin » Wed Jan 13, 2016 7:27 am

USAID: A CIA Front ‘In Desperate Need of Adult Supervision’
by 21WIRE



We’ve been tracking the dirty work of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for several decades now — a Federal government agency that claims its main charge to be administering U.S. foreign assistance around the world:

“USAID is the lead U.S. Government agency that works to end extreme global poverty and enable resilient, democratic societies to realize their potential.” (via


Development cooperation officially started in the United States with President Truman's inaugural address in 1949. Truman declared that the fourth point of U.S. foreign policy was a "bold new programme" to provide assistance to developing countries. With singular prescience, he predicted: "We are here embarking on a venture that extends far into the future. We are at the beginning of a rising curve of activity, private, governmental and international, that will continue for many years to come." One year later Congress passed the Act for International Development, with an initial appropriation of $35 million.

Nobody in the United States used the term "development cooperation" then, and, indeed, nobody uses it today. "Development assistance" has been the term of choice, but in common discourse and political practice, aid for development has been submerged in a package of programmes lumped together as "foreign aid."

U.S. foreign aid programmes did not start in 1950. Forerunners of aid to development include post-war emergency relief through UNRWA, military aid to Greece and Turkey in 1947 in the first manifestations of the cold war and, above all, the Marshall Plan for European recovery in the late 1940s and early 1950s. The record of European nations in using U.S. aid effectively in their rebuilding became, in fact, both a positive and a negative factor in later consideration of aid -- positive in providing an example of the successful use of aid funds, but negative in suggesting that development aid should achieve equally rapid results.

Over the years, foreign aid has had two distinctive components: military aid and economic aid, the latter embracing humanitarian relief, economic support (essentially balance-of-payments assistance) and development assistance. Since the first year or two, all economic aid, whatever its objective, has been administered by a single government agency, known first as the Mutual Security Agency, then as the International Cooperation Agency and since 1961 as the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).


In 1950, at the peak of the Marshall Plan, the public information section of the Economic Cooperation Administration, which administered reconstruction aid to Europe, had about 100 employees. Paul Hoffman, the first ECA administrator, argued that "to run the ECA without a strong information arm would be as futile as trying to conduct a major business without sales, advertising, or customer relations departments." Indeed, the ECA turned out an enormous amount of publicity, running its own radio and television programmes, taking journalists on tours, meetings with editors and so on.

In 1955, the public information office staff had shrunk to 16, and a provision in the aid legislation (the Dworshak Amendment) prohibited the agency from using its funds for "the dissemination within the United States of general propaganda" in support of the aid programme.

Faced with growing criticism, the Eisenhower Administration in 1958 convened a national citizens' assembly to arouse public support for foreign aid under the title "Conference on Foreign Aspects of National Security." Using the White House itself as a base, and led by a charismatic entrepreneur (Eric Johnston, president of the Motion Picture Association of America [MCA]), the conference was a two-day jamboree, with the leaders of both political parties, the heads of the major religious denominations, leaders or organised business and trade unions, and scores of NGO executives. A new super-NGO emerged, the Committee for International Economic Growth (CIEG), which launched a vigorous public information campaign.

The 1960s

Public Opinion

The 1960s was named the "decade of development" by the United Nations; it produced new development institutions such as the UNDP and the Inter-American Development Bank; and President Kennedy launched the Peace Corps and the Alliance for Progress, a major development programme for Latin America. General public opinion on aid, however, hardly changed at all. Asked in 1965 the same question as in 1958 ("In general, how do you feel about foreign aid?"), the public responded with remarkable consistency: 57 per cent for, 33 per cent against, 10 per cent no opinion.

The annual battle over aid levels continued in Congress. On this subject, the public was asked in 1965: "President Johnson has proposed that Congress set aside $3.4 billion for aid to countries in other parts of the world, or about 3 per cent of the total annual budget. Would you like to see this amount increased or decreased?" The answers: 6 per cent for increased aid, 49 per cent for decreased aid, 33 per cent for maintaining the level of aid.

Organisational Voices

By 1963 the CIEG had collapsed, following Eric Johnston's death and the change of party control at the White House. Efforts were made, with a tacit White House blessing, to build new support groups -- e.g. a Citizens' Committee for International Development in 1961, and a National Committee for International Development in 1964 -- but both failed.

