Jailed U.S. contractor has no cancer: Cuba
HAVANA, Nov 28, 2012 (Xinhua via COMTEX) --
U.S. contractor Alan Gross,
imprisoned in Cuba for crimes against state security, does not
suffer from cancer and is generally in good health, the Cuban
Foreign Ministry said Wednesday in a statement.
The statement was issued in light of repeated claims by a U.S.
doctor that a mass of tissue on Gross' shoulder is cancerous.
"A Cuban medical team confirmed that Mr. Gross' health is in
general 'normal', and the problems he has, including those chronic
ailments typical of his age, he had prior to being imprisoned and
they are being properly treated," the ministry said.
The ministry said doctors did a biopsy on Gross' right
shoulder and ruled out the presence of cancer.
"The biopsy, though showing relations to a hematoma, was
negative for neoplasm cells," the ministry said, adding "the
result was immediately reported to Mr. Gross by his physicians."
The ministry also stressed that the biopsy, done on Oct. 24, "
could not be practiced earlier because of Mr. Gross' refusal."
Regarding to Gross' loss of weight while in prison, the
ministry said the jailed contractor, who is serving his sentence
in a military hospital in Havana, "voluntarily exercises regularly
and eats a balanced diet, which have allowed him to get rid of his
earlier condition of obesity."
The ministry added "Gross also weekly telephones his wife and
family, and receives monthly consular visits."
Gross, 63, was arrested in December 2009 and accused of
illegally supplying opposition groups in Cuba with satellite
communications equipment, and sentenced to 15 years in prison.
Through his lawyers in the U.S., Gross is suing the U.S.
government and the company that contracted him on their behalf for
60 million U.S. dollars, claiming they did not properly inform him
of the risks involved in his mission.
Gross' wife has appealed to the Cuban government to release her
husband on humanitarian grounds, which Cuba has indicated it would
be willing to consider if the U.S. releases five Cubans serving
sentences in the U.S. on charges of spying, a suggestion refused
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