John McAuliff, founder of the Fund for Reconciliation and Development, called for the release of development worker Alan Gross and said the case could undermine progress in talks about illegal migration, drug smuggling, preventing and cleaning up oil spills, hurricane monitoring and other issues. He wrote:
An honest public dialogue is overdue of the reasons Havana arrested Gross and the steps that Washington will take to prevent the same thing from happening again.
The State Department's USAID and its contractor Development Alternatives Inc. put Gross in legal jeopardy and should honestly acknowledge what he was doing rather than hiding behind a cover story that he was an innocent aid worker only helping the Jewish community. Cuba should bring its six month investigation to a close, issue a public account of the laws he violated and release him for time served.
It is preferable that the US openly regret employing Gross and announce it will no longer use semi-covert government funding to support civil society in Cuba in violation of the normal diplomatic protocol of host country approval. Absent that, common sense dictates that in practice no more taxpayer monies be wasted to refill Alan Gross's prison cell.