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Press release from Johana Tablada, Cuban Ambassador to Portugal Print E-mail

September 3, 2015

Gerardo Hernandez, Hero of the Republic of Cuba and his wife Adriana Perez and Gema Hernandez Perez, today arrived in Portugal at the end of the afternoon to give thanks for the support to the cause of freedom of the Five and participate in the Festival of Avante.

Invited by the Central Committee of the Portuguese Communist Party (PCP), the leading couple was received at the main airport in Lisbon by Manuel Rodrigues, director of Avante newspaper, member of the Political Commission of the Central Committee of the PCP and Johana Tablada, ambassador Cuba.

Gerardo will be the keynote speaker at an event organized at the scene of solidarity of the international space Fiesta on September 5 at night. The event, dedicated to celebrating and commemorating the release of the Five and to demand an end to the US blockade of Cuba, will also be followed by a concert by Cuban musicians living in Portugal.

During their brief stay, before moving to France and Belgium, the couple will be received by the Secretary General of the PCP Jeronimo de Sousa and will hold meetings with parliamentarians, friendly organizations and various sectors of Portuguese society to those who appreciate the many expressions of support which affected the strengthening of the international effort in favor of freedom of the Five.

Among the major recent actions was the visit of Elizabeth Palmeiro in March 2014 and Rene Gonzalez and Olga Salanueva during the previous event by Avante a year ago. Everyone remembers his emotional statements aimed at sensitizing public opinion and mobilizing friends to win freedom for his comrades and loved ones. Shortly after his return to Cuba a year ago after 13 years of unjust imprisonment, Rene Gonzalez, on more than one occasion, that he would not feel free until justice was done with his brothers. The Cuban delegation participating in the Avante celebration also includes Juan Valdes Figueroa, an official of the Department of International Relations of the Communist Party of Cuba.

In 2014, a large group of representatives of the main parties in the country headed by the deputy speaker of parliament Antonio Filipe, a member of PCP and Chair of the Parliamentary Friendship Group, signed an appeal that was sent to President Barack Obama and the United States Congress calling for the freedom of the Five. Statements by other important figures of the country, such as the president of the Order of Lawyers and former President Mario Soares, were also made after receiving Elizabeth Palmeiro when she visited Portugal.

Arriving in Portugal, Gerardo said, we "have come to give back all the love and support during long years of unjust imprisonment my 4 brothers and I received from Portugal".

Among the first activities of the program of Gerardo and Adriana will be a visit to the beautiful historic heritage of humanity landmark city Évora, marked by the well-preserved traces of all the civilizations that settled in Portugal for over a thousand years of its vast history.

In Evora, they will be received by the President of the Municipal Chamber Carlos Pinto who signed a letter in 2014 in favor of freedom of Antonio, Gerardo and Ramon. The City Council building was the headquarters last December 12, of the last event held in Portugal in favor of freedom of the Five.

Gerardo and Adriana will also visit the historic Portugal-Cuba Friendship Association and the headquarters of the Assembly of the Republic on Monday. In the parliament they will be received by Vice President Antonio Filipe, president of the Parliamentary Friendship Group Portugal Cuba and other band members and parliamentarians from various parties.

A meeting is planned with the President of the International Relations Committee of the Chamber of Deputies Sergio Souza Pinto, a meeting with members of the Cuban Medical Brigade Services working in the country, with the Portuguese José Martí Association and Cuban Partnership Coordinator. A reception offered the Embassy in honor of the Hero of the Republic of Cuba is also foreseen.

Embassy of Cuba in Portugal.

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