|Cuban diplomats Teresita Vicente and Jorge Garcia salute the Five|
By New Worker correspondent
Over 200 special guests celebrated the 56th year of the Cuban Revolution and the freedom of the Miami Five at a packed Bolivar Hall in London last week. NCP leader Andy Brooks and Daphne Liddle from the Central Committee joined trade unionists, campaigners, actors and artists at the event called by the Cuban embassy and the Cuba Solidarity Campaign (CSC), which had campaigned for 16 years for the release of the five anti-terrorist heroes who returned home to Cuba on 17th December 2014.
CSC Director Rob Miller paid tribute to the five brave men and their families and TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady spoke about the labour movement’s efforts to win the Cuban prisoners’ freedom. Cuban Ambassador Teresita Vicente thanked the British trade union movement for its tireless campaigning on the Five: “This is not the end, this is the beginning. And I promise you, like Raul and Fidel Castro have both promised – Guantanamo will be back.” To huge applause she said: “Together, we will defeat the blockade” and “Cuba will be socialist forever.”
Rene Gonzalez, one of the Five, was denied a visa to attend the meeting. But his voice was heard when former Unite general secretary Tony Woodley took to the stage with his mobile phone to link up to Rene in Havana.
Rene Gonzalez has been denied a British visa on two occasions, even though he has been able to visit other European countries, including Spain, Portugal and France. Speakers stressed that this cruel visa ban will be challenged at every level until Rene and the rest of the Miami Five are able to join us here in what will be a major celebration of the victory achieved in this long and hard-fought campaign for justice.