Ricardo Alarcón and his Battle for the Five Cuban Anti-Terrorists

By Deisy Francis Mexidor on May 2, 2022 from Havana

Ricardo Alarcon

Photo: Bill Hackwell

The story of the release of the five Cuban anti-terrorists, who served long and arbitrary sentences in the United States for defending their country against attacks being organized in Miami, would be incomplete without mentioning the diplomat and revolutionary Ricardo Alarcon, who died Sunday in Havana.

When the case of the Five was made public in 2001, the man who for two decades was the president of the National Assembly of People’s Power opened spaces in every scenario both inside and outside Cuba to defend the just cause of a people for the return of their children whose dangerous mission was done without arms.

“No one was more eloquent and persistent. No one was more constant. No one made the ideas and decisions of the leader of the Cuban Revolution Fidel Castro on the cause of the Five more his own,” Fernando González, one of the heroes, told Prensa Latina about the sad news.

“Eternal gratitude. Condolences to family, comrades and friends”, expressed president of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP) and on behalf of his 4 brothers on hearing the news of Alarcon’s passing.
González was arrested on September 12, 1998 in Miami, during an FBI operation that also included Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero, Ramón Labañino and René González, whom they could not break or turn them from their country, the parliamentary leader told this journalist in 2007.

In an interview granted me at that time, the distinguished diplomat warned that the Five were convicted in a court of that U.S. city in “the midst of a completely hostile environment” where “the farce was staged”.

Reflecting on the case at the time, he said that the trial process, the longest in US jurisprudence, “was a great political and propaganda operation of revenge against Cuba and to favor and promote the Miami mafia”.

“The arbitrariness, the lack of fairness” is the first thing that came to light in this case, he said, insisting that they imposed sentences that were not only disproportionate, but also absurd. The first thing abandoned in the trial was the truth.

For Alarcón it was always essential that the more the case became known and the more people around the world spoke out, the more the wall of silence that surrounded the issue in the United States could be broken and, in this sense, he highlighted the value of solidarity.

“If the Americans knew only half of the truth, a little piece of that truth, they would realize that they are governed by a terrorist mafia that while it imprisons fighters against terrorism, on the other hand it brazenly supports, and protects active terrorist groups that are acting now. This is not past history,” he emphasized.

The strength of solidarity and the cracks in the wall of silence were two decisive factors in the victory for the return of the Five, which took place in the context of the announcement of the reestablishment of relations between the United States and Cuba in 2014.

On December 17, 2014 Gerardo, Antonio and Ramón stepped on Cuban soil, here where they joined Fernando and René who were already in the homeland after serving their unjust sentences.

Qualified as a master diplomat, Alarcón -born on May 21, 1937- served as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1992 to 1993 and was also Cuba’s ambassador to the UN.

Source: Prensa Latina