Catch up on our meeting with Gerardo Hernandez and Richard Burgon MP
Campaign News | Tuesday, 15 December 2020
To mark the sixth anniversary of the release of the Miami Five (17 December 2014), we were honoured to welcome Gerardo Hernández for a live discussion with Richard Burgon MP.
Hundreds tuned in on the Cuba Solidarity Campaign's YouTube channel on Monday 14 December to watch the live link up with Havana and hear the Cuban hero answer questions on his new role as head of the country's Committees for the Defence of the Revolution, his recollecitons of the day he found out he was to be released form prison and arrival home, US Cuba relations, and his time fighting against South Affrican apartheid forces in Angola.
Richard Burgon MP also spoke about his involvement in the campaign for Gerardo's freedon before his election, how Cuba's internationalism had inspired him to get involved in the campaign against the US blockade of the island and his hopes for improved relations with the election of Joe Biden to the White House. You can watch the full discussion above.
Gerardo spent 16 years in US prisons for infiltrating Miami based terrorist groups that had been responsible for carrying out attacks against Cuba. For more than 12 years his wife Adriana was refused a visa to visit him. He was released following an international campaign for freedom for the Five and as part of the rapprochement negotiations between the US and Cuba in December 2014.
Since returning home he has worked as the vice rector of Havana’s International Relations Institute and was elected to the Cuban National Assembly in 2018. In July 2020 he became National Coordinator for the Committees for the Defence of the Revolution where he is heading an ambitious programme to encourage people to grow more food in their gardens, balconies and community spaces. He and Adriana are also now proud parents to three children, Gema, Gerardito and Amber.
Richard Burgon MP was involved in the campaign for the Freedom of the Miami Five long before his election to parliament in 2015. In 2010 he spoke at a rally for their freedom in Leeds alongside Irma Gonzalez, daughter of Rene Gonzalez. He also met Gerardo and René in parliament when they visited Britain in July 2016.