Alan Gross Says Bernie Sanders Praised Cuba During A Prison Visit

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FILE - Alan Gross talks with President Obama onboard a government plane headed back to the US, Dec. 17, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Alan Gross, who was imprisoned in Cuba for five years for trying to connect its Jewish community to the internet, said Bernie Sanders praised Cuba during a prison visit.

“He said, quote: ‘I don’t know what’s so wrong with this country,’” Gross, 70, told NPR in a story posted Wednesday.

Gross, who likes Sanders is Jewish, said the Vermont senator — now a leading Democratic presidential nomination — was otherwise unengaged during Gross’s hourlong meeting in 2014 with three senators. He was released later that year.

The other two were Jon Tester, D-Mont., and Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D. Tester and Sanders would not comment to NPR. Someone close to Heitkamp, who is no longer in the Senate, told NPR that Sanders seemed to disregard the meeting and that there was an uncomfortable exchange between Sanders and Gross, although she could not confirm Sanders’ alleged statement.

Sanders has come under fire for his qualified criticism of the Castro regime in a recent CBS “60 Minutes” interview. He called Cuba’s government authoritarian, but also praised its literacy programs and health care for all.

Gross, a strident critic of President Donald Trump, told NPR that he opposes Sanders’ bid for the presidency.

“I just think, you know, it was a stupid thing for him to do,” Gross, who splits his time between the United States and Israel, told NPR. “First, how could he not have seen the incredible deterioration of what was once the grandeur of the pre-Castro era. And two, how could be so insensitive to make that remark to a political hostage — me!”

Gross was convicted of crimes against the state for his work as a subcontractor of the U.S. State Department connecting the Jewish community to the internet.

Sanders was leading the Democratic race for a period but now trails former Joe Biden in the delegate race.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. Traife Trump praised Tsar Pootin, evil Saudis, rightists in Hungaria, Phillipines, Brasil, etc. So what? Herr Trump would praise Fidel if he could get a hotel deal there.

    • Here is the huge difference you fool.

      Putin is not evil. he is especially good to frum torah jews. he won’t arrest you for trying to connect frum jews to the Internet. It may not be the democracy of your dreams in Russia but its not Cuba. Its not the good olde USSR which cuba still is. I know you hate Putin bec he so called “Meddled” in the election (beforehand everyone laughed). But really its way off.

      Now the Saudis, They are making amends. They are muhc much better to israel and the world. They are opening their country slowly. It would be the dumbest thing in the world to chepoer them over a silly kashiogi rasha terrorist killing.

      Rightists in Hungary? Whats wrong with them? Who have they oppresed? Philipnes? The man is gighting a terrible drug war.

      Repeat after me BERNIE IS A PATHOLOGICAL LAIR. Say it 10 times like he would

    • Multiple-personality-disorder commenter professes not to know the difference between Castro, who executed 16,000 people, and the various other rulers he mentions, whose body count is nowhere near that. Well, we know that to Communists and their sympathizers, life is cheap – people are just “eggs” to be broken for the Socialist omelet – so that’s hardly surprising.

  2. I would rather have Vladimir Putin as President anyway if it was a choice between Putin & Sanders. Vlady is smart burnie is a bhema. Vlady knows socialism & communism don’t work. Sanders the dumb ass that he is, still thinks that is the way & he is getting all the leftist demorats to drink the kool aide. If you want a view of America after 4 years of dumb ass anti Semitic burnie as president just take a close look at Venezuela.

  3. From Bernie’s mouth comes out his disregard for the particular suffering and imprisoned individual while he praises the oppressive system and leaders.

  4. I can’t understand why Mr. Gross has such a dislike for President Trump. The President has been so supportive of Jews and Israel. Having gratitude to Obama is understandable but that doesn’t mean you have to automatically dislike the next President who happens to be a Republican.

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