Alan Gross: I will leave Cuba dead or alive

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- He ended his nine-day hunger strike earlier this month but on Wednesday, Alan Gross vows he will get out of a Cuban prison and return to the United States whether he's dead or alive.

In a press release on the website for the 64-year-old USAID subcontractor who has spent more than four years behind bars, Gross was quoted as saying, "On May 2nd, I turn 65-years-old and it will be my last birthday here ... It means what it means. It's not a threat, it's a statement of hope, a statement of determination and a statement of impatience."

Gross, who is originally from Maryland, was arrested and imprisoned in Cuba. Gross says he was arrested for his work to bring Internet access to the Jewish community in Havana. Cuba has claimed Gross was spying.

CATCH UP ON THE CASE: Alan Gross imprisoned in Cuba

Gross faces 11 more years in prison. After 4 years in prison, Gross wrote to President Obama to ask that he get involved in bringing him back to the U.S.

Gross is quoted as saying on Wednesday, "I'm now eligible for Medicare, but what I want is Presidential care. I want the President to care."

His hunger strike was used to protest the inaction of the Cuban and American governments.

Supporters of Gross have noted his declining health. According to, he has lost more than 110 pounds since being in prison. He has also lost some vision in his right eye and suffers from pain in both hips and in his back, according to the website. In 2012, the Cuban government disputed a U.S. doctor's claim that a mass on Gross' shoulder was cancerous.


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