Havana, Dec 17.- The return to Cuba, one year ago today, of Cuban fighters against terrorism, Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labañino and Antonio Guerrero, was the culmination of the struggle of a people for the release of Five men, heroes of their country.
Hernandez, Labañino and Guerrero, along with Rene Gonzalez and Fernando Gonzalez, (known as the Cuban Five), was detained by U.S. authorities in 1998 and sentenced, in a rigged trial, to disproportionate penalties for warning from violent actions boosted from Florida against Cuba by terrorist groups.
This fact would represent the principle of a long and hard battle for the release of five exceptional men, that despite the vicissitudes of the prison, never gave in against the pressures, or yielded to injustice, or betrayed their ideals.
Thus, the fight for the release of these men who went to that mission under the banner of protecting their land from the terrible effects of the scourge of terrorism, would be imposed for more than a decade.
So, the words of the historical leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, were then listened when he accurate and sharp said on June 23, 2001: The innocence of those patriots is total. Just I tell them one thing “They shall return!”
And they indeed returned. Rene returned first, Fernando did later: in both cases, after completing their respective sentences, they stepped on to home soil to receive the tribute and affection of Cuba.
The cause of the Cuban Five had become that of an entire people and attracted the solidarity expression of the most several parts of the world.
However, happiness was not complete, as it was recognized in that time: three brothers in arm were absent, said Rene and Fernando, and the relatives of the Five and Cuba also knew.
Hence, when on December 17, 2014, a new era in the Cuba-United States relations was announced, and Washington clearly recognized the failure of its hostile policy of more than 50 years against the Caribbean island and finally the three heroes who remained prisoners were released and allowed to return to their island.
The news was made official during the memorable television appearance by Cuban President, Raul Castro, happened in that special day.
In his speech, the president recalled the current promise by Fidel Castro, and said for shared joy of 11 million compatriots: Gerardo, Ramon and Antonio arrived today to our country.
Upon receiving that day, Raul Castro expressed the gratitude of an entire country and the Cuban Five -finally together- confirmed their loyalty to the country and expressed their full willingness to continue complying with the tasks the Revolution assigns to them.
Subsequently, in February, the five Cuban Fighters against Terrorism would be recognized with the Playa Giron Order, the bestowing of the title of Hero of the Republic of Cuba (a distinction they already held since 2001) and a dream would be materialized: the intimate meeting with the historic leader of the Revolution Cuba, Fidel Castro.(Prensa Latina)
Radio Cadena Agramonte, December 17, 2015