Today, she says she first blames the Cuban government for arresting him on trumped up charges, so he could be a pawn His arrest was ridiculous and his sentence absolutely uncalled for. They should have just thrown him out of the country.
She also blames the USAID private contractor that hired Alan Gross to deliver the satellite phones, Development Associates Inc., (DAI) for failing to make him fully aware of the dangers he ran by going to Cuba on behalf of the U.S. government.
And she blames USAID for allowing him to go to Cuba on a mission that was clearly dangerous. She has filed lawsuits against DAI and the U.S. government for $60 million.
USAID knew that it was not safe, Judy Gross said. Alan wanted to go to help the people there. But he would not have gone had he known it was this dangerous.
Some of Alan Grosss reports to his supervisors include references to the risks he was running in Cuba.
Havana has made several thinly veiled offers to free Gross in exchange for five Cuban spies convicted in a Miami trial in 1998. The Obama administration has just as often rejected the swap offers, saying the two cases are not at all similar.
One of the five is serving two life sentences on murder-conspiracy charges for helping Cuban warplanes shoot down two civilian airplanes in 1996, killing all four Miami men aboard. Three others are still in prison and the fifth completed his 13-year prison term last year and is now serving a three- year parole somewhere in the United States.
Asked if she favors a swap, Judy Gross said she knows that the situation with the Cuban spies is complicated but doesnt know much about what the Cuban spies are alleged to have done or the exact legal charges against them.
I would favor anything that would get Alan home, she said, but added that it is the U.S. governments duty to open negotiations with Cuba for his release.
To just say no, no negotiations, to me thats irresponsible. You sit down and you negotiate, she insisted. To say no, that makes us feel, to be honest, that the U.S. government does not care that hes in a prison in Cuba.