WASHINGTON – American contractor Alan Gross, who remains imprisoned in Cuba after four years in jail, “is ready to come home,” says Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Queens), who met with Gross in a Cuban jail on Monday.
And to help get him out, Meeks is preparing to deliver a message to the Obama administration that it should start engaging in direct talks with Cuba for Gross’ release.
“There cannot be any preconditions, but there should be dialogue. That’s the same thing we’re going to say to the administration,” Meeks told the Post Tuesday evening.
“Physically, he looked okay,” Meeks said of Gross, though the Maryland man just ended a nine-day hunger strike.
But asked about his mental state, Meeks simply replied: “He’s ready to go home.”
Meeks, a senior Democrat on an House Foreign Relations sub-panel, was one of four lawmakers to meet with Gross, 65, who was convicted of “crimes against the state” in 2011 and got a 15-year prison sentence.
Gross was arrested in 2009 for allegedly distributing communications equipment as a contractor for the US Agency for International Development. Gross says he was only helping members of Havana’s Jewish community get on the Internet.