The Americas

Wife sees American jailed in Cuba, fears he'll die

The wife of imprisoned American Alan Gross says she has returned from a trip to Cuba to see her husband, and fears he will not survive his incarceration.

She has begged President Raul Castro to release him, citing his deteriorated health. Judy Gross says her husband has developed a mass behind his right shoulder blade, and suffers from degenerative arthritis.

The 63-year-old Gross was arrested in December 2009 while on a USAID-funded democracy building program. He says he was only trying to provide internet service to the island's Jewish community. Cuba says the programs seek to undermine the government. He was sentenced to 15 years.

Judy Gross said in Tuesday's statement that her husband's lawyers have filed a petition with the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.