By the end of the 1960s, however, impetus for a new public support organisation took on renewed momentum. With strong leadership and funding from private foundations (especially the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations), the Overseas Development Council (ODC) was created to serve as a think tank on development issues and policy, and as a disseminator of facts and ideas. Respected for the professional competence of its staff, the ODC has operated successfully ever since, cultivating opinion makers of various kinds, including journalists and the staffs of members of Congress. It has without doubt been the leading centre of policy-oriented pro-development thinking in the United States.

Government Action

During this period, USAID itself was becoming increasingly conscious of the politics of foreign aid. Its presentations to Congress carefully broke down aid expenditures (for services and goods) by state and congressional district, thus demonstrating the beneficial economic impact of aid spending on the domestic economy. Major contracts were signed with U.S. universities to provide technical assistance overseas, thus creating a continuing interest in foreign assistance within the educational community. Many NGOs also became USAID contractors.

-- Public Support for International Development, edited by Foy Colm, Helmich Henry

The reality of USAID is something very different. USAID is also a traditional CIA front organization, allowing the agency access to an array of places and things around the globe.

On August 11th of this year, 21WIRE’s report on USAID’s secret operation against Cuba detailed how the agency “established a fake HIV prevention workshop in Cuba where their young recruits worked to turn young people against the Castro regime.”

The author of the report, Stuart J. Hooper, expands:

“After undertaking a few short seminars, these young people were expected to do the work of a seasoned CIA officer, which is something that could have easily gotten their vastly inexperienced and unprepared selves into severe trouble with Cuban authorities.”

Not exactly the hallmark of a humanitarian agency promising to end global poverty.

IMAGE: CANVAS-trained and managed Egyptian protesters as early as 2009 in preparation for the fabled ‘Arab Spring’ in 2010-2011. These professional agitators-for-hire globe-trot, and openly promote their CFR-sponsored agenda.

Back on November 24th, 2011, Patrick Henningsen’s report “A US-Backed Military Junta in Egypt Was Always The Plan” confirmed:

“We know that it was not Egyptian and Tunisian students working in a political vacuum, but the Centre for Applied Nonviolent Action and Strategies (CANVAS), a professional consultancy, who took students from the Middle East and trained them overseas as early back as 2009.”

Within the vast entanglement of government and non-government (NGO) subcontractor culture, you’ll not be surprised to know CANVAS is part-funded and supported by globalist foundations like George Soros’s Freedom House and Open Society Institute, as well as CIA-linked National Endowment for Democracy and, of course, the full frontal USAID.

IMAGE: Globalist foundations promoting democracy and freedom have been active in fomenting uprisings all over the planet, including the ‘Occupy’ movements. Their creative consultants are well-versed in NLP tactics for the crowd.

Now, we have the matter of the apparent brutal beheadings of two American journalists, James Foley and Steven Sotloff.

According to a recent article in the The Weekly Standard, in 2009, just three years before his capture in Syria, Foley worked for USAID-funded development projects in Baghdad. And then in 2011, he “moved to Libya” briefly where he was eventually kidnapped and held for over a month. Michael Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg writes:

“This guy has a resume that reads more like a James Bond film script than that of a journalist with a teaching background. He works for USAID in 2009 in Iraq, then he finds himself kidnapped in Libya two years later by Gaddafi forces. Then, after all of this, he finds himself captured in Syria, only to be beheaded two years later by ISIS (the terror organization funded by our ally Saudi Arabia).”

What else was James Foley doing for USAID?

IMAGE: While the masses train their eyes on the sickest of social media, set pieces continue to be placed under their noses.

21WIRE’s Andrew McKillop writes in a recent article titled “ISIS dot com: Social Media Barons Are Pushing the New Barbarity”:

“Whether or not the Foley video was staged to solicit a certain public reaction to it, for example – launching U.S. air strikes in Syria, it’s obvious that there is some dark arts in action in the way Western media are touting these videos in public. They are actively aiding and abetting the most hideous forms of exhibitionism – for example the decapitation of James Foley, called “execution” and not what it really was in terms of a billion dollar U.S. media marketing campaign – an open air murder by a psychopath and war criminal. In the end, there is zero moral value in re-disseminating this kind of pornography through the multi-billion broadcast media complex, yet they are doing more and more push-marketing of this material each year.”

USAID and others like it clearly operate in these hot zones very much in plain sight. Yet our eyes and our media simply don’t want to look away from the news feed — and that’s what keeps them in their trade.

