When Olga Salanueva was asked about how she and Rene Gonzalez manage to make their love survive, she answered that there is no formula. She said that their relation, like in the case of the rest of the Five, is based on love. And, as it is said, love can do anything.
When Olga Salanueva first met Rene Gonzalez, she was 22 and had a job in the accountant department at the then Ministry of Foreign Commerce. “Rene was attending the classes of a colleague of mine’s husband”, she explained. “They introduced us because they thought there would be chemical attraction between us”.
They married in 1983, one year after the engagement. In December, 1990, René González Sehwerert, one of the Cuban five antiterrorists, was alledged to highjack an aircraft, with which he left for the United States in order to monitor Florida-based terrorist organizations.
Olga, at this time, when couples get together and split up amazingly frequent, how do you manage to make love survive?
There is no formula. Our relation, like in the case of the rest of the Five, is based on love. As it is said, love can do anything. We haven’t permitted that other people, the empire even less, influence on us to make us be separated. We have never given up, not even in the most difficult moments when we didn’t know about them for years. I’m no referring to the prison times, but to when he left, because we barely communicate each other. They were very difficult, hard and sad times.
When we met again (Miami, 1996), it was like a new beginning. We felt as if the six years that had passed didn’t exist. We felt as if Rene had been away for only one week.
Because when we met again, I realized he was the same Rene I already knew. We found out that our love was not intact, but greater. That’s the hope we live with now. I know that when he returns and walks through the house door, I will feel as if he had never left. The empire has used all its means and money to destroy not only a couple, but a whole family. And when I say family, I multiply the word by five. But we still have a whole life to live, a lot to do for the happiness of our family and our society.
Which was the last compliment you received from him?
Last Saturday, Radio Rabelde’s La luz en lo oscuro (The light in the dark) program was recorded. We were invited by Arleen (Rodriguez Derivet) on occasion of the Day of Love. All the wives were present, and so was Antonio’s mother, Mirta. That day I could hear Rene’s voice again. Antonio, Ramón and Fernando also spoke with us, but it was not possible to talk to Gerardo. That day, he made me his latest compliment in the form of a poem.
How have you both felt since his supervised release last October 7th?
It’s has been also a difficult time. Feelings are quite mixed. When I go to bed I say to myself that at least he’s not in prison anymore (…) but, immediately, another though comes into my mind. Now he is in a situation that is neither worse nor better. It’s a different one, but as cruel and unjust as the previous one. He’s there by himself, in a location where his life is in danger. (…) He got an additional punishment for having been born in America.
In September, 2000, Rene wrote you a letter in which he said: “I believe that sooner or later everything will be solved and we will finally be together with our girls, to restart our life right from where we left it, with that capacity to love each other that half the world, in addition to nearly the other half, would feel envy about”. How worthy are still these words to Olga Salanueva?
We will restart our life. It will return to its normal course. We insist on taking care of both our physical and mental health. We will see our offsprings grow up, although Ivette, the youngest, is almost 14. We will certainly see how she and Irmita will develop themselves as human beings. After that, the grandchildren will come. That’s the day I wait for.