"We use every appropriate diplomatic channel to press for Mr. Gross' release, both publicly and privately," Ventrell said. "We have urged governments around the world and prominent figures traveling to Cuba, including religious leaders, to press for Mr. Gross' immediate release. This includes President Obama asking Uruguayan President [Jose] Mujica to use any opportunity he might have to raise Alan Gross' case directly with [Cuban] President [Raul] Castro."