Hero of the Republic of Cuba, Rene Gonzalez and his wife Olga Salanueva concluded their tour of Europe today in Paris, having denounced the injustice surrounding the case of the Cubans who remain incarcerated in the United States for having fought terrorism.
“It is impressive to witness how the solidarity movement for the Cuban Five (as they are known internationally) has grown, Salanueva told Prensa Latina, adding that she felt grateful for the warm welcome she and her husband had received here.
Sixteen Years of Injustice
Rene and Olga first visited Portugal, where they met with European legislators, attorneys, politicians and members of solidarity groups, and also participated in the festival for the Avante newspaper, published by the Communist party.
Both were to travel together to the United Kingdom afterwards, but the British government once again refused to issue a visa to Rene, obliging his wife to travel on alone in order to participate in the meetings with members of parliament and trade union representatives in Liverpool.
Here in France, Rene completed a full agenda that included a reception at the National Assembly by the France/Cuba Parliamentary Friendship Group, and a meeting at the Foreign Ministry with Christophe Quentel, Chief of Mission for Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean.
He also met with political leaders and solidarity organizations like Cuba Si France, Cuba Cooperation and France Cuba, as well as with well-known jurists like Philippe Texier, member of the International Commission to Investigate the Case of the Cuban Five, and former president of the Supreme Court in France.
During the traditional festival for the L´Humanite newspaper, Rene and Olga participated in many acts of solidarity with the Cuban Five, marking the completion of the 16th year since their arrest in the United States.
On September 12, 1998, Rene was arrested along with Antonio Guerrero, Fernando Gonzalez, Ramon Labañino and Gerardo Hernandez, for having warned the Cuban people about violent attacks against Cuba that were being planned from U.S. soil by a mafia in Miami.
The Five were forced to stand trial in Miami, in a proceeding that was plagued with irregularities and resulted in harsh and unjustified sentences.
Rene and Fernando are back in Cuba after having fully completed their sentences, but their other three companions remain locked up.
“We are at an ideal moment to continue gathering together and fighting to put an end to this injustice,” said Salanueva.
Olga, who along with the other spouses, mothers and children of the Five helped over many years to spearhead the campaign for their liberation, said that she was moved at the chance to participate alongside Rene at the many acts of solidarity and to see the growing demand to free Gerardo, Antonio and Ramon.