We led this report with USAID’s secret operation against Cuba, and this is where we will close it.

The Associated Press investigation that blew the cover off the “fake HIV prevention workshop” also discovered that USAID and its contractor (yes, yet another layer), Creative Associates International, continued the program despite U.S. officials issuing warnings to government contractors:

“U.S. officials privately told their government contractors to consider suspending travel to Cuba after the arrest of contractor Alan Gross, who remains imprisoned after smuggling in sensitive technology. A lawyer for Gross said Monday that his client cannot take life in prison much longer and has said his goodbyes to his wife and a daughter.”

How reckless can a Federal agency and its contractors be? Answer: Creative Associates cited the workshop as a “success story.”

“The group’s final report said the workshop would be used as a blueprint across the island.”

“But Sen. Jeff Flake, a Republican from Arizona and longtime critic of USAID’s Cuba projects, said, “These programs are in desperate need of adult supervision. If you are using an AIDS workshop as a front for something else, that’s … I don’t know what to say … it’s just wrong.”

There’s plenty more to say — and it starts with you.
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Re: USAID: A CIA Front ‘In Desperate Need of Adult Supervisi

Postby admin » Wed Jan 13, 2016 8:22 am

Secret USAID Operation Against Cuba
AUGUST 11, 2014
21st Century Wire




The effects of clandestine groups infiltrating, and coopting, ‘aid’ and ‘development’ organizations can be devastating. A report broken by the Associated Press details a Cuban man who met foreign visitors in college and came to call them his friends. But, these visitors were actually under secret instruction from the US Agency for International Development.

Video presentation of this report can be found here:

A contractor called Creative Associates, hired by US Aid, recruited young people from Peru, Venezuela and Costa Rica, and then sent them to Cuba to find others who might be fashioned into anti-Communist activists. This is the same company that established the Cuban Twitter – another attempt to incite a revolution. US Aid established a fake HIV prevention workshop in Cuba where their young recruits worked to turn young people against the Castro regime. The operation has been going on since 2009 and the young people were taught codes such as:

I have a headache.

Which meant, ‘we may be being watched’. And:

Return home sooner, your sister is ill.

Meaning, ‘leave as soon as possible’.

A Statement from US Aid said that the organization is ‘committed to supporting the Cuban people’s desire to freely determine their own future’. Although, in reality it looks more like it has to be a future determined favorable by the US Government. The man from the AP report said that he felt ‘manipulated’, when in actual fact he was so much more than manipulated – he was in incredible danger! After undertaking a few short seminars, these young people were expected to do the work of a seasoned CIA officer, which is something that could have easily gotten their vastly inexperienced and unprepared selves into severe trouble with Cuban authorities.

US Aid also had the audacity to say in a statement that this operation was not secret or covert. If so, one must ask why US Aid did not go ahead and put up a sign that said, ‘Revolutionary Recruitment’, instead of, ‘HIV Prevention Workshop’?

The US attempting to overthrow sovereign governments is a huge problem, but the additional problem here is that this completely undermines the work of genuine aid programs and organizations. Now, even the most trustworthy and decent member of such groups might be suspicious of why they are being asked to do something, or find themselves on the receiving end of questions from locals like, ‘do you work for the CIA?’. This puts pressure on both the givers and receivers of aid, and only works to hinder efforts attempting to help those in need around the world. Furthermore, it weakens the stance of all NGOs and severely damages the reputation of US Aid.

Instead of trying to justify what they have done, US Aid needs to issue an apology for endangering the lives of these young people and embarking upon what can only be described as a reckless mission. Aid definitely does not always aid, but, when clandestine operations like this one are in place, aid can never aid.

Stuart J. Hooper
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Re: USAID: A CIA Front ‘In Desperate Need of Adult Supervisi

Postby admin » Mon Jun 06, 2016 4:31 am

[WINTER SOLDIER, JOE BANGERT, U.S. MARINES] In Quang Tri City, I had a friend who was working with USAID, and he was also with CIA. We used to get drunk together. And he used to tell me about his different trips into Laos on Air America Airlines and things. One time he asked me would I like to accompany him to watch. He was an adviser with an ARVN group and Kit Carson's. He asked me if I would like to accompany him into a village that I was familiar with to see how they act.

