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.