Gerardo Hernandez of the Cuban Five Speaks in Toronto

4 Apr

Today several hundred people gathered at The Steelworkers Hall in Toronto to hear Gerardo Hernandez speak. Hernandez was a political prisoner in the United Snakes of America put into prison for defending his country, Cuba, from terrorist attacks carried out from US soil. Known as the Cuban Five he along with four others were imprisoned for about 16 years, serving large portions of this time in isolation, in horrible conditions, denied visits from loved ones as well as medical attention. In the case of Hernandez he was given a double life sentence plus fifteen years to be freed by the power of the people whom took to the streets all around the world.

As someone who was active on the campaign to free the Cuban Five from the start, the fact that Hernandez was sitting in the same room as myself seemed to me to be some sort of miracle and despite all that they put him through it was quite clear that the United Snakes of America did not break him. Speaking about a variety of issues ranging from the future of the revolution, to the successes of the revolution to political prisoners one could hear the drop of a needle as so many people were spellbound by his revolutionary ardor. His passion when talking about the Cuban Revolution its gains and obstacles was contagious, as well as his passion for the rights of political prisoners so much so that when he said we must free Mumia, Peltier and Irish POWS everyone started clapping. Thunderous applause was also heard throughout the night as he talked about the revolution not as something theoretical but rather something of flesh and blood that impacted him growing up and shaped his life. When hearing him talk about his childhood one could fully see the dedication of this man and the love this man has for the Cuban Revolution, the same love and dedication that led him to sacrifice 16 years of his life in a US jail for this revolution.

His internationalism was also quite evident as he had quite an understanding of international revolutionary movements such as the Irish Republican Resistance which he demonstrated afterwords in a brief chat we had in which he sent revolutionary greetings to the 32CSM and met woth the Hugo Chavez Peoples Defense Front.

This meeting was not just a showcase to the strength of this revolutionary but also to the strength of the people as a political force who were able to mobilize resist and with the revolutionary leadership of the Cuban Communist Party rip this person from the belly of the beast and re unite him with his family. This lesson is one we must apply now as we struggle to free our comrades in the belly of the beast, from Peltier to the Craigavon Two.

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One Response to “Gerardo Hernandez of the Cuban Five Speaks in Toronto”

  1. Cass Murray April 4, 2016 at 10:42 pm #

    Glad you could witness that very inspiring your post.

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