A standing ovation, joy and endorsement marked the final meeting of the 8th International May Day Brigade upon learning that the Cuban anti-terrorist René González is to remain in Cuba after renouncing his U.S. citizenship.
Kenia Serrano Puig, president of the Cuban Friendship Institute (ICAP), delivered the news and explained that this was no special dispensation from the Obama administration, given that René González had served his prison term and was obliged to spend more than 12 months in the United States on supervised release.
In their Final Declaration, the 300-plus brigadistas from 30 countries agreed a number of actions to demand the liberation of Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González and Gerardo Hernández; to refute media campaigns against Cuba; and to demand an end to the immoral economic and financial blockade, as well as the return of the illegally occupied naval base located in the eastern province of Guantánamo.
For close to two weeks, the solidarity contingent undertook voluntary work, took part in the May Day march in Havana’s historic Plaza de la Revolución, and attended the International Solidarity Conference organized by the Federation of Cuban Workers. At this event they also had the opportunity to speak with family members of the Five, which prompted further actions to continue fighting for the definitive freedom of the Cuban patriots.
Peruvian artist Max Lois Lázaro Moya and the writer Teodoro Rivero Ayón Trujillo donated their works for the enjoyment of the brigadistas, who visited the Julio Antonio Mella International Camp in Caimito, Artemisa province. They affirmed that they were proud of what they had learned in Cuba, committed themselves to continuing the struggle for truth and justice, and the release of the Cuban heroes, who were imprisoned for dismantling terrorist plots organized in the United States by armed anti-Cuban groups.
Close to 10 years after it was established, the May Day Brigade is the largest international brigade to visit Cuba. Its numbers increase every year, an indication of Cuba’s prestige throughout the world.