Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Trial of US contractor enters 2nd day in Cuba

By PAUL HAVEN  Associated Press

HAVANA (AP) – The trial of a U.S. government contractor detained more than a year on charges he sought to undermine Cuba’s government enters its second day Saturday in a case that has worsened relations between the longtime enemies.

Alan Gross, who was arrested in December 2009, stands accused of illegally bringing communications equipment into Cuba for Development Associates International as part of a USAID-backed democracy program.

Cuba says the programs are aimed at overthrowing the government of President Raul Castro. U.S. officials and Gross’ family insist he has done nothing wrong, and say he should be freed on humanitarian grounds in any case. Gross faces 20 years in jail if convicted.

The trial began Friday with about nine hours of testimony in a courtroom in a converted mansion in a once-prosperous neighborhood of Havana. The proceedings were closed to journalists.

March 5, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Government Contractor, Legal Jurisdictions, State Department, USAID | , , , , | Leave a comment

Detained U.S. contractor goes on trial today in Cuba

Havana via TampaBay.com

Detained U.S. contractor goes on trial

More than a man’s fate will be at stake when U.S. contractor Alan Gross goes on trial today on charges he sought to undermine Cuba’s government by bringing communications equipment onto the island illegally. U.S. officials have made clear that no meaningful rapprochement between the two Cold War enemies is possible while the 61-year-old Maryland native remains in jail.

Gross, who was working for Bethesda-based Development Associates International on a USAID program that promotes democracy when he was arrested in December 2009, faces a possible 20-year sentence for “acts against the integrity and independence” of Cuba. His family, and U.S. and company officials say he was bringing communications equipment to Cuba’s 1,500-strong Jewish community. Cuban Jewish groups deny having anything to do with him, and there is even speculation that leaders of the Jewish community might testify against him.  Please see the original here

March 4, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Government Contractor, Legal Jurisdictions, State Department, USAID | , , , , , , | Leave a comment