The Militant (logo)

Vol. 78/No. 29      August 11, 2014

(feature article)
Cuban 5 respond to letters from children
at community center in New York

Militant/Róger Calero
HAVANA — Gerardo Hernández
sent the beautifully illustrated
thank-you message, above, to
children at the Jackie Robinson
Community Center in Harlem,
New York, and to the center’s
program director, Shakiema Dixon.
Hernández made the card in response
to messages of support the kids had sent the Cuban Five after learning about their fight for freedom. In May, the center hosted a two-week showing of 15 watercolors by Antonio Guerrero, titled “I Will Die the Way I’ve Lived,” portraying the first 17 months the five revolutionaries spent in punishment cells after their 1998 arrest on frame-up charges. The children crafted 20 colorful letters, each addressed to one of the Five, which were displayed at the center along with Guerrero’s paintings and biographies of the Five. Residents of the public housing complex where the center is located were among those who came to view the package. “I feel sad that you were wrongly convicted and that you had to go through this when you were just trying to help Cuba,” one of the children wrote Guerrero. Another wrote Hernández, “I am seven years old and in the second grade. I don’t have a job so I can’t pay for a good lawyer. I hope my letter will encourage you and I will pray for you.” Copies of the 20 letters were sent to each of the Five. The original messages were delivered to Havana for use by the relatives of the imprisoned revolutionaries and by Fernando González and René González, the two who have returned to Cuba after completing their sentences. Pictured here is Fernando González reading Hernández’s thank-you card and the children’s messages in Havana, July 16. “We have received similar letters over the years from children in Cuba,” González told the Militant. “But this is the first time we have gotten such letters from kids in the United States,” he added with emotion. “I was really moved by their tenderness and their thoughtful and humorous observations,” Hernández wrote in a letter to Mary-Alice Waters, president of Pathfinder Press, that she shared with Dixon and others at the Jackie Robinson Community Center. “It was a very nice gesture by these children, and I’m glad to hear that our families will receive the original messages.”

Related articles:
NY event marks opening of the Cuban Revolution
Who are the Cuban Five?
Exhibit of paintings by Antonio Guerrero
Front page (for this issue) | Home | Text-version home