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Wife of U.S. subcontractor jailed in Cuba pleads for his release

The wife of a U.S. government subcontractor jailed in Cuba for nearly a year has written to Raúl Castro urging his release and saying that he is ``remorseful'' over his actions in Havana.

``I recognize today that the Cuban government may not like the type of work that Alan was doing in Cuba,'' Judy Gross wrote. ``But I want you to know that Alan loves the people of Cuba, and he only wanted to help them. He never intended them, or your government, any harm.

``To the extent his work may have offended you or your government, he and I are genuinely remorseful,'' she added, referring to Alan P. Gross, a 61-year-old development expert from Potomac, Md.

He was arrested Dec. 3 in Havana after delivering satellite communications equipment to Cuba's tiny Jewish community under a subcontract with the U.S. Agency for International Development to promote civil society and democracy on the island.

The Gross case has become a stumbling block in the Obama administration's efforts to improve U.S.-Cuba relations, with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton repeatedly calling on Havana to release him.

He has not been charged, though Cuban officials have indicated he's under investigation for spying. U.S. government officials flatly deny he was involved in intelligence activities but acknowledged he entered Cuba on a tourist visa and without the approval of Havana authorities.

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