Journalist Marlene Caboverde Caballero Works for Radio Jaruco in far western Cuba. She is one of the founders of that radio station’s “Wings of Liberty” Committee working to free the Cuban Five. (See: http://www.jarucoradioweb.icrt.cu/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=18&Itemid=153&lang=es ) Marlene writes:
“When I knew that Rotceh Ríos Molina, a doctor from Jaruco, was part of the Henry Reeve Brigade confronting the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone, I was certain of two things: One, this town would be proud one of its sons is doing that work of infinite love, and two, here’s another hero of the homeland. As such, it was necessary for a great friendship to develop and be consolidated between Rotceh and Gerardo Hernández, one of the Cuban Five.”
Marlene describes how she arranged for Alicia Jrapko of the International Committee for the Cuban Five in the United States to receive communications from Gerardo and send them to her. She then relayed the message appearing here to Rotceh in Africa. Rotceh’s reply to Gerardo traveled the other way on the same path.
Gerardo: Our admiration for the Cubans who are fighting against Ebola
(Message of Gerardo Hernández Nordelo, one of the Cuban Five, to Rotceh Ríos Molina, Internal medicine specialist from Jaruco, Cuba.)
November 24, 2014
Dear Brother Rotceh,
I was able to read the note you wrote to Marlene. I appreciate your words, and am very pleased to have this opportunity to send you a salutation. Ever since I came upon the news of Cuban medical brigades leaving for West Africa to fight the Ebola epidemic, we have tried to keep ourselves informed about the extraordinary work our countrymen have been doing.
Now we are paying special attention to Doctor Félix Báez and the state of his health. His course fortunately seems to be satisfactory. I don’t think I can find a more direct way to try to send Félix our best wishes for his quick and total recovery, so I take advantage of these lines.
On not a few occasions throughout these years, we the Five have been asked about what inspires us to resist unjust imprisonment for so long, so far from Cuba and from our families. Even before the present Ebola crisis presented itself, we were always speaking of the attitude of Cuban doctors and other Cuban internationalists as an important source of encouragement, pride, and inspiration for ourselves.
Now with that extraordinary lesson of heroism that you are providing the
world, we feel even more pride, and words would not suffice to express how much you strengthen us with your example. You today are our heroes! To all the comrades who are part of the Cuban medical brigades in West Africa, we express to you our immense admiration, and we ask that you take great care of yourselves. I know that someday when you’ve won that battle for the good of humanity, and when justice has been secured for the Five, we will have the opportunity to embrace each other in the homeland.
All success, brothers! iHasta La Victoria Siempre!
Gerardo Hernández Nordelo,
(Victorville Federal Prison, California, November 21, 2014)
Rotceh: With your example we’ll be able to finish this mission
(Reply from Dr. Rotceh Ríos Molina to Gerardo Hernández Nordelo)
November 25, 2014
Many, but many, thanks. The example of this giant of the Cuban Revolution and his words give us encouragement to keep focused on the mission of saving and bettering lives in these remote places, so beaten down by those greatest of scourges - hunger, immense poverty, illiteracy, and exploitation of man by man. He encourages also as we go about constantly stalking sicknesses, from the simplest and most common of them to the one that has us here today far from our homes.
With his example we will not only be capable of successfully accomplishing this, but also be always firm in doing what’s necessary to make our way to the front. I would want, if it happens my reply reaches him, that he knows it came not just from me, but from all of those here who, like myself, were emotionally affected on reading his lines; we even shouted out revolutionary slogans. We acclaimed for a fact our eventual triumphant return to the homeland.
For the Revolution!
Dr. Rotceh Rios Molina, Internal Medicine specialist.
Translated by Tom Whitney