Alan Gross, American jailed in Cuba, wants next birthday to be last in cell

Alan Gross, center, visits with his wife, Judy, left, and attorney Scott Gilbert in 2013.

Story highlights

  • Alan Gross, jailed in Cuba, says his May 2 birthday will be his last in Havana, lawyer says
  • Gross was convicted for bringing satellite communications to the island for USAID
  • He launched a hunger strike after details of agency's "Cuban Twitter" plan surfaced
  • Gross "will die in Cuba" without more effort from U.S. officials, lawyer says
When Alan Gross reaches his 65th birthday next month, he will tell himself that it will be the last one he spends in a Cuban prison cell, Gross' attorney said Wednesday.
"His hunger strike took a toll on him," Gross' attorney Scott Gilbert told CNN during a trip to Havana to visit his client. "He told me yesterday that his birthday that he marks on May 2 would be the last birthday that he marks in Havana."
Gross is serving a 15-year sentence for bringing satellite communications equipment to Cuba as part of his work as a subcontractor for the U.S. Agency for International Development. He was convicted in March 2011.
U.S. officials said Gross was merely trying to help Cubans bypass the island's stringent restrictions on Internet access.
But Cuban authorities say Gross was part of a plot to create "a Cuban spring" and destabilize the island's single-party communist government.