So I went with him, and when we got there, the ARVNs had control of the situation. They didn't find any enemy, but they found a woman with bandages. So she was questioned by six ARVNs. And the way they questioned her, since she had bandages, they shot her. She was hit about twenty times.

After she was questioned, and of course dead, this guy came over who was a former major, been in the service for twenty years, and he got hungry again and came back over working with USAID, Aid International Development. He went over there, ripped her clothes off, and took a knife and cut, from her vagina almost all the way up, just about up to her breasts, and pulled her organs out, completely out of her cavity, and threw them out. Then he stopped and knelt over and commenced to peel every bit of skin off her body, and left her there as a sign for something or other.

-- Winter Soldier Investigation, Sponsored by Vietnam Veterans Against the War, Inc.
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Re: USAID: A CIA Front ‘In Desperate Need of Adult Supervisi

Postby admin » Wed Dec 11, 2019 12:46 am

Alan Gross
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 12/10/19

The Trial of the Cuban Five
Ralph Nader Interviews Martin Garbus

December 7, 2019

Ralph welcomes legendary trial lawyer, Martin Garbus, who discusses his book “North of Havana: The Untold Story of Dirty Politics, Secret Diplomacy, and the Trial of the Cuban Five.” Plus Ralph answers your questions!

Martin Garbus is an attorney who is expert at every level of civil and criminal trial, and litigation. He has appeared before the United States Supreme Court in leading First Amendment cases and is the author of Tough Talk: How I Fought for Writers, Comics, Bigots, and the American Way and the book that is the subject of this program: North of Havana: The Untold Story of Dirty Politics, Secret Diplomacy, and the Trial of the Cuban Five.

“For one thing, it (this story) shows how our government can subvert the press and interfere with our jury system. It chronicles an unprecedented pollution of the American legal system in order to advance a political cause. For another – and this may be the real takeaway for us now – it reminds us that facts matter and truth matters and that when people who believe that get involved, there are no hopeless causes. In fact, sometimes the innocent guys, after paying an awful price, win.”

Martin Garbus, author of North of Havana: The Untold Story of Dirty Politics, Secret Diplomacy, and the Trial of the Cuban Five.

[Martin Garbus] Cuba had always insisted that these guys were innocent, and they wanted them returned. When I got into the case, and it continued, the possibilities of them ever being returned were zero, except what happened was Alan Gross, an American CIA-USAID spy, was arrested in Havana. And another American spy had been arrested previously. So as the rapprochement talk was going on, and the publicity was going on, there were also these negotiations that I was involved in to get my clients released from the American jail and go back to Cuba, and America wanted to get Alan Gross back.

On December 2014, one was the rapprochement, you saw Barack on TV, but rather more quietly my guys got off in Havana, having been released from jail, and Alan Gross was returned to Washington….

[Ralph Nader] One backup that I have to clarify: Didn’t Alan Gross deny that he was a CIA operative in Cuba?

[Martin Garbus] Well, two things: First of all he denied this, and then he tried through various groups to put pressure on the American government to get him out. The American government failed to do it. He then sued the American government and he claimed in that lawsuit that “I have been USAID-CIA. You left me here; you didn’t tell me about all the dangers." So he had a lawsuit against the United States Government which he got a substantial settlement for. So yes, you have the original denial. He then said, “I was that person; you sent me down here, and you didn’t protect me.” Something like that has never happened before.

[Ralph Nader] You’re saying in his legal complaint against the U.S. Government, he admitted he not only worked for USAID, but that he had worked for the CIA?

[Martin Garbus] Yes.

Alan Gross
Alan Gross talking on the phone with President Barack Obama, 2014
Born Alan Phillip Gross
May 2, 1949 (age 70)
Rockville Centre, New York, U.S.
Nationality American
Occupation United States government contractor employed by U.S. Agency for International Development
Criminal status Released
Spouse(s) Judith Gross
Criminal penalty 5 years in prison for importing banned technology with the intent of establishing clandestine Internet service[1][2][3][4]
Imprisoned at Carlos J. Finlay Military Hospital, Havana
Alan Phillip Gross (born May 2, 1949)[5] is a United States government contractor employed by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

