The wife of U.S. contractor Alan Gross, who has been imprisoned in Cuba since December 2009, told Efe Sunday that she hopes that, now that the "distraction" of the U.S. election is over, the White House will continue bringing pressure to bear to secure his release.

"The elections are over and I think they were a big distraction that we don't have in front of us any longer. Now, I hope that the White House will show much more actively its interest in Alan Gross's case," Judy Gross told Efe in a telephone interview shortly before participating in a rally in Florida calling for his release.

Gross said that she has been the one who has had to "approach" authorities with the Obama administration, and she said that they "could work (on the case) more strongly and more intelligently."

Gross visited her husband last October and said that he appeared emaciated and she was worried about "a suspicious mass" in his right shoulder that has not been properly or independently diagnosed.

She said, however, that her husband is in good spirits, in part due to the "letters, cards and other messages that children and people in all U.S. communities" send him.

Alan Gross, 63, traveled to Cuba as a subcontractor with the U.S. Agency for International Development and was arrested in December 2009 for bringing unauthorized communications equipment into the country. He was put on trial, convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison for threatening state security. EFE