U.S. Senators Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Tom Udall (D-N.M.) met with Alan Gross, the Jewish-American government subcontractor serving a 15-year prison sentence in Cuba.
“Alan wants to come home,” Flake said at a news conference after a two-hour meeting with Gross on Tuesday, CNN reported.
Gross, a subcontractor for the United States Agency for International Development who went to Cuba to help the Jewish community there access the Internet, was imprisoned in late 2009 for what the Cuban government called “crimes against the state.”
“I do feel we are closer [to Gross’s freedom],” Flake said. “One, because of what Alan Gross has said himself. This is going to end one way or another. We have gone on five years and any benefit the Cuban government may have seen has to have evaporated.”
The two senators, who are also critics of the U.S. embargo on Cuba, met with Cuban officials during their visit. The Cuban government has called for a prisoner swap for Gross in exchange for jailed Cuban spies. But the U.S. State Department has rejected that proposal.