In December 2009 he was arrested in Cuba while working on a program funded under the 1996 Helms–Burton Act.[6] He was prosecuted in 2011 after being accused of crimes against the Cuban state for bringing satellite and computer equipment to members of Cuba's Jewish community without the permit required under Cuban law.[7] After being accused of working for American intelligence services in January 2010, he was convicted for "acts against the independence or the territorial integrity of the state" in March 2011.[8] He was released from Cuban prison on December 17, 2014.[9]

Life and career

Gross was born in Rockville Centre, Long Island,[10] New York state[5] into a Jewish family to Fred Gross (1921–2006)[11] and Evelyn H. Gross (née Kessel; 1922–2014).[12] He was raised at his hometown and in Baltimore.[10] He studied sociology at the University of Maryland and social work at Virginia Commonwealth University, before moving to Potomac, Maryland.[10][13] He had a long career as an international development worker who had been active in some 50 countries and territories across the Middle East, Africa and Europe,[14] including Iraq and Afghanistan, where he was setting up satellite communications systems to NGOs.[15]

In 2001, he founded JBDC LLC, a small company that earned less than $70,000 in 2009, which supported "Internet connectivity in locations where there [is] little or no access," according to the New York Times.[16] Gross and his wife Judy lived in Potomac, Maryland, a Washington, D.C. suburb. The couple have two daughters, Shira and Nina.[17][10]

Arrest and trial


Gross was working with Development Alternatives Inc. (DAI), a contractor working with USAID, which had won a $6 million U.S. government contract for the program in which Gross was involved, a controversial "democracy-promotion program" that ballooned under the George W. Bush administration, to provide communications equipment to break the Cuban government's 'information blockade.'[17] Gross received less than $300,000. He spoke little Spanish and had not worked in Cuba before.[18]

USAID's $20 million Cuba program, authorized by a law calling for regime change in Cuba, has been criticized in congressional reports, which called it wasteful and ineffective and accused it of putting people in danger.[18][19] Funding was held up briefly in 2010 over concerns following Gross's arrest.[18]

According to American officials, Gross visited Cuba four times in five months in 2009 on a tourist visa before his arrest to deliver computer and satellite equipment to three Jewish community groups. In December 2009, according to DAI, he was on a follow-up trip researching how the groups were making use of the equipment he had previously distributed to them.[16] As reported by The Jewish Daily Forward, Cuba's small Jewish community, numbering fewer than 2,000 people who mainly live in Havana, enjoys full religious freedom, the possibility to emigrate to Israel and fairly good relations with the government under Raúl Castro,[6] but has little influence, making observers wonder why the United States provides material to them under a USAID program that usually targets dissidents. According to a Latin America specialist for the Council on Foreign Relations, it is possible that Gross’s mission was useful only inasmuch as it satisfied Congressional demands to take action in Cuba.[20]

In January 2012, it was reported that Cuban authorities claimed that Gross has visited Cuba as early as 2004, delivering a video camera to a leading Freemason who later declared that he had been a Cuban intelligence agent since 2000.[21]

Gross filed reports for DAI of his four visits to Cuba in 2009. The report of the fifth and final trip was written by DAI. A review of the reports was revealed on February 12, 2012, by the Associated Press (AP). According to the reports, Gross was aware of the risks he was taking.[22] AP reports that Gross did not identify himself as a representative of the U.S. government, but claimed to be a member of a Jewish humanitarian group [this is inaccurate]. To escape Cuban authorities' detection, he enlisted the help of American Jews to transport electronic equipment, instructing them to pack items a piece at a time in carry-on luggage, and also traveled with American Jewish humanitarian groups undertaking missions on the island so he could intercede with Cuban authorities if questions arose. Gross declared that he was thoroughly inspected by the customs officials at Jose Marti International Airport when entering the country and that he declared all of the items in his possession.[23] The equipment he brought to Cuba on his fourth trip, most but not all of which is legal in Cuba, included 12 iPods, 11 BlackBerry Curve smartphones, three MacBooks, six 500-gigabyte external drives, three satellite modems known as BGANs, three routers, three controllers, 18 wireless access points, 13 memory sticks, three VoIP phones, and networking switches. In his report on this trip, marked as final, he summarized: “Wireless networks established in three communities; about 325 users”. However, he went to Cuba for a fifth time in late November 2009 and was arrested 11 days later.[24] When he was arrested, he was carrying a high-tech chip,[22] intended to keep satellite phone transmissions from being located within 250 miles (400 kilometres). The chip is not available on the open market. It is provided most frequently to the CIA and the United States Department of Defense, but can also be obtained by the United States Department of State, which oversees USAID. Asked how Gross obtained the card, a USAID spokesman said that the agency played no role in helping Gross acquire equipment.[24]


