Historic visit of the Cuban 5 to El Salvador
San Salvador, El Salvador – The Cuban 5 spent well over a decade in U.S. prisons, arrested by the U.S. government in the late 1990s for monitoring anti-communist Cuban groups based in Miami, Florida that have planned terror activities against socialist Cuba. The five were recently released from U.S. prisons in the face of a worldwide movement demanding their freedom. They returned to a heroes welcome in Cuba, unbroken and firm in their dedication to the Cuban revolution. Their release by the U.S. government was an early move in the renewing of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the U.S.
The five – René González, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Gerardo Hernández y Fernando González – are now visiting several countries to give thanks to the people that supported them and support Cuba. As part of that, they made a historic visit to El Salvador on July 21. They had a packed agenda, including paying homage to slain Archbishop Óscar Arnulfo Romero who was assassinated by a right wing death squad during the Salvadoran Civil War, and Cuban patriot Jose Martí. They met with Salvadoran President Salvador Sánchez Ceren, who is a historic leader of the leftist Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN). They closed their visit with a packed mass meeting at the amphitheatre of the University of El Salvador (UES), the only public university in El Salvador. UES is an institution with a long and historic tradition of revolutionary thinking and struggle.
The 5 Cuban heroes were warmly welcomed at the UES with the traditional chant of the universitary students, “esta es la U!” (“This is the U!”). They gave a very emotional speech to the crowd that packed the facility.
They were also given a recognition by the FMLN Political Commission, the leadership of the leftist party that governs El Salvador, and by the Salvadoran Palestinian community who gifted them with beautiful black and white keffiyehs, which they proudly put on while on stage.
Before visiting El Salvador, the Cuban 5 also visited Nicaragua on the anniversary of the 1979 Sandinista revolution there, and visited South Africa. The revolutionary movements in all three countries have deep historic ties to the Cuban revolution.