Cuba Intelligence Agent: Deal Must Be Made To Free Alan Gross

Image: Fernando Gonzalez
Fernando Gonzalez, a member of the Cuban Five, talks during an interview with The Associated Press in Havana, Cuba, Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014. Gonzalez, a Cuban intelligence agent who spent more than 15 years in a United States prison, says he’s optimistic that softening U.S. attitudes will lead to the liberation of three fellow agents who remain behind bars. Ramon Espinosa / AP

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A Cuban intelligence agent who spent 15 years in a U.S. prison said Thursday he was optimistic that softening American attitudes toward Cuba would result in the liberation of three fellow agents who remain behind bars in the U.S. He also said it would be "difficult" to think Cuba would free imprisoned American contractor Alan Gross without the release of the 3 Cubans.

Fernando Gonzalez, part of the Cuba 5, told the AP he thought it was positive that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in her recent book urged an end to the Cuban embargo.

"There's a growing interest there in changing U.S. policy toward Cuba," he said. "I would like to think that before finishing his term, President Obama would decide to improve relations with Latin America. That would involve a change with Cuba and that would necessarily take place through a solution to the case of my three colleagues."

U.S. contractor Alan Gross is serving a 15-year prison sentence for bringing sensitive technology into the country. His attorney, Scott Gilbert, said that his client "has withdrawn" and told him "life in prison is not a life worth living."

--The Associated Press