Cuba Plans To Put U.S. Government Worker On Trial An American jailed in Cuba is accused of acting on a U.S. plot to destabilize the Caribbean nation by spreading access to the Internet. U.S. officials insist the 61-year-old Maryland resident's activities were a harmless attempt to improve Internet access for the island's small Jewish community.
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Cuba Plans To Put U.S. Government Worker On Trial

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Cuba Plans To Put U.S. Government Worker On Trial

Cuba Plans To Put U.S. Government Worker On Trial

Cuba Plans To Put U.S. Government Worker On Trial

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/133769017/133769042" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

An American jailed in Cuba is accused of acting on a U.S. plot to destabilize the Caribbean nation by spreading access to the Internet. U.S. officials insist the 61-year-old Maryland resident's activities were a harmless attempt to improve Internet access for the island's small Jewish community.

RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:

Nick Miroff reports from Havana.

NICK MIROFF: Gloria Berbena is a spokesperson for the U.S. diplomatic mission in Havana.

GLORIA BERBENA: As we've said many times before, Mr. Gross is a dedicated international development worker. He's been held without charge for more than a year, contrary to all international human rights obligations and commitments regarding justice and due process. He should be home with his family now.

MIROFF: Unidentified Man: (Foreign language spoken)

MIROFF: Unidentified Man: (Foreign language spoken)

MIROFF: The lecture also shows that Gross's efforts are viewed as just one component of a broader strategy to promote a new generation of Castro opponents, like prizewinning blogger Yoani Sanchez. Unlike the old guard of anti-Castro dissidents who tried to organize in the streets, these activists are doing it through Facebook, Twitter and other social networking platforms, he explains, so Cuba needs to fight back using those same technologies.

(SOUNDBITE OF TYPING AND CONVERSATIONS)

MIROFF: The island currently has the lowest levels of Internet use in the hemisphere, but that could change with the completion of a new undersea fiber optic cable that now links Cuba to Venezuela. It will increase the country's bandwidth by a factor of 3,000 when it goes online this summer.

EDUARDO EMILIO: (Foreign language spoken)

MIROFF: For NPR News, I'm Nick Miroff in Havana.

MONTAGNE: And you are listening to MORNING EDITION from NPR News.

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