Senators plea for Cuba to release imprisoned American

Gross, a contractor with the U.S. Agency for International Development, was arrested three years ago and sentenced to 15 years in prison for spying after he delivered satellite phones and computer equipment to Cubans. Gross says he was simply helping out the Cuban Jewish community gain access to the Internet, but Cuba accuses him of providing regime opponents with sophisticated communications equipment.

He has since lost more than 100 pounds and is suffering from arthritis and other ailments, the 44 lawmakers write, while his mother and daughter have been diagnosed with cancer.

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“Members of the Senate have traveled to your country, written to you and your dignitaries, and employed other creative means to encourage Mr. Gross’s release,” says the letter, which was spearheaded by Sens. Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinDems demand Tillerson end State hiring freeze, consult with Congress Former New Mexico gov: Trump's foreign policy is getting 'criticized by everybody' Dems put hold on McFarland nomination over contradictory testimony: report MORE (D-Md.) and Jerry MoranGerald (Jerry) MoranMcConnell works to salvage tax bill GOP in furious push for tax-reform votes Overnight Tech: Lawmakers want answers on Uber breach | Justices divided in patent case | Tech makes plea for net neutrality on Cyber Monday MORE (R-Kansas). “Yet these attempts thus far have been futile, and Mr. Gross’s ongoing detention in your country presents a major obstacle to any further actions to improve our bilateral relations.”