Obama asked Uruguay to send message on jailed American in Cuba
June 20th, 2014
07:56 PM ET
6 years ago

Obama asked Uruguay to send message on jailed American in Cuba

(CNN) - During their meeting at the White House last month, President Barack Obama asked Uruguay's president, Jose Mujica, to send a message to Cuban President Raul Castro to free imprisoned U.S. government contractor Alan Gross.

"Cuba's continued incarceration of Alan Gross represents a significant impediment to a more constructive bilateral relationship and securing his immediate release remains a top priority of the United States," National Security Council spokesman Patrick Ventrell said in a statement.

"President Obama asked that President Mujica use any opportunity he might have to convey this same message to President Castro," Ventrell added.

Obama's request to Mujica was not initially disclosed by the administration following his visit.

Obama administration officials said the message to Castro is consistent with past White House calls for Gross' release.

Gross was convicted in 2011 for bringing satellite communications equipment into Cuba as part of his work as a subcontractor for the U.S. Agency for International Development.

U.S. officials have said Gross was simply trying to help Cubans bypass their government's stringent restrictions on Internet access.

CNN's Jim Acosta contributed to this report.

Filed under: Cuba • Obama administration
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Name. willard

    Best keep prison at gumto right from terroist

    June 20, 2014 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  2. Hillary Izexi

    Instead of demanding the release of this American, Obama has to ask someone else to ask for him?!?!
    Obama: making the United States look weaker every day.

    June 21, 2014 05:53 am at 5:53 am |
  3. Marveen Aaron

    Obama must tell Castro that himself,plus how my Cubans are they holding in Guantanamo?

    June 21, 2014 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  4. Chris-E...al

    0bama should just call mr Castro and threaten to take off all 57 chevy parts off the black market that would do it . He talks to Iran whats the difference ? Nukes ?

    June 21, 2014 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  5. barryinlasvegas

    It would have been nice if Obama would have told the Mexican President when they were meeting face to face that he wanted our Marine back now.

    June 21, 2014 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  6. Gunderson

    Obama is leading from behind once again. He needs to get on the tube and demand Mexico return this solider immediately! That's what Lyndon Johnson would have done. He needs to get on the tube and tell all illegals they have one year to self deport and then the law will be applied for all of them and removed! He needs to read the riot to all businesses that if they have illegals in their hire they will lose their business if it is found out they have illegals on their payroll, even if they don't know it. So far we have no leader in the White House. It is time for him to lead!

    June 21, 2014 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  7. Thomas

    Marine in Mexico should be released by Monday or we should shut down the border , and if by Friday he is still not released , make Baja the 51 state .

    June 21, 2014 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  8. Thomas

    As for Cuba ,

    bringing satellite communications equipment into Cuba is not a good idea .

    June 21, 2014 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  9. don in albuquerque

    You mean our gun-running marine?

    June 21, 2014 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  10. barky

    What a joke. wussy at best.

    June 21, 2014 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  11. wow

    How about the Marine in Mexico....can you at least fake like you care CNN?????

    June 21, 2014 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  12. Thomas

    Hey , the Marine suffers rom PTSD , he isn't such a smart guy to have hand guns in his truck and cross into mexico by mistake . Yet , he should be returned ASAP or , make Baja the 51st state in the union .

    Mexicans can make Bail when they are caught bring dope across .So should this Marine

    June 21, 2014 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  13. bill

    All 3 people that still work at the Clinton News Network must have taken the day off. No new post's for the kool aid drinkers to bash anyone that don't worship obama.

    June 21, 2014 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  14. bill

    @ don in albuquerque - If your lookikng for the gun runner, you will have to talk to eric holder. Have another drink of the obama kool-aid.

