In Cuba, Jailed US Aid Worker Makes Final Appeal

    U.S. aid worker Alan P. Gross, who was accused of crimes against Cuba and sentenced to 15 years in prison in March, made his final appeal for release on humanitarian grounds.

    The People’s Supreme Court of Cuba will issue its ruling on the case in the next few days, The Miami Herald reports.

    The 61-year-old Gross has been detained since 2009 when he was accused of illegally distributing communications equipment while working on a U.S. Agency for International Development program to promote democracy in Cuba. His arrest cast doubts on USAID and other government programs to promote democracy in Cuba, funded with about $20 million annually. Lawmakers argue that such programs are wasteful and ineffective.

    U.S. officials have repeatedly demanded Gross’s release, saying that U.S.-Cuba relations will not significantly improve until he returns home.

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    About the author

    • Che de los Reyes

      As a senior staff writer, Che focuses on international development breaking news coverage as well as interviews and features. Prior to joining Devex, Che handled communications for local and international development NGOs and government institutions in the Philippines.