Hillary
Hillary Rodham Clinton listens before delivering remarks at an event in New York City on Nov. 21, 2014.  Bebeto Matthews—AP

Here's What Hillary Clinton Said About Alan Gross, U.S.-Cuba Relations in Hard Choices

Dec 17, 2014

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wrote in her recent autobiography one of her biggest regrets of her tenure was that she was not able to bring home an American who was held as a prisoner in Cuba. Today, President Obama will announce that Alan Gross, a USAID contractor who was arrested in 2009 for bringing satellite equipment to Cuba, will return to the U.S.

In Hard Choices, Clinton calls the Cuban government’s refusal to release Gross unless the U.S. released five convicted Cuban spies a “double tragedy,” saying in part:

It is possible that hard liners within the regime exploited the Gross case as an opportunity to put the brakes on any possible rapprochement with the United States and the domestic reforms that would require. If so, it is a double tragedy, cosigning millions of Cubans to a kind of continued imprisonment as well.

On the embargo, she had this to say:

Near the end of my tenure I recommended to President Obama that he take another look at our embargo. It wasn’t achieving its goals and it was holding back our broader agenda across Latin America. After twenty years of observing and dealing with the U.S.-Cuba relationship, I thought we should shift the onus onto the Castros to explain why they remained undemocratic and abusive.

In an interview with Fusion TV in July, Clinton repeated that the embargo has been a failure and said she would like to visit Cuba one day.

Witness Cuba's Evolution in 39 Photos

Cuban Evolution Joakim Eskildsen
An old American car, long a staple of Cuban roads, sits along Guanabo Beach, near Havana.Joakim Eskildsen for TIME
Cuban Evolution Joakim Eskildsen
Cuban Evolution Joakim Eskildsen
Cuban Evolution Joakim Eskildsen
Cuban Evolution Joakim Eskildsen
Cuban Evolution Joakim Eskildsen
Cuban Evolution Joakim Eskildsen
Cuban Evolution Joakim Eskildsen
Cuban Evolution Joakim Eskildsen
Cuban Evolution Joakim Eskildsen
Cuban Evolution Joakim Eskildsen
Cuban Evolution Joakim Eskildsen
Cuban Evolution Joakim Eskildsen
Cuban Evolution Joakim Eskildsen
Cuban Evolution Joakim Eskildsen
Cuban Evolution Joakim Eskildsen
Cuban Evolution Joakim Eskildsen
Cuban Evolution Joakim Eskildsen
Cuban Evolution Joakim Eskildsen
Cuban Evolution Joakim Eskildsen
Cuban Evolution Joakim Eskildsen
Cuban Evolution Joakim Eskildsen
Cuban Evolution Joakim Eskildsen
Cuban Evolution Joakim Eskildsen
Cuban Evolution Joakim Eskildsen
Cuban Evolution Joakim Eskildsen
Cuban Evolution Joakim Eskildsen
Cuban Evolution Joakim Eskildsen
Cuban Evolution Joakim Eskildsen
Cuban Evolution Joakim Eskildsen
Cuban Evolution Joakim Eskildsen
Cuban Evolution Joakim Eskildsen
Cuban Evolution Joakim Eskildsen
Cuban Evolution Joakim Eskildsen
Cuban Evolution Joakim Eskildsen
Cuban Evolution Joakim Eskildsen
Cuban Evolution Joakim Eskildsen
Cuban Evolution Joakim Eskildsen
Cuban Evolution Joakim Eskildsen
Cuban Evolution Joakim Eskildsen
An old American car, long a staple of Cuban roads, sits along Guanabo Beach, near Havana.
Joakim Eskildsen for TIME
1 of 39
newsletter
The Brief NewsletterSign up to receive the top stories you need to know right now. View Sample

Read next: U.S. and Cuba Move to Thaw Relations After Prisoner Exchange

All products and services featured are based solely on editorial selection. TIME may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website.