HAVANA, Cuba (CBS4) – U.S. contractor Alan Gross was found guilty of crimes against the state by a Cuban court Saturday afternoon. He was immediately sentenced to 15 years in prison by the court.

Prosecutors said Gross, 61, was working on a program paid for by the United States that sought to bring down the communist Cuban government.

Gross was arrested in December 2009 as he worked on a USAID backed democracy-building project. The U.S. government said he was working to improve Internet access for the island’s Jewish community and should be released.

But the Cuban government said Gross’ work proved that the federal government continues to work to overthrow the Castro government in Cuba.

The court said the evidence “demonstrated the participation of the North American contractor in a subversive project of the U.S. government that aimed to destroy the Revolution through the use of communications systems out of the control of authorities.”

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (11)
  1. rod says:

    “But the Cuban government in a fit of paranoia..”

    if this isn’t biased, i don’t know what is.

  2. Rick says:

    Wait and see how in a few days he is released as a humanitarian gesture by the Castro brothers, yeah right.

  3. Rosario says:

    The last part of the article says it all ” The use of communications systems out of the control of the authorities”. Nothing has changed in Cuba. Basic human rights continue to be violated….
    The new relaxation of travel to Cuba will put some naive visitors in danger.The Castros will collect some of these and try to swap them for the convicted spies…

  4. Raul says:

    In a few days there will be a proposal to exchange Mr. Gross for the five cuban spies now in prison in the USA. You watch!!!

  5. Walter says:

    Mr. Gross getting 15 years in prison for taking a few lap tops to Cuba for the Jewish community…well, that’s what they call “revolutionary justice’. This is the same principle by which Gadaffi works, and the Iranian dictator whose name I can’t or won’t spell.
    Thay are all designed by the same devil.

  6. jorge. says:

    This is the government, some people try to defend, this is the same “revolution”, that has kept Oscar Elias Bicet, for 11 years in prison, only for claiming justice and freedom for his people, this is the same government, that sunk a bout filled with children, women and men in front of Havanna. What can you expect from them?

  7. Roberto Nesta says:

    You have to practice what you preach. The US government arrested 5 cuban men after they contacted the FBI and told them who the terrorists were in Miami. The US government has been holding them (the cuban 5) for years now.
    The Cuban government said they had evidence that the contractor was working to set up a secret internet to help attack the cuban government. Given the US governments history of terrorism against Cuba for over 40 years,I have no reason to doubt them.

    1. roberto nesta says:

      if you are going to make a fascist comment against my claims of miami terrorists and yet you support attacks against the cuban government,save your breath and your fingers…..i don’t care what you claim,terrorism is terrorism and if you can’t apply the same standards to yourself as you apply to others your opinion doesn’t mean squat.

  8. Silvana Teresa says:

    Alan Gross was spying-period,and in Cuba of all places he got caught ,red handed,you do not travel 9x to Cuba in less then a year and not raise a red flag,
    He was treated fairly and given the appropriate sentence.If you want to go to Cuba enjoy the culture,dancing food,and the cerveza,leave you electronic spy equipment at home

  9. riberto says:

    Precisely, The Cuban dictator has fabricated this charges against Mr. Gross so they can try to exchange him for the five Cuban Spies in the US Jail.

    They copy and pirate 99.99% of their American made Software and think it is alright. But anyone that tries to set-up a direct internet connection, even if paid for by a foreign relative is considered terrorism BECAUSE it is NOT controlled or monitored by the Cuban internal security.

    Free speech, listening or reading free un-monitored news is a CRIME in Cuba today.

    Doing or writing what Mr. Roberto Nesta writes on this page is considered a CRIME in Cuba today and WILL get you years in their jail.

    Time for the Castro Brothers to go, VIVA CUBA LIBRE!

  10. Me says:

    I don’t know why someone would bother to travel to Cuba when they can just move to Miami Dade County.

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