Cuban Five’s Return – Raul Castro’s Speech

Wednesday was a day of great emotion for all Cuba and supporters worldwide of the Cuban Five, to see Gerardo, Ramón and Antonio step down from the plane, to be received by President Raúl Castro and their loving families and the Cuban people in celebration.

The day that we all waited for came as a wonderful surprise for its suddenness but in reality, the sense of freedom was in the air, as the movement for the Five’s freedom was growing greatly in depth and size.

Every major media outlet spent all day covering the news of the opening in US-Cuba relations as well as the return of Gerardo, Ramón, Antonio, Fernando and René, and for the US media the return of Alan Gross to the US as well.

For the National Committee to Free the Cuban Five, we are overjoyed that our brothers are home, forever free from the unjust imprisonment and cruel punishment that denied them their freedom for 16 long years. Proud and vindicated, an example of determination and revolutionary discipline, Gerardo, Ramón, Antonio, Fernando and René will always be admired and respected for their resistance, for never surrendering their principles to US authorities. Their families were an example of steadfastness and sacrifice to do everything in their power to free their loved ones.

Dear brothers, the world celebrates your freedom! You inspire Cuba and the whole world that opposes the blockade. This gives an enormous impetus for the struggle to lift the illegal and immoral policy that is only meant to inflict suffering on the Cuban people.

It is clear that the United States government could no longer “advance its interests” in the same way, and felt compelled to take certain measures, including the establishment of diplomatic relations and limited economic steps. There is a very long way to go toward normalization of US-Cuba relations. We fully stand by Cuba’s right to its sovereignty and independence without US interference or pressure. End the Blockade Now!

Thank you Gerardo, Ramón, Antonio, Fernando and René!

Our special appreciation to everyone who worked all these years for the Five Heroes’ freedom, who had unbreakable faith that they would return and contributed their efforts to that objective, from the Cuban people to many thousands of people around the world, and a special thanks to all the attorneys who struggled for Gerardo, Ramón, Antonio, Fernando and René’s freedom. ¡VOLVIERON!

* Click to view an album of photos of the Five’s return

* Click to read Cuban President Raúl Castro’s message

* Click to read a radio interview with National Committee coordinator Gloria La Riva