BALTIMORE – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), Vice Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today were joined by Marylanders Alan Gross and his wife Judy Gross as well as leaders from the Baltimore Jewish Council and The Associated for a casual lunch at Baltimore’s famous Attman’s Delicatessen on Lombard Street. Together they discussed Alan’s reunion with family and friends and caught up on all things Baltimore over Attman’s famous Corned Beef sandwiches, chips and pickles. Their lunch comes four months to the day following Mr. Gross’ release from Cuba on December 17, 2014.
“Four months has flown by since we welcomed Alan back home to Maryland. It was wonderful to see him and Judy today. Alan is looking healthy and has a great appetite,” said Senator Cardin. “Alan and Judy were never forgotten for the years he was imprisoned in Cuba, and Senator Mikulski and I were proud to see him out and around Baltimore today, among friends. The United States continues to seek the release of other political prisoners in Cuba, particularly as we enter a new phase in our renewed relationship.”
“What a great day in Baltimore with Alan Gross and his wife Judy celebrating his freedom over corned beef sandwiches at Attman’s!” Senator Mikulski said. “I was so pleased to welcome Alan Gross home as he touched American soil just four months ago, and I’m glad to welcome him back to his beloved Attman’s. I fought alongside Judy and their two daughters together with Senator Cardin to bring Alan home, and am honored to again join with them here in Baltimore now that he is free.”
Alan Gross of Montgomery County, Maryland was arrested on December 3, 2009. He was held for 14 months without being charged with a crime. After a two-day trial, he was given a 15-year prison sentence by Cuban authorities for facilitating communications between Cuba’s Jewish community and the rest of the world. Mr. Gross was in Cuba working as a sub-contractor for the United States Agency for International Development, helping a small, peaceful, non-dissident community. He was doing the type of work he had done his whole career in international development – helping others in need. Senators Mikulski and Cardin kept up their call for his immediate and unconditional release, staying in touch with Mr. Gross and the Gross family and working with the Obama Administration as well as the Vatican to help secure his release on December 17, 2015.