"White House sources tell ABC news the National Security Council and president are aware of Gross's condition and are working on a solution," the exclusive said, reiterating recent speculations that Cold War-era relations between Washington and Havana may be thawing.
Alan Gross was sentenced to 15 years in 2011 on charges of acts against the state for bringing telecommunications devices under the US government's democracy project to the island which has restricted Internet access. According to the broadcaster, Gross has been rendered immobile by deteriorating health and has threatened to go on a hunger strike if he is not released.
Meanwhile, NBC News reported that Gross has declined all visits by his family, US diplomats and medical staff at the military hospital since July.
In a statement coinciding with the five-year anniversary of his detention on Wednesday, Gross' wife underlined her husband's plight. "Enough is enough. Alan is done. It is time for [US] President [Barack] Obama to bring Alan back to the United States now; otherwise it will be too late," Judy Gross was quoted as saying by multiple broadcasters.
In 2012, Havana proposed to exchange Gross for the so-called Cuban Five, a group of intelligence officers that have been serving 15 to 30 years for infiltrating Cuban-American groups in Miami, Florida, according to the Havana Times. The proposal was struck down by the State Department on the grounds that the two situations were not equivalent. That year, Cuban President Raul Castro's daughter expressed the Cuban government's interest in "finding a negotiated solution on humanitarian terms" in an interview with Democracy Now.