June 3, 2014
Gerardo Hernández is 49 today. We recently posted an announcement on Cubadebate about how to send him Happy Birthday messages through our website or writing directly to the radio program hosted by Tanya Torres in California. He’s been in prison for 15 years after a trumped-up trial in Miami that gave him a very long and unjust sentence: two life terms plus 15 years, which is currently serving in the prison of Victorville, California.
In his cell he can listen to Tanya’s program “Canto sin fronteras” (Song without borders). The first broadcast took place last Saturday, May 31 (the next one will be on June 7). What follows is Gerardo’s reaction, written in a letter that he sent to International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban Five coordinator Alicia Jrapko.
I’d like to convey my joy and appreciation to Tanya in this language [Spanish], as there’s no better one to express our emotions… I confess that every year on June 4 Tanya surprises me and at the end of her program I tell myself the same thing: “If the Five are not released earlier, on my next birthday it will be harder for Tanya and her team to dedicate to me a better program than this one!”
But I’m always wrong: they invariably surprise me, and in a better way every year. I was quite moved by today’s program as I listened to the concert they dedicated to Fernando at the University of Havana. My brother’s words, the music, the ad-libbing, what our dear and recently deceased Juan Formell said… All of it! I thought I was dreaming.
I know there are many hands –and many hearts!– behind such a surprise, and I also know there will be a second part next Saturday, so I would like to convey my huge appreciation to Tanya and her team at “Canto sin Fronteras”, the KPFK staff, the comrades who have sent and will keep on sending their best wishes, and in general all those who have made this present possible, as they have all the others that always surprise me when I receive them through the ether right in my cell year after year.
I sincerely thank you all on behalf of the Five, and I assure you –what’s more, I promise Tanya– that one day, when we are already enjoying the freedom that all of you have fought and will keep on fighting so hard for, it will be us who will surprise you through the same radio waves with warm greetings from our dearest homeland. As we used to say in Africa, back when the Cubans and Angolans shared the same trenches, “The struggle goes on! Victory is certain!”
A strong hug,
May 31, 8:42pm
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.