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Cuba

Alan Gross speaks out: It's a 'blessing' to be an American

Alan Gross speaks out: It's a 'blessing' to be an American

During a press conference on Wednesday, Alan Gross spoke out about his release from Cuban prison after five years in captivity.

"Today is the first day of Hanukkah, and so far, it's the best Hanukkah that I'll be celebrating for a long time," Gross said. "What a blessing it is to be a citizen of this country."

Gross, a 65-year-old USAID contractor, was convicted of espionage for bringing satellite technology into Cuba. He said that the White House's new policy on diplomatic relations with Cuba is a "game-changer," which he supports. Gross thanked President Obama for obtaining his freedom and working on the new agreement with Cuba.

Before leaving the podium, Gross added that during his captivity, he learned the "judicious lesson" that "freedom is not free." Watch Gross' moving speech below. --Meghan DeMaria