- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 17, 2014

PHOENIX (AP) - Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake was on the plane that flew a released American prisoner from Cuba to the United States.

Flake was among three U.S. lawmakers accompanying Alan Gross, who was released Wednesday on humanitarian grounds.

Flake’s office issued a statement in which the Arizona Republican said it was a wonderful day for Gross and his family.

Flake said it was an honor to accompany Gross on the flight.

Gross was detained in December 2009 while working to set up Internet access as a subcontractor for the U.S. government’s U.S. Agency for International Development.

The agency does work promoting democracy in the communist country.

It was Gross’ fifth trip to Cuba to work with Jewish communities on setting up Internet access that bypassed local censorship.

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