This is the message Cuban Five prisoner Rene Gonzalez sent to Fidel and Raul when he was released after spending 13 years in prison. It is followed, below, by his message to the Cuban people.

Dear Comandante:

First of all an embrace, my gratitude and appreciation not just for all of the support that you have invested in us, for the way in which you have mobilized an entire people and have mobilized international solidarity for our case, but – in the first place – for having served as an inspiration to us, for having been the example which we have followed during these 13 years, and for having been for us a flag behind which we were always going to march.

For us, this mission has been nothing more than the continuation of everything that you have done, which your generation did for the Cuban people and the rest of humanity.

For me it is an enormous pleasure to send you this message, to send you a temporal embrace in this way, because I know that we will finally embrace each other; however much our adversaries try to prevent it, I know that we are going to give each other that embrace. I know that we Five will return because you promised that and because you have mobilized energy, the best of humanity, the will of everyone to make that happen.

For us, it is an honor to serve the cause which you inspired in the people of Cuba, to be your followers, followers of the path which you and Raúl opened, and we will never stop being worthy of this confidence that you deposited in us.

To both of you, to you Fidel, to Raúl, who is now guiding us in this new difficult, complex but glorious stage in which we are immersed in order to break the economic dependence which still fetters us and prevents us from constructing the society we want, I send an embrace from the Five, and say to you both that we always had confidence in you. When we were alone in the hole, when we were incommunicado, when we couldn’t receive any news, when my four brothers knew nothing about their families because they could not tell them, we always had confidence in you both, we always knew that you would not abandon your sons, because we always knew that the Revolution never abandoned those who defended it. That is why it deserves to be defended and that is why we shall always do so.

And although I am not sure that we deserve all the honors that have been given us, I can say to you that the rest of our lives will be dedicated to meriting them, because you inspire us, because you are the flag which taught us how to conduct ourselves and, to the end of our days, we will try to be worthy of the confidence which you deposited in us.

For me now, this is a trench in which I will continue in the same combat to which you called me and I will keep going to the end, until justice is done, following your orders, doing what has to be done.

And I say to Fidel and Raúl: "Comandantes, both of you, at your orders!

Rene Gonzalez

October 19, 2011

Recently released Cuban Five prisoner Rene Gonzalez has also recorded a message to the Cuban people and his supporters around the world from a secret location in Florida, where he is being forced to serve three years probation rather than be allowed to return home to Cuba.

These words are for my people, to whom I owed a message since the day I got out of jail and could not send because of the circumstances surrounding the need for us to have a safe trip.

It’s very difficult talking through a camera to a people that I love so much and that I feel part of, but I needed to communicate with you and say how grateful I am for everything you have done, to tell you that we have felt very accompanied by the messages, the letters from children, all the study and working groups that have sent us their messages from Cuba, the support that we’ve always had and that has fed us in these years of injustice, which are already too many.

For me this moment of happiness we share is, simply, a parenthesis in a history of abuse where an apex of justice has not been made yet. The fact that I am now out of jail only means that one avenue of abuse, which I’d been subject to, has come to a dead end.

But we still have four brothers we have to rescue and we need with us, with their families; among you giving their best and not in those places where they are now, where they get up, wake up every morning, go to a dining room where they shouldn’t eat, walk among people they shouldnt walk with, and we really need to continue with the struggle to keep them going.

For me this is just a trench, a new place on the battlefield where I will keep fighting for justice to be done and for The Five to be back at your side.

I want to send a special greeting to the families of the other four brothers, who have really moved me by their joy. It’s deeply moving when you talk on the phone with a person who has a son or a husband in jail and takes my freedom as if it was the freedom of one of their own. That really moves me and commits me, and we have to keep struggling because they don’t deserve to be where they are.

To all my people, to the thousands of people who have been with us all these years around the world, through whom we have been able to break this information blockade little by little and break the silence that the big media corporations have over the case, I extend on behalf of The Five, my deepest gratitude, my commitment to continue representing you how you deserve, which is ultimately what we The Five are doing, because were not only five, we are a whole people that has stood for 50 years. And thanks to that we are still standing, because we are inspired by you, because we know that we represent you and will never fail you and will always be at the level that you deserve.

A hug for everyone.

The Five love you,  from wherever we are!

Rene Gonzalez