Why Five Years in Cuban Prison Sold Alan Gross on Obama Trip

  • Former captive says Cuba is suffering under Castros, embargo
  • Obama's upcoming visit first by sitting president since 1928

American aid worker Alan Gross, a former Cuban prisoner released on humanitarian grounds, pauses while speaking at a news conference in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014.

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

It took five years, Pope Francis, President Barack Obama, and the exchange of three Cuban spies to get Alan Gross, gaunt and broken-toothed, out of a Havana prison.

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