Gerardo Hernández Nordelo (left) and UFCW Canada National Representative, Pablo Godoy
Toronto – April 25, 2016 – UFCW Canada recently joined activists from across the country in welcoming Gerardo Hernández Nordelo, one of the five Cuban anti-terrorist fighters unjustly imprisoned in the United States, to Toronto.
In 1998, René González, Gerardo Hernández Nordelo, Antonio Guerrero, Ramon Labañino, and Fernando González – also known as the Cuban Five – were falsely charged and wrongly convicted for conspiracy to commit espionage against the United States on behalf of the Cuban government. The five men were then imprisoned by the U.S. government for over a decade.
After years of intense pressure from civil society groups and labour unions like UFCW Canada, the last members of the group were finally released in December 2014.
The United Steelworkers Hall on Cecil Street was at full capacity while Gerardo graciously thanked the activists, community organizations, and local unions that supported the sixteen-year fight to free all five men from prison.
"On days where it felt like we might not ever be released, knowing that (activists) like you were outside protesting in the rain or snow, that gave us the power to continue,” Hernández Nordelo remarked.
UFCW Canada National Representative Pablo Godoy attended the event and spoke about UFCW Canada's long-standing support for the Cuban Five and the restoration of full diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States. Brother Godoy also discussed the strength that international solidarity can bring to social movements and causes around the world.
"When people unite across borders for a just cause, anything is possible,” said Brother Godoy. “Having Gerardo here with us today is not only inspiring but is also proof of how powerful international solidarity can be,” he added.