A Year of Freedom

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Granma | Wednesday, 30 December 2015 | Click here for original article

A year has passed since the Miami Five / Cuban Five returned home and were reunited with their families and friends. Granma spoke to them about what this year has meant

Antonio Guerrero: Ready as always

“After 16 years and, I think, three months and four days in prison, being released and returning to my homeland, there is no way, no words to describe that moment (…) What I can say is that from that moment on (…) all that time spent in prison was erased.

“(…) First of all, we would have been willing to fulfill the task we had been sent to complete under the greatest secrecy, and could have died there like other comrades (…). Later came prison, where some of us were sentenced to life, we would have also been willing to die in jail. We knew from day one that the leaders of the Revolution, our government and people weren’t going to abandon us (…). Even in the worst times, we felt that freedom, that joy, that feeling of usefulness of being there denouncing every day the double standard of the empire’s policy in its much-vaunted fight against terrorism. And that was useful, this cause brought many people from around the world together (…) This inspired me to write, to paint, which was another way of feeling even more useful and free.

“So we arrived here, and the year has flown by in the blink of an eye (…) Its been a year in which we have wanted, above all, to express our gratitude to our people and all our friends.

“Just to be clear, from the day we arrived we expressed our willingness to undertake whichever task might be needed to our President, Army General Raúl Castro Ruz; we told him ‘Please also let Fidel know that we are here.’ And our country decided that we would spend the year, not only sharing with our families, but also meeting with many collectives, many young people…

“So sometimes, when we ask, ‘where are we going, what is there to do?’ they tell us: ‘but you are working.’ And yes, all these activities throughout this intense year have been genuinely useful and beneficial (…) I think we have received feedback and learned more about the Cuban reality every day. I believe this is also important for any other task that will no doubt come our way, which we will take on with the same willingness as the very first day.”

Continue reading A Year of Freedom

“With no hatred or rancor towards Miami”-Gerardo Hernández

gerardo3Gema. The baby of hope.

Cortesy of Nueva Réplica magazine. Photos Alvite.

Gerardo speaks out on behalf of the 5.

Everything was left behind. We suffered a lot during the 15 years of unjust punishment we were subjected to. Half or our anguish and bitterness was unknown even to our family; we never told them so as not to increase their pain. Everything, nevertheless, has been forgotten and today, in the name of the 5, I can say with absolute honesty that we don’t harbor hatred or rancor towards Miami.

If there was a lot of pain during our captivity, much bigger came to be the love or our families and the unbeatable support of our compatriots who helped us cope with it. We know of how many Americans and Cuban-Americans were also behind us without being always able to reveal their feelings.

The cell doors were closed one day behind us, but from there on plenty were the hands from all over the world which extended in our favor. For all of them, our more profound gratitude. Nothing mean or despicable was there on our actions against the United States of America. What we did was to contribute on our limited possibilities to prevent death on our people.

We are very happy to be again on our homeland. In my personal case, that happiness was multiplied, last February 6, with the birth of Gema which came to fulfill the best hopes of both my wife Adriana and myself. She is a girl, and I ask forgiveness for my father’s weakness, very beautiful; adorable, to say it on a single word.

After 55 years of estrangement, misunderstanding and tensions between Cuba and the United States, it was her fate to be born on a new era on the relations between the two countries, an era which will bring about other challenges and new hopes.

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