The news that Alan Gross, the contractor for the U.S. Agency for International Development who has been unjustly detained in Cuba since 2009, might have cancer is not just a personal tragedy [“Maryland man, jailed in Cuba, might have cancer,” news, Oct. 2]. Mr. Gross’s only “offense” to the Cuban government was trying to give a laptop computer and satellite telephone to one of the island’s small Jewish communities.
In addition to a five-month growth on his shoulder that Cuban doctors call “benign,” Mr. Gross reportedly has lost 100 pounds. His continuing detention and deteriorating health demonstrate the utter disdain that the Cuban government has for basic human rights. The Obama administration’s unilateral extension of a hand of friendship to the Castro brothers has not changed the nation’s brutal dictatorship.