Note: This blog's templates will be updated this afternoon to a responsive design bringing it in line with

At that time, we will also change to the Facebook commenting system. You will need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment.

« Read Mike Haridopolos' apology to the state Senate in ethics case | Main | Former Miami Mayor Xavier Suarez files to run for Miami-Dade County commissioner »

Cuba sets a trial date for detained American contractor: March 4

State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley tweeted earlier today that the department hopes Alan Gross - who has been held in Cuba for months -- "receives a fair trial and is allowed to come home.

"What he did," Crowley said. "Is not a crime." Gross was distributing sophisticated satellite equipment to Cuba’s tiny Jewish community. Critics of US-Cuba policy have criticized the Obama administration for moving ahead with plans to relax travel restrictions to Cuba while Gross is still being held.

The trial starts the same day President Barack Obama is scheduled to be in Miami for a fundraiser for Bill Nelson.