Tags: US | Cuba | Detained American

White House Urges Cuba to Release US Contractor

Saturday, 12 Mar 2011 04:40 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — An outraged White House wants the Cuban government to immediately release an American international development worker sentenced to 15 years in prison for crimes against the state.

National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor says the prison term "adds another injustice" to Alan Gross's ordeal.

Vietor says Gross, a Maryland native arrested in December 2009 while on a U.S.-backed democracy-building project, has already spent too many days in detention and "should not spend one more."

The Obama administration and Gross' family say he was working to improve Internet access for Cuba's Jewish community. Havana accused Gross of working on a "subversive" program.

He was found guilty by a Cuban court on Saturday.

The court said the program Gross worked on showed that the U.S. still seeks to overthrow the Cuban government.

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