Alan Gross Returns to Maryland (PHOTOS)
Alan Gross, a USAID subcontractor who lived in Potomac, was released from a Cuban prison on Dec. 17 as part of an agreement between the U.S. and Cuba.
Gross spent more than five years in a Cuba prison. He was arrested in December 2009. After arriving on American soil, Gross talked to reporters at a press conference where he asked everyone to respect his wishes for “complete and total privacy.”
“I’m incredibly blessed to finally have freedom,” Gross said.According to the White House website, Gross was released by the Cuban government on humanitarian grounds and the agreement also included the release of three Cubans jailed in the United States.
Lorna Virgili, president and CEO of the National Hispanic Communications Group, said this is just the beginning of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Virgili, a Cuban native who emigrated to the U.S. when she was almost 15, said “It is great that Americans are coming home … but this was an exchange of spies, at the end of the day.”
Gross’s high school friend David Goldberg, owner of Union Hardware in Bethesda, said it “just a great day.”
Goldberg added that Gross has always been the type of person to want to help people. He hopes the community can do whatever they can to make him “feel so welcomed.”
“Whatever we can do as a community to show him that he was not abandoned as it appears,” Goldberg said.
Governor Martin O’Malley welcomed Gross to Maryland and wished him “joy with friends and family.”
Montgomery County Council President George Leventhal tweeted that Gross’ release was “Big news.”
Wow! Big news: my constituent Alan Gross has been released and President Obama is planning a reboot of relations with Cuba.
— George Leventhal (@georgeleventhal) December 17, 2014
Welcome home to Maryland, Alan Gross. Here’s wishing you boundless joy with your friends and family this holiday season. — Martin O’Malley (@GovernorOMalley) December 17, 2014
Photos courtesy of The White House
Alan Gross, a Potomac resident who was held captive in Cuba for five years before his release on Dec. 17, met with members of the Montgomery County Council and County Executive Ike Leggett on May 7 “as part of his tour to thank all of those who supported me during that time.” Gross talked about […]
Photos of famous Cuban-Americans and plaques with names of Cuban professors, journalists, and business people, adorn the walls of The Cuban Corner, a family-owned restaurant that has been opened in Rockville for the past 19 years. The smell of spices and seasoning from its famous ropa vieja- shredded beef with rice, beans- along with Cuban music […]
In this MyMCMedia’s Extra, Montgomery County Council President George Leventhal wishes Alan Gross a “Happy Hanukkah” and adds “I entirely support President Obama’s decision.” Related:
Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett released the following statement about the release of Alan Gross: “I am delighted by the release of Montgomery County resident Alan Gross by the Cuban government. “As I and many others have said in the past, he should never have been arrested in the first place. His only ‘crime’ was […]
Alan Gross, a USAID subcontractor who lived in Potomac, was released from a Cuban prison on Dec. 17 as part of an agreement between the U.S. and Cuba. Gross spent more than five years in a Cuba prison. He was arrested in December 2009. After arriving on American soil, Gross talked to reporters at a press conference where […]
U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) today heralded the release of Marylander Alan Gross from his imprisonment in Cuba since December 3, 2009. “I was so pleased to be at Andrews AFB this morning to welcome Alan Gross as he touched ground back in the United States of America. I am so honored to be […]
Maryland Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-8th) issued the following statement announcing Alan Gross’s return home and President Barack Obama’s opening to Cuba: “Today, it brings me great joy to join with Judy Gross and Senators Leahy and Flake to bring my friend Alan Gross home from Cuba after his five years in prison. This day […]
UPDATED: President Barack Obama is scheduled to make a statement at noon today on the release of Alan Gross from a Cuban prison. Marylander Alan Gross has been released from a Cuban prison and is on his way back to the U.S. You can watch the statement here. According to media reports, Gross was imprisoned […]