Cuban Five political prisoner Rene Gonzalez Sehwerert was released four months ago under supervision. Granma interviewed his lawyer Philip Horowitz in February 2012., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
April 18, 2012
A message to my people
April 14, 2012
"Year 54 of the Revolution"
Returning to the world of the absurd after a very brief visit to the homeland which has led to the most diverse ramblings – some at a level of insanity only possible for the detractors of our society – it’s time for me to pay a debt I owe to my people with these words. They are not directed to those who were hoping to criticize us, anticipating that my stay in Cuba would become a political event and are now doing so because it was so discreet. Nor are these words directed to those who predicted I would not return and are now seeking the most diverse rationalizations to explain what I did. This is about an elemental responsibility I have to a people who felt as their own the respite offered by my brief visit, many of whom hoped to follow my visit in a spirit of solidarity and generosity. I owe these words only to this last group.
As has been reported, my request to travel to Cuba was of a humanitarian nature, within the letter and spirit of the legal framework established for my supervised release. It did not represent a favor or a political demand, but rather a situation which had been foreseen within the law, which was resolved strictly adhering to the legal stipulations. In this same spirit of respect for the law which has guided us from the beginning of this process, it was absolutely necessary that my stay in the homeland not include anything which did not conform to the nature of my request. We had given our word and the moral authority, which the Five have won over the years throughout this story, was in the balance.
This was the reason for the lack of exposure given my visit, which may have seemed surprising to some. I’m sure that this explanation will be understood by all who love us and who saw my visit as an opportunity for public demonstrations of joy and happiness. The limitations imposed by the nature of my trip made this impossible, beyond that which occurred spontaneously in a few places where my presence was required given the obligation to express my gratitude or shared experiences, in addition to the limitations on my time which was devoted to the reunion with my family and visiting my ill brother, the concrete reason for my trip.
I have returned with unforgettable memories of the brief moments I walked along our streets and the spontaneous contact with some of our people, which are a source of inspiration and give me strength. I received during these days, from Cubans in all walks of life, open and sincere affection, always respectful of the conditions under which my visit took place and with the discretion required, in the most diverse expressions. I knew that by way of everyone of these compatriots, I was receiving the affection of millions who would have liked to have known about my stay. To all – those who I had the privilege of meeting and those I did not – I would like to express my most profound gratitude, be it for your generous demonstrations of respect, your expressions of solidarity or best wishes for my brother.
Returning to the world of the absurd, I will devote myself to continuing this long battle for justice. It was absolutely necessary that my behavior in Cuba be extremely cautious. It was absolutely necessary that I return. I carry in my heart the intense experiences of those beautiful 14 days with my people, with whom I will some day celebrate the return of the Five.
For now, to all of you, in the name of my family and my own, I send you our most profound gratitude.
And in the name of the Five, I reiterate that we will not fail you and will always strive to be worthy of your support.
A firm embrace.
René González Sehwerert