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Castro, US Lawmakers Meet in Havana

Cuban President Raul Castro met with a group of U.S. lawmakers seeking the release of an American citizen who has been detained in Havana since 2009.

A statement by the Cuban government said Castro and the U.S. delegation, led by Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy, discussed "issues of interest for both countries." Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez also attended the meeting.

The congressional delegation wants Cuban authorities to free Alan Gross, who was sentenced to 15-years in prison after he was arrested for possessing communications equipment. Gross was in Cuba working as a contractor for a U.S. State Department program.

Leahy led a similar delegation to Cuba last year, where he met with Castro and Gross.

Havana has offered to release Gross in exchange for five Cuban spies captured in the U.S. in 1990s and serving lengthy jail sentences. But Washington has ruled out any such prisoner swap.