The Coordinator of the Antonio Maceo Brigade, Andrés Gómez Barata (right), presented a book of condolences to ICAP Vice President Fernando González Llort. Photo: Karoly Emerson (ICAP)

The Coordinator of the Antonio Maceo Brigade, Andrés Gómez Barata, presented a book of condolences to the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP) in Havana, reflecting the sentiments of Cubans living in Miami following the death of the Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro Ruz.

Fernando González Llort, decorated Hero of the Republic of Cuba and ICAP vice-president, received the book and thanked the Alianza Martiana (AM), a coalition of organizations promoting the initiative, for this gesture of solidarity.

He also expressed the island’s gratitude for the efforts to counter the slanderous media campaigns against Cuba and hostile acts promoted by counterrevolutionary forces residing in southern Florida.

Gómez Barata explained that signatures for the condolence book were collected during an event held on December 18 in Miami, at the AM’s headquarters. This society groups together the Antonio Maceo Brigade, the José Martí Associations, the Christian Women in Defense of the Family Associations, the Bolivarian Circles of Miami, and the Intellectuals and Ibero-American Artists’ Circle.

Each of these organizations called on their members to join the Cuban people to reject attempts to sully the figure of Fidel following his passing.

During the tribute to the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution held in Miami, speakers discussed the life and work of the Comandante en Jefe and his international scope. A group of less than fifty Cuban counterrevolutionaries failed to disrupt the event.

This meeting also served to kick off celebrations for the 40th anniversary of the Antonio Maceo Brigade, which since its founding on December 21, 1977, has facilitated a more effective and normal relationship between Cuban émigrés in the United States and the Caribbean Island.

Likewise, José Buajasán, author of the book Operation Peter Pan, described the tribute to Fidel in Miami as an act of courage, patriotism and sincere love for the revolutionary leader.

Operation Peter Pan was one of the most secret and sinister schemes of ideological and political subversion organized by the U.S. Department of State, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and counterrevolutionary organizations in their Cold War fight against the Cuban Revolution during the 1960s. Through propaganda claiming that the revolutionary government would take away parents’ Patria Potestad (paternal authority), they were encouraged to send their children unaccompanied to the U.S. in what appeared to be a spontaneous migration process.

Intellectual Ricardo Alarcón recalled the battles fought for the return of Elián González to his family in Cuba in 2000, and the Five Cuban anti-terrorists who suffered years of unjust imprisonment in the United States.

In this regard Alarcón noted: “The AM has always fought for the sovereignty and independence of our country.”

Meanwhile, Gómez Barata highlighted that this January 20 “a new administration took office in the United States. In the present context, the Alianza Martiana and, more specifically, the Antonio Maceo Brigade, will not diminish the intensity of its work, but rather on our 40th anniversary we are preparing to hold conferences, mass protests, large-scale acts and automobile caravans to support the current process of the normalization of relations between the U.S. and Cuba.