The Cuban Five today received the Keys to the City of Caracas from Mayor Jorge Rodriguez, which qualifies them as illustrious guests.
At the official welcoming ceremony in the Plaza Simon Bolivar, Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando Gonzalez and Rene Gonzalez, together with their families, laid a wreath at the statue of the Liberator of America.
Rodriguez said Venezuela thus commends the work and struggle carried out by the Cuban Five even when they were away from their homeland.
“We gave you the Keys to Caracas so that you know the gates of Caracas and this Homeland will always be open to you”, he said.
For his part, the head of government of the Capital District, Ernesto Villegas, said the courage and dignity of the Cuban Five in US prisons since 1998, and the resistance of the Cuban people against Washington’s criminal blockade, are a clear example that when peoples fight for peace and independence, they deserve the victory.
The campaign for the release of Gerardo, Rene, Ramon, Fernando and Antonio and their unwavering conviction -he said- gave us fuel and inspiration for Venezuela’s crusade against the meddling decree of President Barack Obama, who considered Venezuela a threat for the US national security.
These men were arrested in 1998 in the United States and sentenced to long terms of imprisonment for preventing aggressions against Cuba and monitoring the actions of violent organizations based in Florida.
Hernandez, Labañino and Guerrero returned to Cuban soil on 17 December and their release was the result of an agreement reached between Cuba and the United States to restore diplomatic relations.
Rene Gonzalez and Fernando Gonzalez were released in 2013 and 2014; respectively, after fully serving their unfair sentences, according to the opinion of many international organizations and personalities.