Gerardo Hernández: Without solidarity, we would not have returned

News from Cuba | Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Gerardo addressing the conference in Havana

Gerardo addressing the conference in Havana

Gerardo Hernandez, in his remarks at the International Meeting of Solidarity with Cuba on 2 May in Havana, said that without the battle of the solidarity movement, the release of the anti-terrorists would not have been possible.

After receiving an award from the Cuban Workers Central Trade Union, Gerardo began his acceptance speech with the words, "thank you, sisters and brothers from around the world. You should know that when we say thanks, it is not a formal act. From the bottom of our hearts we know that if we are here we owe it largely to the efforts of colleagues around the world who did not rest until we were here as you are."

“You are representatives of a much larger group who could not be here, but let them know of our appreciation. All were important, their combined efforts was what led us to be with our family and people today,” he said.

With reference to the May Day march which the Five had lead in Havana on 1 May, he said. “Yesterday was historic. It was a long-awaited dream, which came true, and was greater because we could have your presence. Today we meet and are a big family that must be increasingly united and merge into one, because there still remain several battles like that for Oscar Lopez and many others who also have the right to enjoy the freedom we now have.”

He explained that they are now willing to join any just cause where their efforts are necessary. "We are willing to collaborate. Now, what shall we do? You tell us," he asked the delegates.

“The blockade remains in place, and if it's removed someday we'll continue in struggle against anyone who tries to re-impose it. 

"Revolutionaries cannot rest, because we refuse to be a US colony. We are a Latin American nation, as expressed in the lyrics in the chorus we heard yesterday in the square," he said and urged participants to chant it.

“On behalf of the Five, our families, whom many of you gave affection, we thank you infinitely. I have been asked about Gema, we have not been able to bring her due to medical recommendations in weather like this, but she is also here with us because she is the fruit of such solidarity,” he said.

Gerardo made it clear that he did not see their freedom as having come out of negotiations but rather “the united efforts of each of you.” 

“And if that were not enough, those 16 years turned into days, hours of resistance, and to live through them we needed strength and one of our forces of inspiration was thinking of your solidarity and support.

“Today we are congratulated and the strength of the Five is recognized. It was nothing but the resistance of the Cuban people for more than 50 years, because imperialism could not break us. We have not been isolated, they isolated themselves, because this is still a socialist Cuba, a people stronger than ever, determined to fight for our system. So we remain confident in the support and the fighting spirit and solidarity of all of you brothers,” he concluded.

Awards from Workers Central Union of Cuba
The Workers' Central Union of Cuba awarded the Five; René González, Antonio Guerrero, Gerardo Hernández, Ramon Labañino and Fernando González, the seal of the 75th Anniversary of the founding of the CTC, for their outstanding attitude in defense of the homeland.

The high honour was delivered by Ulises Guilarte de Nacimiento, general secretary of the Workers' Central Union of Cuba (CTC), at the International of Solidarity with Cuba Meeting, which met on Saturday 2 May in Havana, led by Miguel Diaz-Canel, first vice-president of the Councils of State and Ministers.

Ania Gonzalez Alvarez, an official of the CTC, explained that the Seal delivered to the Cuban Five, workers and groups are granted with outstanding results in the production, services, research and national defense.

The Five also gave recognition to social and labour organizations as well as personalities for their outstanding role in the battle for the liberation of the Five at the meeting.

Appreciation from the hands of the Cuban heroes was given to: World Federation of Trade Unions, Unite the union, the Negau Union of South Africa, the Central of Workers of Brazil (CTB), US-Cuba Labor Exchange, Graciela Ramirez, Nalda Vigezzii, Alicia Jrapko, Mary-Alice Waters, Andrés Gómez, Gloria La Riva, Tamara Hansen, Elizabeth Hill, Vinisio Molina, Heiz Gruberg, Harry Gruberg, Wafica Medi, Gasan Ben Yedou and Gustavo Espinosa.

The Five will visit Venezuela

Invited by, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, the anti-terrorists, internationally known as The Cuban Five, will visit the South American nation from Monday 4 - Saturday 9 May.

During their stay, Gerardo Hernandez, Rene Gonzalez, Ramon Labañino, Antonio Guerrero and Fernando Gonzalez, will develop a diverse program of activities.

Upon arrival, they will be officially welcomed in the Plaza Simon Bolivar, where they will present a wreath in tribute to the Liberator of America.

On Monday, the mayor of the Libertador municipality, Jorge Rodriguez, will give the Five the Keys to the City.

They also will visit the headquarters of the Montaña garrison, where the mortal remains of the architect of the Bolivarian Revolution, Hugo Chavez, are placed. He was one of the main drivers of the global struggle for the release of these men from US jails.

The Five were sentenced to long and unjust sentences in 2001 for monitoring the activities of terrorist groups operating against Cuba from US territory of Florida.

On Tuesday in Caracas, it is anticipated that the Five will attend a tribute of the people and the Bolivarian government in the National Pantheon, where the remains of the Liberator and other prominent Venezuelan patriots are placed.

As part of their busy schedule, the visitors will also visit the Headquarters of the Socialist Missions in Miranda state, and receive information on this and other social programs that are part of Plan de la Patria (2013-2019).

These days, the Five will also meet with the Cuban diplomatic staff and with representatives of the thousands of Cuban collaborators who provide services in Venezuela.

They will also attend a conference at the Military University Bolivariana de Venezuela in Fuerte Tiuna, and participate in popular acts of reception that will be offered in the states of Carabobo, Aragua, Zulia, Anzoátegui and Barinas.

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