THE 8th International Colloquium for the Freedom of the Five and against Terrorism ended in the eastern province of Holguín with the closing event calling for the liberation of the Cuban anti-terrorist fighters unjustly detained in the United States.
The event brought together close to 400 delegates and invitees from Holguín, who expressed their support for the cause of Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, René González, Gerardo Hernández and Fernando González.
In this final event of the forum, Irma Sehwerert, the mother of René González, read a message sent by her son for the occasion.
René’s letter expressed gratitude for the effort once again made by compañeros in Holguín, this time even more challenging as a consequence of Hurricane Sandy.
The text thanks members for efforts made all over the world during the last 14 years in this fight for justice. Visibly moved, Irma reiterated, "The Five are going to come back, because we are going to bring them back."
Representatives of Holguín youth, a number of delegations and Kenia Serrano, president of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), also spoke at the event.
Serrano affirmed, "From this island, the population of which is a mix of Africans, Europeans, Asians, Latin Americans and Caribbeans, we invite organizations, groups, public figures and intellectuals; plus all people of goodwill, to join these gestures of solidarity toward just causes, such as the demand for the end of the blockade and the injustice being committed by the U.S. government against the five Cuban anti-terrorists."
She also expressed gratitude to "the people of Holguín, the organizers of a magnificent solidarity encounter, its authorities and institutions and, very especially the children, for having hosted it despite the effects of Hurricane Sandy." She referred to the delegates’ participation in hurricane relief efforts in agriculture and construction in the seven municipalities most affected by Sandy.
The way in which the decision to accept Palestine as an observer state in the United Nations was welcomed was also mentioned by the ICAP president, who affirmed, "We Cubans support their cause."
She referred to the solidarity of the Cuban people with Puerto Rican independence fighters and Sahawaris imprisoned in Morocco; with Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange; with Argentina’s just claim to the Malvinas; with Nicaragua, El Salvador and Haiti. She thanked friends who defied the blockade to attend the Colloquium.
The ICAP president sent greetings to Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, in Cuba for ongoing medical treatment; and the Presidents of Ecuador, Bolivia and the other ALBA countries.
Another speaker at the closing event was Waffica Ibrahim from Lebanon, who thanked Cuba for making solidarity so contagious. She affirmed that the hope of her people is in the Cuban people. She emphasized the international struggle for the rights of the Palestinian people and called on delegates to work hard and fight quantitatively and qualitatively better for Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, René González, Antonio Guerrero and René González.
At the beginning of the closing session of the 8th International Colloquium, Naila Leila Rodríguez spoke on behalf of Holguín students, who are also playing their part in the battle to end the injustice against the Five, and making their voices heard in all possible forums so that President Barack Obama finally orders their release.
Also announced in Holguín was the scheduling for November 2014 in Havana of the 3rd World Solidarity with Cuba Conference, part of what Gerardo Hernández called the jury of millions needed to attain the liberation of the Five and their return to Cuba.