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Alan Gross asks for Obama’s help

( Alan Gross, who is serving a 15-year prison term in Cuba for helping the Cuban Jewish community access the Internet while he was a subcontractor for the United States Agency for International Development, asked for President Barack Obama’s “personal involvement” in helping to secure his release. Dec. 3 marked the fourth anniversary of the imprisonment of Gross, who says he was working to promote democracy but was convicted by Cuba of “crimes against the state.”  The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has ruled that his detention is arbitrary. “It is clear to me, Mr. President, that only with your personal involvement can my release be secured,” Gross wrote in a letter to Obama that was published by the Washington Post. “I know that your administration and prior administrations have taken extraordinary steps to obtain the release of other U.S. citizens imprisoned abroad – even citizens who were not arrested for their work on behalf of their country. I ask that you also take action to secure my release, for my sake and for the sake of my family.”

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