WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- A U.S. contractor who has been imprisoned in Cuba since 2009 has written a letter to the Cuban president to ask permission to travel to see his mother, who has inoperable lung cancer.
Alan Gross has asked President Raul Castro to let him travel to the U.S. for two weeks to visit with his 89-year-old mother Evelyn Gross.
In the letter, Peter J. Kahn, U.S. counsel to Gross, says Evelyn Gross's "final wish is to be able to see her son once more before her battle with cancer is lost."
According to Kahn, Rene Gonzalez, one of the so-called "Cuban Five" made a similar request. He is serving his probation in Florida His brother is dying of cancer in Cuba.
Alan Gross's 27-year-old daughter has also been diagnosed and treated for cancer, says his U.S. counsel. Alan Gross has reportedly lost more than 100 pounds while in captivity and suffers with chronic arthritis.
Gross, who was working under contract to the USAID on a humanitarian mission, was sentenced to 15 years on charges that he was attempting to subvert the Cuban government. Gross claims the mission was to provide Internet access to Cuba's Jewish communities.
In February, Raul Castro told a visiting delegation of U.S. Senators that Gross was "no spy."