[Congressional Record Volume 158, Number 155 (Wednesday, December 5, 2012)]
[Pages S7637-S7638]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                             PHILLIP GROSS

  Mr. CARDIN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the Senate 
now proceed to the consideration of S. Res. 609, which was submitted 
earlier today.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report the resolution by title.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       A resolution (S. Res. 609) calling for the immediate and 
     unconditional release of United States citizen Alan Phillip 
     Gross from detention in Cuba and urging the Government of 
     Cuba to address his medical issues.

  There being no objection, the Senate proceeded to consider the 
  Mr. CARDIN. Mr. President, 2 days ago--December 3, 2012--marked the 
third anniversary of Alan Gross' arrest by the Cuban Government. Over 
the past 3 years, Alan's case has been of deep personal concern to me 
and many in my State. Alan, an American citizen and Marylander, was in 
Cuba to help the small Jewish community there establish improved access 
to the Internet, which would allow the community to go online without 
fear of censorship or monitoring. After being held for 14 months 
without charge and then a cursory 2-day trial, he was convicted and 
sentenced to 15 years in prison. In August 2012, a petition to the 
United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention was filed on his 
  Last week, officials with the Cuban Ministry for Foreign Affairs 
claimed that Alan Gross is in good health. But the Cuban Government has 
not allowed Mr. Gross to receive an independent medical evaluation. To 
date, Alan has lost 105 pounds, suffers from degenerative arthritis, 
and has a mass behind his shoulder. Alan also suffers from severe 
mental anguish because of the separation from his family.
  To say that the Gross family has been on a rollercoaster would be an 
understatement. His mother and daughter are both battling cancer. His 
wife Judy is struggling to make ends meet. Judy Gross has fought for 
Alan's release every day for the last 3 years. Judy has called, e-
mailed, and met with everyone imaginable. She has been on news programs 
and written letters. Judy has never given up hope; she has remained 
strong for her family and for Alan. As many of our colleagues will 
attest, she will stop at nothing to see Alan return home. Due in no 
small part to Judy's perseverance, the U.S. Senate has been actively 
involved in this matter.
  Over the past 3 years, U.S. officials have traveled to Cuba, we have 
written to numerous Cuban dignitaries, and we have employed other 
creative means to encourage Mr. Gross' release. In September, my 
colleague Senator Moran and I, along with a bipartisan group of 44 
Senators, sent a letter to Raul Castro urging the Cuban Government in 
the strongest possible terms to release Alan Gross immediately and 
unconditionally. But these attempts have been futile. Alan Gross 
remains in prison, caught in the middle of a conflict between two 
nations with a complex, often frustrating relationship.
  Tonight, the Senate is adopting a resolution unanimously, a 
resolution Senator Moran and I have submitted with a long list of 
bipartisan sponsors. The resolution calls for Mr. Gross' immediate and 
unconditional release and urges the Cuban Government to address his 
medical issues, including allowing an independent medical examination 
to be completed. Alan's personal freedoms are being violated every day 
that he continues to be incarcerated, and we can no longer tolerate his 
being denied an independent medical evaluation. Alan Gross should no 
longer be forced to suffer the consequences of political gamesmanship. 
Enough is enough.
  Today the Senate has spoken once again. Alan Gross is a husband, a 
father, a son, and an American. We call on the Cuban Government to 
release Alan Gross immediately.
  Mr. President, I know of no further debate on this measure.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there further debate?
  If not, the question is on agreeing to the resolution.
  The resolution (S. Res. 609) was agreed to.
  Mr. CARDIN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the preamble 
be agreed to, the motions to reconsider be laid upon the table, and any 
statements relating to the matter be printed in the Record.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The preamble was agreed to.
  The resolution, with its preamble, reads as follows:

                              S. Res. 609

       Whereas, Alan Phillip Gross, a citizen of the United 
     States, was born in New York on May 2, 1949, and is a 
     resident of the State of Maryland;
       Whereas Mr. Gross has devoted his professional life to 
     helping others through his work in international development 
     and has served in more than 50 countries and territories 
       Whereas, in 2001, Mr. Gross founded JBDC, LLC to support 
     Internet connectivity in locations with little or no access;
       Whereas, on February 10, 2009, JBDC, LLC received a 
     subcontract with the United States Agency for International 
     Development (USAID);
       Whereas, working as a subcontractor for the United States 
     Agency for International Development, Mr. Gross sought to 
     establish wireless networks and improve Internet and Intranet 
     access and connectivity for a small, peaceful, non-dissident, 
     Cuban Jewish community;
       Whereas Mr. Gross made 5 trips to Cuba in furtherance of 
     the United States Agency for International Development 
     project he was subcontracted to support;
       Whereas the last time Mr. Gross was in the United States 
     was on November 24, 2009;

[[Page S7638]]

       Whereas Mr. Gross was arrested on December 3, 2009, in 
     Havana, Cuba;
       Whereas Mr. Gross was detained without charge for 14 
       Whereas Mr. Gross was charged in February 2011 with 
     ``actions against the independence or the territorial 
     integrity of the state'';
       Whereas Mr. Gross's trial lasted only 2 days, after which 
     he was sentenced to 15 years in prison;
       Whereas Mr. Gross and his wife Judy have 2 daughters, one 
     of which was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010;
       Whereas Mr. Gross's 90-year old mother was diagnosed with 
     inoperable cancer in February 2011;
       Whereas, in 2011, Mr. Gross's wife Judy underwent surgery, 
     causing her to miss considerable time from work and putting 
     further financial strain on their family;
       Whereas Mr. Gross is 63 years old and has lost more than 
     105 pounds since being detained in Cuba;
       Whereas Mr. Gross has developed degenerative arthritis in 
     his leg and a mass behind his shoulder;
       Whereas the Government of Cuba has denied requests by Mr. 
     Gross for an independent medical examination;
       Whereas Mr. Gross's legal representative filed an appeal to 
     the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention of the United 
     Nations in August 2012; and
       Whereas, since Mr. Gross was detained by the Government of 
     Cuba on December 3, 2009, his health has severely 
     deteriorated and his family members have suffered health and 
     financial problems: Now, therefore, be it
       Resolved, That the Senate--
       (1) calls for the immediate and unconditional release of 
     United States citizen Alan Phillip Gross; and
       (2) urges the Government of Cuba in the meantime to provide 
     all appropriate diagnostic and medical treatment to address 
     the full range of medical issues facing Mr. Gross and to 
     allow him to choose a doctor to provide him with an 
     independent medical assessment.