Dear compatriots, accept these distinctions in the name of this people which admires you

Homero Acosta Álvarez, Council of State Secretary, during the event commemorating the 120th anniversary of the re-initiation of Cuba’s War of Independence, and the decoration of the Cuban Five, in Havana’s Convention Center, February 24, 2015, “Year 57 of the Revolution”

(Granma Interational) Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, President of the Council of State and Ministers; Compañeros Gerardo, Antonio, Ramón, Fernando and René;

Compañeras and compañeros:

Much time has passed in expectation of this event, since December 29, 2001, when the National Assembly of People’s Power decided to award the honorific title of “Hero of the Republic” to the compatriots Gerardo, Antonio, Ramón, Fernando and René, for fulfilling with dedication, dignity and firmness the sacred mission of defending our country, protecting it from terrorism, risking their lives and enduring great sacrifice in a hostile and aggressive environment.

After long years of unjust incarceration, during which they maintained exemplary conduct and demonstrated their stature as Cuban youth formed by the Revolution, and in recognition of their decisive defense of our homeland, the Council of State, acting on the proposal of its President, Army General

Raúl Castro Ruz, has decided, as outlined in Law no. 17 from 1978 and its regulations, award them, in addition to their honorific title “Hero of the Republic,” the “Playa Girón” Order.

In the name of this people which admires you, accept these distinctions which you have earned with your daily conduct throughout your lives, and especially given the bravery and firmness you demonstrated over more than 16 years of unjust and cruel imprisonment, during which you made your own the thinking of

General Calixto García Íñiguez, when he was exiled in Spain. I quote:

“I am above all Cuban and I will never, for anything or anyone, sacrifice the ideals of my people and my homeland.”