MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Alan Gross took part in a conference on Monday involving the internet and freedom in Cuba.
CBS4’s Michele Gillen secured another interview with Gross.
It comes just six months after her very rare and in-depth interview about why he was incarcerated in Cuba for five years, how he was released and why he was in Cuba. Gross was adamant he was in Cuba to bring internet service to the Jewish community there.
Now he is a headliner, the center of attention, at a conference specifically laser sharp focus: Cuba, internet, freedom.
Independent journalists and bloggers, including from Cuba, are tossing words like digital divide and downloading democracy.
“I don’t think you can download democracy,” Gross told the crowd. “I think you have to upload it.”
It all comes as when the United Nations now proclaim internet access is human rights.
“An investment of five years behind bars, could you ever have imagined in some of those dark hours that you would be free, you find yourself in Miami and you would be surrounded by bloggers and internet writers all calling on Cuba to let us have this freedom?” Gillen asked Gross.
“I’m not surprised over this development. I have to tell you, so many people here, from Cuba, from different parts of the country over the issue of internet freedom and access to information, it’s very heartwarming to know this is happening,” he said.
“Why was accepting this invitation so important to you?” Gillen followed up.
“I felt the responsibility to be here because it is following through on one of the reasons why I went to Cuba to begin with,” he said.