Republic of Cuba and former Cuban 5
political prisoner, Gerardo Hernández
made a tour to a number of cities in Canada
including Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto,
Vancouver and Nanaimo. His travel
to Canada was initially upon invitation
from the United Steel Workers (USW)
union for their annual convention, which
took place in Montreal. However Gerardo
alongside the rest of the 5 Cuban
Heroes knew very well that Canada has
many important and long time defenders
of freedom of the Cuban 5 especially
in Vancouver where the Free the Cuban
5 Committee-Vancouver had organized
110 monthly protests in front of the U.S.
Consulate demanding freedom for the
Cuban 5. Gerardo knew that if he had
the ability to travel to Canada it would be
an important opportunity to meet with
the friends of the Cuban 5 who during
their 16 years of unjust imprisonment in
the U.S. struggled in the international
movement to achieve their freedom.
Who are Gerardo Hernández and the 5
Gerardo Hernández was a leader of the
Cuban 5 sent to Miami, Florida to investigate
terrorist activities against Cuba. In
September 1998, Gerardo, René, Ramón,
Antonio and Fernando, also known as
the Cuban 5, were arrested and held for
18 months in solitary confinement in
the United States. Eventually they were
charged and found guilty of false charges
such as, ‘conspiracy to commit espionage’
and ‘conspiracy to commit murder’. Gerardo
was given the most severe sentence,
double-life plus 15 years. The United
States wanted Gerardo to live his life and
eventually die in a U.S. prison.
Meanwhile in Cuba and around the
world people rose up to demand the freedom
of these political prisoners held in
U.S. jails. Gerardo was finally released
and returned to Cuba on December 17,
2014 as part of the thaw in U.S./Cuba
relations. He spent over 16 years unjustly
held in United States jail.
During those 16 years Gerardo was also
prevented from seeing his wife, Adriana
Perez, who was repeatedly denied a visa
to visit the United States. Today Gerardo
and the Cuban 5 have been all living
freely in Cuba for over a year. He is living
happily with his wife, Adriana and their
baby daughter, Gema.
The Presence of Gerardo is Our
Gerardo’s visit to Canada was of significant
importance. Not only did he come
here to meet and thank all of the longtime
supporters of the Cuban 5 but he
also came with a special message which
you will notice as a theme in the following
reports about his trip here: The necessity
to end the cruel and inhuman U.S.
blockade against Cuba.
Although Cuba and the U.S. are moving
forward in many aspects of the more than
50-year U.S. imposed freeze of relations
between the two countries, the most important
factors of the U.S. criminal policy
against Cuba are still very much in place,
the U.S. Blockade & the illegal occupation
of Guantánamo Bay. Gerardo’s message
was simply that the job of Cuba’s
friends is not over, that now more than
ever friendship with Cuba is critical and
a strong, consistent and united campaign
to lift the U.S. blockade and give Guantanamo
back to Cuba are necessary.
The following section of this issue of Fire
This Time Newspaper is an accumulation
of reports from the very successful visit of
revolutionary hero Gerardo Hernández
to Canada concluding in the transcript
of the entire speech made by Gerardo to
more than 250 participants at the Vancouver
Public Library made on April 12,
Gerardo Hernández meets the Mayor of Fort Erie
Toronto, April 3, 2016.
The Hero of the Republic of Cuba, Gerardo
Hernández visited the cities of Niagara Falls and Fort Erie as part of
his tour in Canada, allowing him to thank the local solidarity movement
for all the years of efforts as part of the international campaign
for the release of the Cuban Five.
Accompanied by several executives of the Cuba - Canada Friendship
Association in the region, Gerardo was received by Fort Erie Mayor,
Wayne Redekop, whom he recognized the several years of support to
the Cuba solidarity groups in the area. The meeting took place in a
fraternal and informal atmosphere, where both parties were able to
exchange on topics of interest.
Accompanied by the Consul General of Cuba in Toronto, Javier Dómokos
Ruiz, Gerardo could update in the exchanges on the major
challenges facing Cuba today, mainly regarding the need to lift the
US blockade against Cuba and the return of the Guantanamo Naval
Gerardo Hernandez participates today in the Convention of the
United Steelworkers taking place in the city of Montreal. Then he will
travel to Ottawa and Vancouver to participate in events organized by
the movement of solidarity with Cuba in Canada.
Reprinted from: Consulate General of Cuba-Toronto
USW 2016 National Policy Conference Passes Resolution Against U.S. Blockade on Cuba
Ottawa, April 12, 2016.
Last week, Canada´s United Steelworkers
National Policy Conference passed a resolution condemning U.S.
blockade against Cuba, with the presence of Cuban Hero Gerardo
Hernández Nordelo, one of the Cuban 5 formerly held in U.S. prisons.
Hernández Nordelo, who had been invited to attend the 53rd USW
National Policy Conference, addressed the delegates at the closing
ceremony and thanked, on behalf of his comrades, Canadian
steelworkers for their commitment and support to the international
campaign to free the Cuban Five. Gerardo gave an account of the
reasons leading these five Cuban young men to prevent Floridabased
terrorist groups from carrying out other actions against their
country which have caused so many deaths and suffering to the
Cuban people for more than five decades.
The United Steelworkers is the largest private trade union in North
America with more than 225,000 members in Canada. It had a
very active participation in the international campaign to free the
Cuban Five antiterrorists, which was one of its international policy
Besides attending the USW National Policy Conference, Gerardo
Hernández is also visiting many Canadian cities as a way to show
his gratitude to thousands of people in Canada who contributed to
his freedom and that of his comrades.
