from Josefina Vial Ferreiro, U.S. director at the
Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs
THE last few days have seen an intensification of
statements and false reports from the U.S.
government related to the case of U.S. citizen Alan
Gross, particularly related to the alleged
deterioration of his health.
Once again, the U.S. government is lying to the
public, by affirming that Mr. Gross is suffering
from cancer and is not receiving adequate medical
These lies have not stopped, not even after his
family and U.S. authorities were given the results
of the biopsy of a lesion on Mr. Gross’ back, which
leave no doubt that he does not have cancer.
From the very first day, a team of Cuban doctors
of international repute have systematically attended
to Mr. Gross. This team has the results of a biopsy
and other examinations which demonstrate that Mr.
Gross is not suffering from cancer or any other
illness representing a threat to his life. The U.S.
has no evidence to demonstrate the contrary. If
these distortions persist, we shall be obliged to
divulge further evidence.
The U.S. government is also lying about Mr. Gross’
prison conditions, his schedule of telephone calls
The U.S. government is continuing to lie as to
the causes which led to Mr. Gross’ detention, with
the sole purpose of evading his direct
responsibility for his situation and that of his
The U.S. government has never addressed the case
of Alan Gross seriously and has only reiterated the
unsustainable position that it has nothing to
negotiate with Cuba in order to find a solution. At
the same time, it insists on demanding from Cuba a
unilateral decision which does not consider our
humanitarian concerns related to the case of the
Five. This is not realistic. I reiterate today
Cuba’s disposition to immediately establish a
dialogue on the issue of Gross.
On the basis of these fabrications and curiously
coinciding with the anniversary of Mr. Gross’
detention, the U.S. government has pressured the UN
Human Rights Council Working Group on Arbitrary
Detention to force a decision declaring Mr. Gross’
detention arbitrary. Today, we denounce these acts
of pressure, which led to a violation of the
customary procedures and timing of the Group’s work.
Yesterday, December 4, the government of Cuba
received the opinion of this group describing Alan
Gross’ detention as arbitrary.
Today, we are circulating via the MINREX website
Cuba’s response to the United Nations Group, which
demonstrates that the detention of Mr. Gross cannot
in any way be described as arbitrary.
Alan Gross was detained, tried and sentenced with
all guarantees and rights of due legal process and
in fulfillment of principles related to judicial
independence. Mr. Gross violated Cuban laws by
committing acts that constitute serious crimes, acts
which are severely punished in most countries,
including the U.S.
The United States does not permit any other
government to ignore its regulations and
clandestinely send individuals to its territory,
with government funding from this other government,
to establish illegal and covert communications
systems, without undertaking any kind of procedure
or registration, far less so when the objective is
to destabilize the existing order.
Mr. Gross has received decorous and humane
treatment since he was arrested.
The United Working Group is the same body which,
in May 2005, declared arbitrary the detention of the
five Cuban anti-terrorists, taking into
consideration that they were held in solitary
confinement for 17 months, did not have due access
to lawyers and the evidence related to the case, as
well as the existing climate of predisposition and
prejudice which contributed to the Five being
presented as guilty from the outset, given the
absence of objectivity and impartiality.
The government of Cuba once again invites the U.S.
government to serious talks on these issues in order
to achieve a humanitarian solution acceptable to
International Press Center
Havana, December 5, 2012.