Jimmy Carter Returns From Cuba Trip Without Jailed Contractor

The former president returned from Cuba without jailed contractor Alan Gross.

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In a rare visit to the communist-ruled island of Cuba last week, aimed at mending ties, former President Jimmy Carter met with brothers Fidel and Raul Castro and called for the United States to lift its trade embargo against Cuba. But Carter returned home without Alan Gross, an American contractor detained in Havana since December 2009 and sentenced this month to 15 years in prison for illegally bringing communications equipment into Cuba as part of a democracy program, a crime the country considers espionage. Hopes were high that the 39th president would be able to secure Gross’s release, as he had done for a jailed American in North Korea last summer. But Carter said the Cuban government made clear it would not release Gross, despite his urging.