Joined together to celebrate the end and bid farewell to the unjust imprisonment.
With the participation of Ramón Labañino, René González, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González and their relatives, the 18th and last political and cultural meeting “On the 3rd, at 4 p.m. for the Cuban 5” was celebrated last January 5 in the Rubén Martínez Villena Hall of the National Union of Cuban Writers and Artists (UNEAC), an action initiated in February 2013 by the Organization of Solidarity of the Peoples of Africa, Asia and Latin America (OSPAAAL).
Using photos, posters, gigantic images, songs, videoclips and poems, the meeting recalled moments of the 17 previous occasions that throughout the last two years represented the unceasing and hopeful claim made by artists, relatives, personalities and activists of the international solidarity in Cuba and abroad, committed with the cause of the freedom of the Five Cuban heroes.
Paintings dedicated by great Cuban artists to the anti-terrorist fighters contained in the book Desde la soledad y la esperanza; the music videos El dulce abismo, by filmmaker Santiago Rony Feliú, dedicated to Carmen and Adriana, mother and wife, respectively, of Gerardo; and Yellow Ribbon, English version directed and performed by admired Cuban artists following an original idea of René González, were some of the works presented as a summary, which --amid applause, tightly held hands and embraces-- again produced the indiscreet tears that have been present since the arrival of the Five Heroes last December 17, 2014 and their reunion with the fatherland.
The meeting was the occasion to thank all Cuban and world creators who with their art contributed to divulge the case internationally and to commit more and more persons to the struggle against the unjust imprisonment of the Five. Also acknowledged was the participation and sensitive contribution to the actions in favor of their freedom made by diplomats, ambassadors, political representatives and friends in solidarity from more than 50 countries who attended many of the monthly activities convoked by the OSPAAAL with the support of the International Committee for the Freedom of the Five, ICAP and UNEAC.
Ramón Labañino expressed his gratitude in simple and fraternal words: “Thank you for being here, for being united, for being at our side; thank you, brothers. The cause of all your peoples is also our cause; we shall be wherever we may contribute with our modest efforts”.
During the regular section “Anecdotes behind Bars”, which now were “Anecdotes in Freedom”, hero and poet Antonio Guerrero took the floor with a love declaration to his Cuba: “Many persons are imprisoned and their countries, with efforts, bring them back to the fatherland, but I think the way that happens in Cuba is unique; the warmth with which we were received by comrade Raúl, the President of the country in his own office, was something that did away with any distancing, any type of protocol. That moment made us feel truly in the fatherland”.
Tony, when referring to their future activities, comments that they are here, that they will fulfill another task, and paraphrases Martí saying: “I can’t remember what I did; I only remember what I’m going to do”. And ends with an expression that once more denotes his extreme modesty: “Our task would have also been fulfilled by millions of Cubans, millions of people in the world: not to give up in the face of blackmail, bribing, pressure…”
Another moment focused moving attention: the moment Tony told in full detail how the end and good-bye to the prison surprised him, until the meeting on the way back with his brothers Ramón and Gerardo the night before traveling to Cuba.
This emotive welcome to freedom, crowded the hall that for two years was tribune and trench for the release from prison of the Five, was the end of a cycle of programs constructed with self-sacrificing dedication by the photo-reporter of Tricontinental magazine Santiago Rony Feliú. New initiatives in favor of justice and solidarity are glimpsed at.
BY JULIO PÉREZ, RHC AND LC/TRICONTINENTAL