ALTHOUGH conventional dates are not of much importance to René González, this August 13 is special. After spending so many years unjustly incarcerated in a U.S. prison, he can finally celebrate his 57th birthday in his beloved Cuba.
René was born in the U.S. city of Chicago, on August 13, 1956. His parents cooperated from there with the 26th of July Movement and after the triumph of the Revolution in 1959, settled permanently in Cuba, until René returned to the United States in 1990.
Now, after renouncing his U.S. citizenship, Judge Joan Lenard of the Florida Southern District Court – the same lawmaker who sentenced him to 15 years’ imprisonment in 2001 for combating terrorism – modified the conditions of his supervised release and, fortunately, allowed him to remain in Cuba.
However, René’s happiness will not be complete at the birthday celebration. His father, Cándido and his brother Roberto will not be physically present. Also absent are his four brothers in struggle, Ramón Labañino, Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero and Fernando González, who are still completing long prison terms for the crime of defending the interest of the Cuban nation and people.
I am not going to feel completely free as long as my four brothers are not in their homeland with their families," René, together with his compañeros, a Hero of the Republic of Cuba, has stated.
"The case of the Five is a crime committed in the face of all humanity, it is a crime committed every day of the year, and has been committed now for 15 years," he affirmed.
"For us, it is clear that it is not legal considerations that will make the U.S. government correct this injustice. This is a political case, the laws are merely an adornment utilized to take revenge; to take revenge on Cuba, to take revenge on our people in the body of the Five."
Fate decided that he would share his birth date with that of the leader of the Revolution, Fidel Castro, whom he thanked in a message made public in October 2011 for providing inspiration for the Five. "For us, it is a honor to serve the cause which you inspired in the people of Cuba, to be your followers, followers along the way that you and Raúl [Castro] opened, and we will never cease being worthy of the confidence that you placed in us."