HAVANA - A delegation of American lawmakers was in Cuba Monday night.
The group led by Sen. Patrick Leahy is there to gauge the Communist-run country's economic changes and press for the release of a jailed American whose detention has chilled relations between the two countries.
Alan Gross is serving a 15-year sentence for illegally distributing communications equipment on the island while on a U.S.-funded democracy-building program.
A State Department official tells The Associated Press that the lawmakers will stress that freeing Gross is a prerequisite for improved ties.
Cuba has said it is willing to consider releasing the 63-year-old, but in return wants Washington to negotiate the fate of five Cuban intelligence agents sentenced to long jail terms in the United States.
Leahy says while the group would like to bring Gross home, that's not likely on this trip.
To comment, the following rules must be followed:
Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.
Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Questions may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please provide detailed information.
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or email@example.com.