One year after the remaining three Cuban anti-terrorists –- Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labañino and Antonio Guerrero -- returned home from unjust imprisonment in the U.S., they gathered in Havana on the 17th of December, along with their brothers in struggle Rene Gonzalez and Fernando Gonzalez. They celebrated their return and thanked all of those men and women around the world -- but especially, Cuban Leader Fidel Castro –- for the long battle waged for their final liberation from unjust confinement in the United States.
The Cuban 5 had been imprisoned for infiltrating U.S.-based terrorist groups and reporting on their plans to attack Cuba.
In the year since the beginning of the historic process of the reestablishment of relations between Cuba and the United States, these five heroes have covered thousands of miles, visiting many countries around the world.
In Cuba, they’ve held meetings with people who identify them as symbols of resistance, patriotism and courage. Whether at formal public appearances or in simple encounters, the Cuban Five stand out for their loyalty and dedication to the cause of the Cuban Revolution.
The Cuban people have shown during this past year their deep-rooted respect for these courageous fighters who resisted all pressures while imprisoned in the United States for many years without yielding one inch in their principles.
The Five have also traveled to several countries where the demand for their liberation was embraced by governments, parliaments, political parties and by the people in general.
They’ve received warm welcomes in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia. During their tour of Bolivia, accompanied by President Evo Morales, they visited the rural town of La Higuera where Ernesto Che Guevara was killed, and inaugurated a school bearing his name.
The Five also visited South Africa, Namibia and Angola, where they were received by the highest authorities and political personalities, such as Sam Nujoma in Namibia and South Africa's Winnie Mandela.
Three of the Cuban anti-terrorist heroes fought in Angola for the liberation of that African country and against South Africa's racist apartheid system. It was with deep emotion that they, along with their two other brothers, toured places where they had risked their lives for the freedom of that nation.
These Five Heroes, arrested in Miami in September 1998 and sentenced by U.S. courts in 2001, have vowed to maintain the standards of revolutionary virtues and to carry out whatever other duties are assigned to them in the future.