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US Lawmakers Meet With Jailed American In Cuba

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File photo of Sen. Patrick Leahy. (credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

File photo of Sen. Patrick Leahy. (credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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HAVANA (AP) — U.S. lawmakers have confirmed they visited Alan Gross, an American man whose detention in Cuba has hampered efforts to improve relations between the countries.

The meeting occurred Tuesday. Sen. Patrick Leahy has issued a statement saying he and Rep. Chris Van Hollen were granted access to the American. Van Hollen is from Gross’ home state of Maryland.

But they gave no details on what took place at the meeting, or how Gross appeared. The 63-year-old has lost more than 100 pounds in prison since his 2009 arrest and is suffering from several chronic ailments. Gross is serving a 15-year sentence for bringing communications equipment into Cuba illegally.

The lawmakers met separately with Cuban President Raul Castro. In a statement Wednesday, Leahy called for improved ties between the Cold War antagonists.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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