So I took the pill. He gave me a juice box and as I’m drinking the juice box, swallowing the pill, he says, ‘that’s right, that’s right, drink, drink.' And I thought I was in an old Humphrey Bogart movie. And they took me to a hospital, they took my clothes they gave me these striped pajamas.You can see the interview on "60 Minutes." It was Gross's first interview since his release from prison five years ago and it's worth watching. A transcript is below:
THE NEW OPENING TO CUBA WOULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED WITHOUT AN OLD FASHIONED SWAP. CUBAN SPIES WERE BEING HELD IN U.S. PRISONS. AND THE CUBANS WERE HOLDING AN AMERICAN NAMED ALAN GROSS. GROSS WAS A U.S. GOVERNMENT CONTRACTOR WHO WAS SETTING UP INTERNET CONNECTIONS IN CUBA. BUT THE CUBAN GOVERNMENT SAID HE WAS A SPY. IT HAS BEEN NEARLY A YEAR SINCE GROSS BECAME THE LYNCHPIN FOR THE DIPLOMATIC BREAK-THROUGH. BUT WHY WAS HE THERE? AND WHAT WERE HIS YEARS IN PRISON LIKE? THIS IS THE FIRST INTERVIEW WITH THE LAST PRISONER OF THE COLD WAR.
(GROSS) They threatened to hang me. They threatened to pull out my fingernails. They said I'd never see the light of day. I had to do three things in order to survive, three things every day. I thought about my family that survived the Holocaust. I exercised religiously every day And I found something every day to laugh at.
(PELLEY) Did you think in those early days, "Boy, the U.S. government's going to get me out OF here in the next week or so."
(GROSS ) Oh, I absolutely did for the first two weeks. And then I said to myself, "Where the hell are they? Where are they?" I didn't have any idea I'd be there for five years. I knew I was in trouble. I knew I was in trouble.