WATCH: American Jew Alan Gross Thanks God for His Release from Cuba

December 18, 2014

< 1 min read

In a true Hanukkah miracle, Alan Gross was released from imprisonment in Cuba on Wednesday in a secret deal that has been brewing for the last year between US and Cuban officials.

Gross thanked his wife, lawyers, governmental officials and the Jewish community for helping to secure his freedom. Above all, he thanked God for giving him his own Hanukkah miracle – that of freedom.

Opening his remarks with a “Chag sameach,” the traditional Hebrew saying that means “Happy holidays,” Gross thanked all those who prayed for his well-being , including “Jewish, Christian and Muslim organizations nationwide.”

“It was crucial to my survival knowing that I was not forgotten. Your prayers and actions have been comforting, reassuring and sustaining,” he said.

Gross’s release comes as the US and Cuba agreed to re-establish full diplomatic relations. Ties were severed during the Cold War in early 1961.

Gross was imprisoned in Cuba for the last five years, charged with crimes against the state. Originally sent to Cuba on behalf of humanitarian work for the US State Department, Gross was sentenced to a 15-year sentence and accused for espionage.

While in prison, Gross suffered from health problems which contributed to severe wait loss as well as dental problems, including losing his teeth.

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