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The U.S. government made a $3.2 million payment to Alan Gross, the American citizen freed by Cuba after five years in prison, a spokesperson for the U.S. Agency for International Development confirmed.

Gross was working as a contractor for USAID through a company called Development Alternatives Inc. (DAI) when he was detained in Cuba in 2009. According to his family, Gross was working to expand Internet access for Cuba's small Jewish community. In 2011 he was convicted of undermining Cuba and sentenced to fifteen years in prison. He was freed last week simultaneous to a prisoner swap and the announcement by President Obama that the U.S. would seek to normalize relations with Cuba.

The $3.2-million payment came as settlement of a larger contractual claim for $7 million filed by DAI against USAID for incurred expenses related to the arrest and incarceration of Gross. The settlement was finalized on Monday.

"The settlement avoids the cost, delay and risks of further proceedings, and does not constitute an admission of liability by either party," USAID said in a statement.


—Abigail Williams