    June 21, 2014 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  15. king

    here goes the repubs again on their endless circle of cannot stick on way how to push a scandal. they do it both ways right underneath the american people eyes by shouting obama obama obama, so that the people take their eyes off the real scandal and follow lies lies lies. if obama for it they are simple against it, and it doesnt matter what they was for two second ago. they scream that obama should give our army soldier back to the talaban so they can get five talabans back into gitmo. now they are fake acting like they give dam about the american marine who was running guns to mexico. i wonder how they should shift if obama give up some mexican prisoner for the marine soldier. another thing, when will their be a congressional hearing on all these conservative groups using the american tax dollars as a rocket, then get mad as hell when the irs started looking into their ilegal skeems. the repubs push up all kind of smoke yelling that the government is targeting conservatives, because they don't want holder to investigate their illegal filings with the IRS, or will Obama let them slide like wall street, and them nuts down in nevada threatening government law enforcement officers. we need to bring fox news up for espionage.

    June 21, 2014 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  16. Bernard

    GOvt foreign nation usa need our own resources

    June 21, 2014 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  17. Marcus (from...?)

    eading from behind?
    Like when he told the brave men in Afghanistan: 'Go to Pakhistan and get OBL?'
    In case you are (again) rewriting history, the US forces that took down OBL were (technically speaking) 'ilegal armed invaders' that perpetrated an act of violence (and murder) on a foreign soil.
    BUT, the foreign country where this happened has yet to prove that they honestly did not knew that OBL was in their backyard and that, had the POTUS told them about the raid beforehand (for whatever reasons he could have had to make such a move), OBL would have not been warned about it.
    Not to mention those dead Somali pirates, the guy who (apparently) was really behind the attack in Benghazi being now under US jurisdiction, all those Al Qaeda leaders gone and buried...
    That's your definition of 'leading from behind'.

    June 21, 2014 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  18. Marcus (from...?)

    To all those talking about the Marine held in México, please imagine the opposite situation happening in your minds.
    A former military specialist from México invades the USA with a car with some weapons in it. Then the Mexican guy is arrested and a whole legal case is set up against for his actions (that he claims were caused by a mistake from his part).
    Got the idea?
    OK, now what could the Mexican government do for him but follow the case with a big interest and try to use diplomatic channels to help him?
    That's the same thing. Andrew Tahmooressi can't deny that he illegaly entered México with a car (or whatever) with more guns in it that he could expect to use if needed, and the Mexican authorities has no other choice (since México is an ally and a democracy and a sovereign nation and a long list of etceteras!) but to see if he is guilty of anything according to their laws.
    PS: Talking about Andrew Tahmooressi, OK the timetable of his detention is weird, at best, but to jump to unproved accusations/insinuations of dishonesty from the arrest officers' part is sneaky and dangerous, and he has already fired an attorney who thought he could be 'smart'.

    June 21, 2014 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  19. Chris-E...al

    @don what about the apd man work on that .

    June 22, 2014 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  20. Gene Schroeder

    Doesn't our government care about the Marine in Mexico

    June 22, 2014 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
  21. Tommy G

    don in albuquerque
    You mean our gun-running marine?

    Showing yourself a moron again I see. They haven't charged him with running guns into Mexico. He had all his possessions in the back of his pickup truck and the guns were part of that load. He openly disclosed them to them and never tried to hide them. The person that SHOULD be tried for running guns into Mexico without the knowledge of the Mexican government is Eric Holder. But as usual, the left just hates the military and protects their own criminals.

    June 22, 2014 07:27 am at 7:27 am |
  22. just saying

    this sort of stuff is just beneath the messiah and it would interfere with his extensive campaign fund raising schedule. maybe because the guy is white he doesn't care? the messiah sure had no problem with weighing in quickly when there were incidents in the usa involving black people.

    June 22, 2014 07:31 am at 7:31 am |
  23. fred

    All news media mention POTUS' approval at 41 percent but never compare it to GOP congress approval of 9 percent. News media is unfair and does not keep public fully informed.

    June 22, 2014 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  24. small sonkarlay

    Yea the president can just get them home even though they continue to sale guns to the gangster

    June 22, 2014 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  25. Thomas

    @Marcus (from...?)
    To all those talking about the Marine held in México, please imagine the opposite situation happening in your minds.

    How many guns did the Marine have in his truck ?

    The guy was just stupid , fin him and send him back across the border .

    I still think that as long as the Mexican government helps drug traffickers . Your dealing with a very corrupt legal system .

    June 22, 2014 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
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