Gross was arrested on December 3, 2009, at the Havana airport.[25] He was jailed first at Carlos J. Finlay Military Hospital, then Villa Marista prison, a detention center.[26] According to classified U.S. diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks, the arrest came amid heightened tensions between Cuba and the U.S. Gross spent 25 days in jail before receiving his first visit from a U.S. diplomat, but was visited by a Cuban attorney earlier and was allowed to telephone his wife four days after his arrest on December 6 for the first time and again on December 23. During the one-hour visit by the representative of the United States Interests Section in Havana on December 28, 2009, Gross stated that Cuban officials were "treating him 'with respect," though his interrogation had been "very intense at first," lasting an average of two hours a day. According to the cable, the cell Gross had to share with two other men had a TV and a fan.[25]

The attorney who visited Gross in jail, Armanda Nuria Piñero Sierra, was hired as Gross's lawyer and handled his trial and appeals. She also represented the families of five Cubans held in U.S. prisons after being convicted in 2001 on charges of conspiracy to commit espionage against U.S. military installations, leading to the immediate speculation after Gross's arrest that Cuba wanted to swap him for the five.[25] In October 2011, it was revealed that the U.S. State Department had offered to let one of them who had been released from prison in the U.S. on probation serve the remainder of his probation in Cuba in exchange for Gross's release.[27]

U.S. Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen said Gross's treatment was an attempt by Cuba to get a "concession."[16] Many Jewish groups, including the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and the American Jewish Committee, protested against his detention.[28]


In January 2010, Ricardo Alarcón, the president of the Cuban National Assembly, said that Gross was "contracted to work for American intelligence services," which was denied by both the U.S. government and Gross's attorneys.[17][29] More than a year later, in February 2011, Gross was charged not with espionage but with "acts against the independence and territorial integrity of the state" ("Actos Contra la Independencia o la Integridad Territorial del Estado"),[30] a crime punishable by up to 20 years in prison.[29] Gross's trial was set for March 4, 2011.[29]


On March 12, 2011, Gross was sentenced to 15 years in prison.[26][31] According to the Cuban News Agency, he had been part of a "subversive project of the U.S. government that aimed to destroy the Revolution through the use of communication systems out of the control of authorities."[31] Gross's wife attended the trial with her attorney. Three U.S. officials also attended as observers.[26]

Gross's case was appealed to the Supreme Court of Cuba, which affirmed the sentence in August 2011.[32]

Reactions and advocacy

Alan Gross with his wife Judy, attorney Scott Gilbert, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. watch television on board a U.S. government plane headed back to the U.S. as the news breaks of his release, Dec. 17, 2014.

After the sentence was passed, Gross's American attorney, Peter J. Kahn, said in a written statement: "The Gross family is devastated by the verdict and harsh sentence announced today by the Cuban authorities. Having already served a 15-month sentence in a Cuban prison, Alan and his family have paid an enormous personal price in the long-standing political feud between Cuba and the United States." Kahn pledged to "continue to work with Alan's Cuban attorney in exploring any and all options available to him, including the possibility of an appeal." He also called for Gross's immediate release on humanitarian grounds.[26]

U.S. National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor responded to the ruling, saying that it "adds another injustice to Alan Gross's ordeal," and that "he has already spent too many days in detention and should not spend one more," and asked for "the immediate release of Mr. Gross so that he can return home to his wife and family."[26]

United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told reporters that Gross had been "unjustly jailed for far too long…He needs to be able to leave Cuba and return home," adding "this is a matter of great personal pain to his family and concern to the U.S. government."[26]

Several members of Congress visited Cuba to see Gross.[33]

The Jewish community and others called on Pope Benedict XVI to appeal to Raul Castro during his visit to Cuba in March 2012 to release Gross.[20]

Gross's wife, after fighting to persuade the organized Jewish community to rally behind a humanitarian campaign to free her husband, publicly criticized President Barack Obama and U.S. policy toward Cuba.[20] In a March 13, 2012 interview with "Politico," after having hired the public relations company Burson-Marsteller on the State Department′s recommendation,[20] she called her husband a "pawn" in a "failed policy" between the Cuban and American governments, adding "the trial wasn’t about him. It was about USAID and U.S. policy towards Cuba."[33] Gross reportedly insisted that his "goals were not the same as the program that sent [him]," and called on the Obama administration to meet Cuba at the negotiating table to solve bilateral issues between the two states, including his case.[34]


