American imprisoned in Cuba begins hunger strike


WASHINGTON (AP) — An American imprisoned in Cuba for more than four years says he's on a hunger strike.

Alan Gross released a statement through his lawyer Tuesday saying he began fasting to protest his treatment by the governments of Cuba and the United States.

Gross was arrested in Cuba in 2009 while working quietly in the Communist-run country to set up Internet access for the island's small Jewish community. At the time, Gross was working as a subcontractor for the U.S. government's U.S. Agency for International Development. Cuba considers USAID's programs illegal attempts by the U.S. to undermine its government, and Gross was ultimately sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Gross wrote that he began fasting Thursday "to object to mistruths, deceptions, and inaction by both governments."

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