Alan Gross was 'undercover,' says Cuba

Alan Gross with his wife.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Cuban officials say an American man held in prison in the country for two years conducted "undercover activities" and was part of a program aimed at "disrupting the constitutional order in Cuba."

Saturday marks two years since Alan Gross was arrested in Cuba. The 62-year-old Maryland man has said he was just trying to help members of the island's small Jewish community with Internet access. Earlier this year, however, he was convicted in a Cuban court of crimes against the state and sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Lawmakers and Gross' wife this week called for his release ahead of Saturday's anniversary. Late Friday, the Cuban Interests Section in Washington released a brief statement in response, denouncing his activities and calling them covert.

Gross was working as a subcontractor for the U.S. Agency for International Development at the time of his arrest.