In April 2014, he went on a hunger strike for nine days.[35]

In August 2014, his wife reported on their official website,, that Gross refused to see her or their daughter when they went to see him in Cuba, and also refused to see visitors from the U.S. Interests Section in Havana, such as U.S. diplomats.[35][36][37][38] In August 2014, his wife and daughter wrote on their official website that Gross told them not to visit him again and in December 2014 it was reported that they had not.[35][37]

Gross was housed in the Carlos J. Finlay Military Hospital with two other inmates who spoke Spanish.[39][40] Gross reportedly spoke some Spanish.[41]

It was reported in December 2014 that Gross refused to be treated by doctors in Cuba and had threatened to go on hunger strikes if he was not unconditionally released.[42]


When arrested, Gross weighed 254 pounds (115 kg). Since the start of his incarceration, he lost considerable body weight.[43][44] Gross refused medical and dental care.[39] According to his wife and attorney, Gross's health had deteriorated during his incarceration and this was a reason to release him immediately. They also claimed he had degenerative arthritis and had difficulty walking. In May 2012, a mass developed on his right shoulder, which was diagnosed by Cuban doctors as a hematoma (collection of blood).[45][46] Gross's family hired a U.S. radiologist who claimed that the mass was improperly diagnosed, and that Gross could be suffering from cancer so Gross should be released on that basis.[47] Gross's former lawyer, Jared Genser, issued a press release saying he had filed a petition with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture.[48][49] At the same time, "extremely concerned about Alan Gross's health,"[45] the U.S. State Department called for Gross's immediate release.[50]

Meanwhile, the president of the Hebrew Community of Cuba (Spanish: "Casa de la Comunidad Hebrea de Cuba"), Adela Dworin, who visited Gross in jail several times, claimed that Gross "looked very agile" and was not particularly worried about the mass on his shoulder.[51] In November 2012, the Miami Herald reported that New York Rabbi Elie Abadie, who is also a physician, told the Associated Press that “Alan Gross does not have any cancerous growth at this time, at least based on the studies I was shown and based on the examination, and I think he understands that also," after personally examining Gross and receiving a briefing from a team of Cuban physicians who attended him.

The Cuban Foreign Affairs Ministry, in a statement detailing a meeting between diplomats of the U.S. Interests Section in Havana, a doctor and nurse from the U.S. mission, and members of the Cuban medical team that presented the results of the biopsy performed on the lesion behind Gross's right shoulder, confirmed that the hematoma was not cancerous.[52] The Cuban Government also maintained that Gross's health was normal for a man his age and that he was being properly treated after having stated a few months earlier that Gross, who was held at a military hospital, "could be held at any prison facility," meaning that he was in good and stable health.[45]

In December 2014, Gross released a statement complaining that his teeth had fallen out and that he had lost weight while at the same time stating that he was refusing all medical and dental care because he wanted to be immediately released from prison.[53]


In November 2012, Gross and his wife Judith sued DAI and USAID for failing to adequately prepare, train and supervise him given the dangerous nature of the program's activities. Reportedly, they were seeking $60 million compensatory damages. In November 2013, it was announced that DAI and Gross and his wife had reached a confidential settlement.[54][55]

Gross and his wife filed another lawsuit, reportedly seeking $10 million from Gross's insurer, the Federal Insurance Company, for benefits they say the company had denied.[56][57]


In November 2014, The New York Times called for the United States to engage in a prisoner swap with Cuba.[58] On December 17, 2014, the Cuban government released Gross on humanitarian grounds and allowed him to return to the United States on a U.S. government plane. Some members of the Cuban Five were also released on December 17, 2014, although the governments characterized the two releases as being unconnected.[9] This exchange was part of the larger Cuban Thaw, which saw improvements in diplomatic and trade relations between the United States and Cuba as well.

