News / USA

US Decries American's Detention in Cuba

FIILE - In this photo provided by James L. Berenthal, jailed American Alan Gross poses for a photo during a visit by Rabbi Elie Abadie and U.S. lawyer James L. Berenthal in Havana, Cuba, Nov. 27, 2012.
FIILE - In this photo provided by James L. Berenthal, jailed American Alan Gross poses for a photo during a visit by Rabbi Elie Abadie and U.S. lawyer James L. Berenthal in Havana, Cuba, Nov. 27, 2012.
VOA News
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says Cuba's treatment of American Alan Gross "is inhumane and he is wrongfully imprisoned."

Kerry told U.S. senators Tuesday the United States has several efforts under way to free Gross, who was arrested in Cuba in 2009 and charged with illegally distributing communications equipment on the island. He was tried, convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Earlier, in testimony before another group of senators, U.S. Agency for International Development administrator Rajiv Shah said "the responsibility for [Gross'] detention rests with Cuban authorities.''

Gross was working as a subcontractor for USAID in Havana's Jewish community when he was arrested.

Also Tuesday, his attorney said Gross has begun a hunger strike in prison to object to what he says are "mistruths, deceptions, and inaction" by governments in Havana and Washington over his "arbitrary detention.

Gross has called for U.S. President Barack Obama to personally intercede on his behalf.

The case may be complicated by last week's Associated Press report that USAID had financed a social network in Cuba between 2010 and 2012. The AP says the aim of the so-called "Cuban Twitter" was to stir political unrest and undermine the Caribbean island's communist government.

The network, dubbed ZunZuneo, reportedly drew tens of thousands of subscribers who were unaware it was backed by the U.S. government.

In his Senate testimony, Shah said Gross's work and ZunZuneo were "absolutely not'' covert. He said creating platforms to improve communication in Cuba and elsewhere is a "core part" of what USAID does.

Shah took over USAID after the ZunZuneo project had ended.

Like USAID, Voice of America is funded by the United States government. Some VOA programming on health issues and entrepreneurship and some journalism training are funded by USAID. VOA maintains editorial control over those initiatives, and bases its news coverage solely on sound journalistic principles.

You May Like

Uganda Court Annuls Anti-Gay Law

Court says law was passed in parliament without enough members present for a full quorum More

Multimedia Thailand Makes Efforts to Improve Conditions for Migrant Laborers

In Thailand, its not uncommon for parents to bring their children to work; one company, in-collaboration with other organizations, address safety concerns More

In Indonesia, Jihad Video Raises Concern

Video calls on Indonesians to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborersi
X
Steve Herman
August 01, 2014 6:22 PM
Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborers

Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video Public Raises its Voice on Power Plant Pollution

In the United States, proposed rules to cut pollution from the nation’s 600 coal-fired power plants are generating a heated debate. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, charged with writing and implementing the plan, has already received 300,000 written comments. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, another 1,600 people are lining up this week at EPA headquarters and at satellite offices around the country to give their testimony in person.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

The public in China is welcoming the Communist Party's decision to investigate one of the country's once most powerful politicians, former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang. Analysts say the move by President Xi Jinping is not only an effort to win more support for the party, but an essential step to furthering much needed economic reforms and removing those who would stand in the way of change. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.

AppleAndroid