Nightly News | December 02, 2012
>>> we're back now with an emotional plea from an american contractor held in cuba , caught in an international drama. tonight family friends and supporters of allan gross held a vigil outside the cuban interest section in washington.
>> reporter: good evening. pressure is mounting on the u.s. government tonight tight to get an american contractor out of jail in cuba . in tropical havana, a cold war standoff over a contractor held in cuba . a personal drama raising political tensions. in this military hospital , american contractor allan gross has been imprisoned for the past three years, convicted of smuggling sophisticated satellite equipment to this country's tiny community. he was sentenced for 15 years for acts against the state and has lost 110 pounds in prison.
>> i will not allow my husband to die in a cuban prison.
>> reporter: now the grosses are suing the u.s. government and the contractor he worked for saying he was used as a pawn. peter cornbleau just met with gross.
>> he's angry, he's frustrated.
>> reporter: and cuba seems willing to talk.
>> we have to negotiate that there are human-italian concerns. nobody enjoys life in prison .
>> reporter: but for the cubans there's a catch. they want president obama to release at least five cuban agents as part of a spy ring . ringleader h ringlead ringleader henderson is hernandez is in a california prison. killing four anti-castro militants. he denies any connection to murder.
>> it was a completely unfair trial.
>> reporter: u.s. officials don't agree, caught in the middle , allan and judy gross.
>> let allan go, you've had him for three years.
>> reporter: u.s. initials say that allan gross cannot be compared in any way to the cuban trial.
>> thank you.