WH: No Cuba Policy Changes Under Consideration

Thursday, February 21, 2013
From today's White House Press Briefing with Jay Carney:

Q. Jay, the Boston Globe had a story today that the State Department is considering taking -- reviewing whether or not Cuba should be on the terror list.  What’s the White House’s discussions on that?

MR. CARNEY:  We have no changes in our approach or policy to Cuba to announce or under consideration that I’m aware of.

Q . Are you saying, then, that there’s not consideration of --

MR. CARNEY:  Again, not that I’m aware of.

Q . -- of taking Cuba off of the terrorism list?

MR. CARNEY:  That’s right.  I’m not aware of any.

Q . Has the White House or NSC?

MR. CARNEY:  Correct.

Q.  Okay.  And have you had any conversations with Senator Leahy, who’s been down in Cuba, and his delegation had met with the detained American, Alan Gross?

MR. CARNEY:  I don’t know that -- I certainly haven’t and I don’t know if anybody in the administration has.  The President, as you know, has followed Mr. Gross’s case with concern and urges his release.  The Cuban government should release Alan Gross and return him to his family where he belongs.

Mr. Gross is in his fourth year of unjustified imprisonment in Cuba.  He was arrested on December 3, 2009, and later given a 15-year prison sentence by Cuban authorities for simply facilitating communications between Cuba’s Jewish community and the rest of the world.

Mr. Gross is a 63-year-old husband, father, and dedicated professional with a long history of providing assistance and support to underserved communities in more than 50 countries.  Again, we call on the Cuban government to release Mr. Gross.