Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter arrives in Cuba Monday for a three day visit at the invitation of the the Cuban government.
While officially he has been invited to learn about the communist nation's new economic policies, Mr. Carter is expected to intervene on behalf of an American contractor recently sentenced to 15 years in a Cuban prison.
Alan Gross was accused of "subversive" work providing illegal Internet access to dissidents groups. Gross said he was trying to provide Internet service to members of Cuba's small Jewish community.
Mr. Carter will meet with Havana's Jewish leaders and Catholic leader Cardinal Jaime Ortega, who last year helped win the release of most of the island's political prisoners.
Mr. Carter will also meet with Cuban President Raul Castro before leaving the island Wednesday.
The Nobel Peace laureate has played a mediating role in other international problems, including last August when he went to North Korea to secure the release of an American imprisoned there.