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Miami CBS 4: Rubio Condemns Possible 20-Year Sentence Against Detained American In Cuba

Feb 7, 2011 | News

MIAMI (CBS4)- Florida senator Marco Rubio is condemning the possibility that a U.S. government subcontractor jailed in Havana for 14 months may be given a 20-year sentence.

Rubio issued a statement regarding the news that Cuban prosecutors will seek a 20-year prison sentence for U.S. aid worker Alan Gross.

“I condemn in the strongest possible terms the Cuban regime’s decision to seek a 20 year prison sentence for Alan Gross,” the statement said. “Mr. Gross is simply a humanitarian who was seeking to help the Jewish community in Cuba access the internet. Only the most oppressive, totalitarian regime would seek to jail someone for trying to expand access to information.

“I call on the Obama administration to halt the planned implementation of their new Cuba policies that liberalize travel and expand allowable remittances to Cuba. This unilateral gift to the Castro brothers by the Obama administration is totally unwarranted, especially in light of Mr. Gross’s case.

“President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton must readjust their recently announced concessions in light of this disproportionate action against an innocent American citizen.”

Meanwhile, Gross’ lawyer praised the announcement Friday that Gross will soon be brought to trial — even though it said that prosecutors will ask for a 20-year sentence.

Gross’ trial date “will be fixed shortly,” said a Cuban government note published on the Web page of the Granma newspaper. Prosecutors will seek the long sentence on a charge of acting against “the independence or territorial integrity of the State.”

The incarceration of Gross without charges since Dec. 3, 2009, had become a stumbling point in the Obama administration’s efforts to improve relations with Cuba.

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