Havana, Saturday 23 de August de 2014 09:22 am

Statement by the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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HAVANA, Cuba, Jun 18 (acn) The Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued the following statement, published on its Web site on Wednesday:

Statement by Josefina Vidal Ferreiro, General Director of the United States Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cuba

We have learned about the unfortunate news of the passing of Mrs. Evelyn Gross, the mother of Alan Gross, the US citizen who is serving an imprisonment sentence in Cuba. We would like to convey our heartfelt condolences to his relatives.

Given the doubts expressed by the persons who wonder about the reasons why Mr. Gross was not able to visit his mother, it is necessary to clarify that neither the Cuban penitentiary system nor the US penitentiary system provide the possibility for inmates to travel abroad, no matter the reason.

It is necessary to remember that when Carmen Nordelo -the mother of Gerardo Hernandez Nordelo, one of the Cuban Five who is serving the unjust two life terms plus a fifteen-year imprisonment sentence in the United States- passed away, he was not allowed either to travel to visit and say farewell to her.

There are other elements of a profound humanitarian nature, which would be impossible to overlook, that concur in the situation facing Gerardo and his colleagues Ramon Labañino and Antonio Guerrero. For almost sixteen years they have been separated from his relatives, some of them of an advanced age, who entertain the hope to be able to see them back; and they have not been able to see their children grow up.

This unfortunate situation could have been avoided. We reiterate Cuba's firm determination to find, together with the United States, a solution to the cases of Gross, Gerardo, Ramón and Antonio, that is acceptable to both sides and takes into account the humanitarian concerns of both governments and their respective relatives.

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