The return to Cuba, a year ago, of the antiterrorist Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, and Antonio Guerrero supposed the ending of the struggle of an entire people for the freedom of Five men, heroes of their Homeland.
Hernández, Labañino, and Guerrero, next to René González and Fernando González (best known as the Five) were arrested by U.S. authorities in 1998 and sentenced, in a faked process, to top-heavy incarcerations for alerting of violent actions planned by terrorist groups from Florida against Cuba.
This fact was the beginning of a long and difficult battle for freedom of five exceptional men who despite the hardships of prison, never gave in to pressures, or injustice, neither betrayed their ideals.
This sparkled a struggle for more than a decade for the liberation of these men who embarked in that mission with the goal of protecting their homeland from the terrible effects of the scourge of terrorism.
For that reason the words of the historical leader of the Cuban Revolution were heard then asserting on, June 23, 2001: The innocence of those patriots is complete. I only tell you one thing they will Return!
And indeed, they returned. First it was René, later Fernando: in both cases, after completing their respective sentences they set foot in Cuban soil to receive homage and the love of a thankful Cuba. The cause of the Five had become the cause of an entire town and drew solidarity from all over the world.
However, happiness was not complete, as it was recognized then: three fight brothers were missing, René and Fernando said, and the relatives of the Five knew it, and all Cuba felt it.
Hence the magic of December 17, 2014 when a new stage was announced in the United States – Cuba relationships and Washington recognized that it had clearly failed in its hostile politics for more than half a century against Cuba and finally the three heroes who remained prisoners were set free and could return to their island.
The news became official during the Cuban president’s memorable television address.
In his address, Raul Castro reminded Fidel Castro’s promise and he said in a happiness shared by 11 million countrymen: arrived today in our Homeland, Gerardo, Ramón and Antonio.
When Raúl Castro welcomed them, he expressed the gratitude of the entire country and the Five – finally together – ratified their fidelity to Homeland and showed their will to keep on fulfilling the tasks the Revolution assigns them.
Later on, in February, the antiterrorists would be awarded with the Playa Giron Order, the title of Hero of the Republic of Cuba (distinction they already had since 2001) and they would fulfill a dream: the beloved meeting with the historical leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro.