WITH THE presidential election over, supporters of better U.S.-Cuban relations are calling on President Obama, who won a majority of the Cuban American vote, to seek accord with the Castro regime. They forget the case of Alan Gross, the American development contractor who this week began his fourth year in a Cuban military prison.
Mr. Gross, of Potomac, was arrested on Dec. 3, 2009, after he delivered satellite telephones to members of Cuba’s tiny Jewish community. He had been hired to provide the equipment by the U.S. Agency for International Development; the aim was to help Cuban Jews connect to the Internet.
In 2011, Mr. Gross was convicted of crimes against the state and sentenced to 15 years in prison. There the now-63-year-old has remained, despite health problems that include a severe loss of weight, arthritis and a growth on his shoulder. His appeals to visit his gravely ill, 90-year-old mother have been denied. Cuban president Raúl Castro has repeatedly turned down proposals to release Mr. Gross on humanitarian grounds, despite visits from envoys ranging from U.S. senators to former U.N. ambassador Bill Richardson.