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May 4th, 2012
05:10 PM ET

Alan Gross: "I am a hostage"

Imprisoned American in Cuba, Alan Gross, calls CNN's Wolf Blitzer to discuss his situation and hardship.

Filed under: Situation Room
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Jose

    Alina , the cuban "five" were part of a big spy network introduced in this country by the Castro government to infiltrate not only cuban organizations that oppose the castro ditactorship but also military installations in the US. There were a lot more than five people in that network, if they are so innocents how come the other agents declare themselves guilty of conspiring againts this country and spent less time in prison? Please don't compare Gross to those guys , don't let your ideology blind you. Gross didn't take any bombs or artifact to kill anyone. He was trying to help people there to reach outside that island that is more like a prison. The cuban government is owned by a bunch of senile and corrupt old farts that FEAR this new age of communication and technology because they know if they allow free press and internet access, their "socialist/communist" lie is gona crumble.Knowledge is power.

    May 5, 2012 at 11:44 pm |
  2. Regina

    Thank you so much for posting this interview. There is no comparison with spying (which is what the "Cuban 5" were doing, not just trying to "prevent terrorism in Cuba") and trying to connect people to the Internet. You have to ask yourself why the Cuban government is so frightened of people having free access to the Internet. Wow, the people might find out that they're not living in a Workers' Paradise after all. You know what? They already know that. That's why so many people try to get out, especially young people who want a future. As Alan Gross points out, the real embargo is internal. The U.S. has made many concessions, and the Cuban government has not reciprocated. The upper elite of the Communist Party will try to hold onto power no matter what. These economic "reforms" are a way for them to get more money from the Cuban people. The fact that so many people believe what they read in the press about Cuba (generally speaking) is a testament to the power of Cuban propaganda. Thank you, Wolf, for letting us hear the voice of Alan Gross. I love the fact that he mentions all the Cuban political prisoners also.

    May 5, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
  3. Jim

    Mr.Gross does not mention the half million dollars he received for his communications upgrade work. He went on a tourist visa, not as a paid business person of a contractor of USAID.

    May 5, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
  4. John McAuliff

    Alan Gross would be free if the US acknowledged his role in carrying out a $600,000 USAID funded program of illegal covert action and negotiated seriously for his release. His characterization of his actions during his call does not square with his own accounts as reported by Desmond Butler for Associated Press.

    John McAuliff
    Fund for Reconciliation and Development

    May 5, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
  5. Julia F

    Well, among the comments I see some that seem to be written by the Cuban Five Brigade in the US. Lovely. To compare Mr. Gross with the so called Cuban Five is like comparing pears with oranges. The Cuban Five were five self-confessed officers of the Cuban Ministry of Interior. They were part of a much broader net of Cuban spies following orders from Havana inside the US. As for the charges against Mr. Gross, well, he should have been accused of being an idiot. He reminds me of those US young guys who years ago went practicing alpinism close to the Iran border. There’s a dictatorship ruling the Island, with tight control over who enters and leaves the country, including its own citizens. Mr. Gross should have known better. Accused of trying to overthrow the Cuban dictatorship with Radio Shack gadgets? Give me a break!

    May 5, 2012 at 10:06 am |
  6. Alina

    He sounds innocent but he glosses over what he did: he was bringing in communication equipment that was going to be used to undermine the Cuban government by spreading anti-communist propaganda among the people. In any country, a person who comes in with the intention of working actively against the government is punished. We here in the USA have five Cubans in jail who were accused of spying, when all they did was find out about terrorist activity aimed at Cuba and report it to the American government. Yet, no one in this country knows anything about them, and no one ever talks about it. I'm sorry for Gross, but he brought it on himself.

    May 4, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • Jose

      Alina, I love the way that people like you try to change the facts,first you are assuming (SINCE THERE IS NO PROVE TO SHOW OTHERWISE) that Mr Gross was bringing this equipment into Cuba to and I quoted you" To be used to udermine the cuban goverment",and then you said that the 5 cubans were "only" finding out about terrorist activities against Cuba, I see that you have forgotten one important thing in this case and is the following

      The 5 cubans had a DAY IN COURT and they were able to defend themself by their lawyers...Mr Gross after 2 Years is still waiting to be able to do the same.....THAT ALINA ARE THE FACTS

      May 6, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  7. Markie Wilson

    The Cuban who was allowed to visit his family was not released from jail as you stated. He is on parole. I wish you would report the facts on the Cuban 5, several of whom have been denied visits from their families for all the years they have been unjustly locked up. They were trying to prevent right-wing terrorist attacks on Cuba.

    May 4, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
  8. geesam

    An Gross is a Jew. And he is in a Cuban-type concentration camp.

    May 4, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
  9. Anna

    This is definitely one of the most upsetting interviews I've heard in a long time. I really hope he has the chance to visit with his mother. I was so teary-eyed listening to him talk.

    May 4, 2012 at 5:16 pm |

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