JOHANNESBURG.—“We will also celebrate the end of the blockade,” the Hero of the Republic of Cuba Gerardo Hernández said this Sunday, during the tribute paid by the Five to anti-apartheid leader Oliver Tambo on their arrival in South Africa.
Hernández expressed his thanks for the support of South Africa in the struggle for the release of the Five Cuban anti-terrorists and also said that in the not too distant future, with the help of solidarity, they would see an end the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States on Cuba.
After a warm welcome by crowds gathered at the Oliver Tambo International Airport, Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González and René González traveled to the cemetery where the remains of the central figure of the African National Congress (ANC) lie. There they were greeted by hundreds of people.
One of those present at the cemetery told Prensa Latina that it was a time of great emotion, as they had spent years calling for the release of the Five and could barely believe that they were here.
It was a welcome overflowing with affection, René said on referring to his initial impressions on arrival.
The Five arrived in South Africa on Sunday following an invitation from the ANC, who organized the visit together with the Communist Party and the Congress of South African Trade Unions. The Society of Friendship with Cuba in South Africaand the National Association of Democratic Lawyers also played an important role in organizing the trip, among others.
This is the first time the Five are traveling together outside of Latin America (they had previously only traveled to Venezuela) and they will be in South Africa until July 3, taking part in the celebrations for the 60th anniversary of the adoption of the Freedom Charter.
This Monday, June 22, the Five begin a tour of the nine provinces of the country, starting with Western Cape. Here, they will be received in the parliament.
Following their stay in South Africa, the Five will continue onwards to Namibia and Angola, the last leg of their tour across Africa.