I am hoping you have heard about the plight of my friend Alan Gross.
Alan is from the Washington, D.C. area and his situation has received a lot of coverage in the news. Alan went to Cuba to bring laptop computers and cell phones to the Jewish community on the island. On his last trip, he was taken off a plane and thrown into a Cuban prison cell where he has sat since Dec. 3, 2009. He was not tried until March 2011, was found guilty of acts against the Cuban government and got a 15-year sentence. The State Department is negotiating for Alan’s release but after two years, their efforts have been unsuccessful.
Two things are being done to help my friend: 1. A petition was created on the White House website to try to get some action by the White House to bring Alan home. If you go to wh.gov/DJO, you can view the petition and sign it. The petition needs 25,000 signatures by Jan. 24 to be reviewed by White House officials and receive a response. 2. We were given a link to the Jewish Issues Outreach Team at the White House. Messages sent to whitehouse.gov/webform/contact-american-jewish-issues-outreach-team will go to the appropriate staff so they can learn how many people are concerned about Alan and want him home.