Reprinted from: Embassy of Cuba in Canada
Montreal, April 5, 2016.
Hernández Nordelo arrived
in the city of Montreal
yesterday night. Gerardo
has been invited to attend
working sessions of the Canadian
Steel Workers Congress
where he will hold
several meetings with steel workers and union leaders.
The Cuban hero is expected to meet with some friends of Cuba, members of the Cuba Solidarity
movement, as wells as with a large number of Quebeckers who added their voices to the fight
for the freedom of the Cuban Five. Gerardo´s visit also includes a keynote speech and some press
On the last day of his visit Gerardo will hold talks with officials of the Kahnawake First Nation
Reserve, southwest of Montreal Island.
Gerardo Hernádez was welcome at the Montreal airport by members of the Cuban state mission
in this city.
Reprinted from: Cuban Consul General-Montreal
Toronto, April 3, 2016.
Gerardo Hernandez Nordelo, one of the Cuban
Five and Hero of the Republic of Cuba, arrived this Sunday to Canada as
part of an invitation to participate in the Convention of the Steelworkers
Union in Montreal. Solidarity groups, friends and Cubans living abroad
welcomed Gerardo at Toronto airport with signs and Cuban flags.
In the afternoon the Cuban Hero participated in a public event at the historic
Steelworkers Hall in Toronto. Jorge Garcia -Orgales, from United
Steelworkers addressed the audience with the opening remarks. The labour
activist Heide Trampus read a message sent to Gerardo from the US
National Network on Cuba. Different speakers such as the lawyer Juan
Carranza, who acted as MC, Pablo Godoy, national representative for the
United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW),
Miguel Figueroa, from the Communist Party of Canada, Liz Hill, President
of the CCFA-Toronto, and Brian Gordon Sinclair, writer and actor,
thanked Gerardo for being an example and for showing what convictions
are about. Lisa Makarchuk recalled the beginning of the struggle for the
Cuban Five and all those who are no longer with us. Councilor Joe Mihevc
presented a Certificate to Gerardo on behalf of the city and stressed
the values represented by the Cuban Five.
Consul General of Cuba, Javier Dómokos Ruiz, presented a message
from the Cuban Ambassador Julio Garmendia Peña and introduced to
Gerardo the diversity of the solidarity movement towards the freedom
of the Cuban Five in Canada. The Cuban diplomat stressed the values of
the Cuban Hero as a revolutionary, as a father, as a son and as a husband.
In his speech, Gerardo Hernández on behalf of his four brothers and
their families thanked the support and the hard work of the solidarity
movement towards their release. He also explained that there are new
battles concerning the lifting of the US blockade, the return of the territory
illegally occupied by the Guantanamo Naval Base. The Cuban Hero
stressed that the Cuban Revolution has not renounced to any of its principles
and will continue with its longstanding solidarity with the just
There were standing ovations during the speech and heartfelt messages of
support and solidarity with the Cuban Revolution from an audience that
surpassed the 300 people present.
Gerardo Hernandez Nordelo will also visit the cities of Montreal, Ottawa
and Vancouver to participate in public events organized by the solidarity
Reprinted from: Consulate General of Cuba-Toronto
Ottawa, April 11, 2016.
Over one hundred people gathered
at the Cuban Embassy in Canada last Saturday to welcome
Cuban Hero Gerardo Hernández Nordelo. Gerardo is visiting
many Canadian cities as a way to express, on behalf of
the Cuban 5, his gratitude to thousands of Canadians for
their solidarity and commitment to their cause.
Gerardo, who addressed a clearly moved audience, told some
stories of the tough times he and his four brothers had to
go through since the very moment they were caught, during
their time in maximum security prisons —where they were
sent to punishment cells for long periods of time despite no
misconduct—, until the day they were released.
The mere fact that he knew they were not alone, that thousands
of people from around the globe supported their
cause —rallying in front of U.S. embassies and consulates
regardless of the weather and writing letters to American
officials calling for their liberation, among many other actions—
gave them the strength not to break during such an
Gerardo exchanged some ideas with the attendees for more
than two hours and took all kinds of questions. He made
reference to the terrorist actions that had been planned and
conducted by Miami-based terrorist groups which they had
infiltrated. He talked about absurd incidents of their trial
and shared his views on the process of normalization of relations
between Cuba and the United States. Likewise, the
Cuban Hero reiterated his willingness to serve his homeland
and its people wherever needed.
On behalf of Ottawa-Cuba Connection Solidarity Group,
Linda Dams, Joan Bishop, Maricarmen Guevara, Pagi Taylor
and Bill Ryan, with an active participation in the Cuban
Five´s freedom campaign, thanked Gerardo for having
shared his experiences and also for his strength of spirit and
determination throughout the long struggle to secure their
return to their homeland.
Finally, the Hero of the Republic of Cuba firmly stated that
all friends of Cuba can still rely on its unchanging support
and solidarity to all just causes of developing countries.
Members of the Latin American Diplomatic Corps, Cuban
residents in Canada, as well as all Cuban Embassy officials,
staff and their relatives attended the celebration.
Reprinted from: Embassy of Cuba in Canada
Vancouver & B.C. Welcome Cuban 5 Hero Hernández
April 12 & 13, 2016
Click here for the report for the Gerardo Hernández events in Vancouver & Nanaimo
Click here for the report for the Gerardo Hernández events in Vancouver
Click here for Gerardo's Speech at the event in Vancouver
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