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Former Prisoner Alan Gross Discusses Changes in Cuba

A man who spent five years in a Cuban prison spoke out Tuesday on recent changes and President Obama easing restrictions on the island nation.

"I think President Obama's visit is very timely. I think Cuba will be a legacy item for the president and I think he will rightly be discussing human rights, at the very least abuses of power," Alan Gross said. "I think the government of Cuba is, pardon the expression, grossly guilty of abuse of power."

Gross was arrested by the Communist government in 2009 for providing communication equipment to the Jewish community in Cuba.

"When I was arrested, access to the Internet by Cubanos was illegal. In June of 2013 it was made legal. When I was arrested, Internet cost $6 an hour. The price was reduced to $4.50 and now it's $2 an hour," Gross said.

Now that he's no longer behind bars, the former political prisoner talked about what he believes Cuba can do to achieve freedom of Internet information.

"They need to allow a situation whereby satellite connectivity is not the only source of connectivity. They need to develop other methods," Gross said.

The White House announced Tuesday the further easing of restrictions for not only travel to Cuba as reported last month, but also changes in banking, trade and shipping. But Gross said more needs to be done.

"Eleven point three million people live in a prison, without much historical opportunity for growth and advancement. I think that President Obama is not bringing opportunity, he's bringing the hope of opportunity," Gross said.

He also touched on the embargo.

"There will be no substantial foreign investment until the embargo is lifted so our Congress really needs to grow a pair and get out of the way," he said.

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