December 13, 2012

Thanks for the Dec. 6 editorial “No deal with Havana,” about how the Obama administration should clamp down on the Cuban government for keeping my friend, Alan Gross, in prison for three years now. I have known Alan for more than 20 years. He is and always has been a selfless humanitarian worker trying to help underprivileged people, whether as a social worker in the United States or as an international development consultant working with Africans in Gambia (where I first met him 23 years ago) or with Palestinians on the West Bank or in the Gaza Strip.

The Obama administration should tighten the U.S. trade embargo, stop allowing any kind of tourist flights to Cuba and do everything legally possible — even work with Congress, if necessary — to tighten the financial and administrative regulations against any individual American or U.S. firm that wants to do business with Cuba until Alan Gross is released — unconditionally — and can come home to his wife, Judy, his ailing mother and his two daughters.

Tom Herlehy, Arlington