Post-release activities

Gross and Nelson DeMille, the author of a recent novel set in Cuba, were scheduled to appear on a panel, commenting on conditions in Cuba, on September 26, 2017.[59]


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2. "Wife Says Alan Gross' Health, Spirits Failing; Worried He'll Do 'Something Drastic'". Fox News Latino. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved December 17, 2014.
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8. "Sentence" (PDF). People's Provincial Tribunal of Havanna.[permanent dead link]
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11. "Fred Gross".
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14. "Alan Gross Begins Fourth Year of Unjust Imprisonment". US Department of State. Retrieved June 24, 2017.
15. Landau, Saul (August 31, 2010). "The Alan Gross Case". Institute for Policy Studies. Cuba Solidarity Campaign. Retrieved December 7, 2011.
16. Thompson, Ginger; Lacey, Marc (January 12, 2010). "Contractor Jailed in Cuba Was Aiding Religious Groups, U.S. Says". The New York Times. Archived from the original on January 17, 2010. Retrieved March 14, 2011.
17. Sheridan, Mary Beth; Booth, William (January 13, 2010). "Detainee was helping Cuban Jewish groups involved in U.S. democracy project". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 14, 2011.
18. Haven, Paul (March 12, 2011). "American contractor found guilty in Cuba". The Miami Herald. Associated Press. Retrieved December 7, 2011.
19. Padgett, Tim (August 9, 2011). "The Alan Gross Affair: The U.S. and Cuba Begin Their Dysfunctional Diplomatic Dance". Time Magazine. Retrieved December 7, 2011.
20. Berger, Paul (March 23, 2012). "New Tactic in Alan Gross Fight". The Jewish Daily Forward. Retrieved March 28, 2012.
21. Tamayo, Juan O. (January 26, 2012). "Details of Cuba's case against U.S. subcontractor Alan Gross leak out". Retrieved February 17, 2012.
22. Berger, Paul (February 15, 2012). "What Did Alan Gross Do in Cuba? Reports Show Accused Spy Knew the Risks He Was Taking". The Jewish Daily Forward. Retrieved February 17, 2012.
23. "Declaration by Alan P. Gross, 243444, Ref: Preparatory File Number 59 of 2009, Case Number 1/11, Mar. 4, 2011".
24. Butler, Desmond (February 13, 2012). "AP Impact: USAID contractor work in Cuba detailed". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved February 17, 2012.
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34. Kornbluh, Peter (January 18, 2013). "Alan Gross Case Spotlights U.S. Democracy Programs in Cuba". The National Security Archive.
35. Alan Gomez, USA TODAY (December 3, 2014). "American contractor marks 5th year in Cuban prison". Retrieved December 17, 2014.
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46. Franks, Jeff (September 12, 2012). "Cuba says jailed American's health OK, renews offer of talks". Reuters.
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54. DAI. "Gross Family and DAI Settle Case Relating to Cuba Imprisonment". Retrieved December 17, 2014.
55. "Alan Gross Settles Suit on 'Risky' Work in Cuba". The Jewish Daily Forward. May 17, 2013. Retrieved December 17, 2014.
56. JTA (November 18, 2012). "Judith Gross sues U.S. government, contractor on husband Alan's behalf". Haaretz.
57. "Alan Gross Settles Suit on 'Risky' Work in Cuba". The Jewish Daily Forward. May 17, 2013. Retrieved December 17, 2014.
58. Londona, Ernesto (November 2, 2014). "Alan Gross and the Cuban Five: A Timeline". New York Times. Retrieved December 17, 2014.
59. "Top author, former Cuban prisoner top bill at MJCCA". Dunwoody Crier. September 5, 2017. Retrieved September 8, 2017. The MJCCA is pleased to welcome the legendary No. 1 New York Times best-selling author Nelson DeMille, presenting his new novel, “The Cuban Affair” on Sept. 26 at 7:30 p.m. Appearing in conversation with DeMille is special guest Alan P. Gross, Former Cuban hostage and economic development and community engagement advisor.

Further reading

• Alan Gross, "Para La Isla," Proposed Expansion of Scope of Work in Cuba Proposal, September 2009 (DAI/JBDC)
• Complaint: Alan Gross and Judith Gross against Development Alternatives, Inc. (“DAI”) and the United States of America. The United States District Court for the District of Columbia, November 16, 2012
• Development Alternatives Inc.'s Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support of its Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Subject-Matter, Jurisdiction and Failure to State a Claim. The United States District Court for the District of Columbia, January 15, 2013
• Why Won’t the U.S. Help Alan Gross?, Politico Magazine

External links

• Gross family's website
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