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B’nai B’rith International has issued the following statement:

B’nai B’rith International warmly welcomes, and is relieved by the news of, Alan Gross’ release from a Cuban prison after five years. The United States and Cuban governments announced this morning that Gross will be returned to America in exchange for three Cubans jailed in Florida.

Gross was arrested in 2009 while working to set up Internet access for the Cuban-Jewish community as a contractor for the U.S. Agency for International Development.

B’nai B’rith is grateful for the efforts of the Administration and all those who assisted in facilitating the high-level discussions leading to Gross’ release. We are thinking of Gross, his family and his friends on the occasion of his release, especially coming during the holiday of Chanukah.