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Cuba-Russia Friendship Strengthens with Cuban Five Visit
The recent visit of the five Cuban antiterrorist fighters to Moscow on occasion of the 71st anniversary of the victory over fascism and their meetings with top-level authorities were unequivocal indicators of the importance of relationships between Cuba and Russia.

Gerardo Hernandez, Rene Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando Gonzalez and Ramon Labañino paid a visit to Moscow in the company of Orlando Cardoso, who is a Hero of the Republic of Cuba as well, and their relatives, at the invitation of the Russian State Duma (Lower House).

One of the first activities attended by the Cuban Five, as they are known worldwide, was the military parade on the 71st anniversary of the victory over fascism, which they watched from the podium of official guests at the Red Square.

One of the Cuban antiterrorist fighters, Gerardo Hernandez, said in reference to that historical date that the Cuban Five came here to pay tribute to the 27 million heroes and martyrs of the Russian and Soviet people who gave their lives to save humanity from fascism.

For his part, Labañino called on all generations in this country not to let the victory, which belongs to the Soviet people, be snatched and told them: "Do not be deceived by the attempts to distort the history of the Second World War" (1939- 1945).

According to the president of the Committee to Free the Cuban Five in Russia, Lena Lozhkina, the Cuban heroes came just right on a sacred date for each Russian citizen, which is celebrated across the country with high doses of patriotism, in line with the historical memory and reverence to those who fell in the war.

At the same time, Lozhkina highly assessed in statements to Prensa Latina the presence of the five Cuban antiterrorist fighters at a special moment for what "they mean for the Russian people and the generations that make up the solidarity movement, as supporters of the Cuban Revolution."

During their first day in Russia after the celebrations for the victory, the Cuban Five were received by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in a "fairly unusual meeting by the minister" at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as spokeswoman Maria Zajarova said on Friday.

Referring to Gerardo, Rene, Antonio, Fernando and Ramon, Lavrov stressed that they became a symbol of tenacity, resistance in the struggle for sovereignty, the maintenance of their countryâ�Ös identity and the defense of the people's right to preserve their own development model.

The head of Russian diplomacy confessed that they discussed with great interest at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs the article written by the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, "Brother Obama", and considered that on the basis of the principles included in that document, Havana and Moscow have developed their relationships.

The Cuban Five were also received by the chairman of the State Duma, Sergey Naryshkin, and the vice president of that parliamentary body, Ivan Melnikov. They also met with one representative of the Federation Council (Senate) and representatives of the parliamentary group of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation.

Another expression of the importance granted to bilateral ties and the lasting friendship between the two peoples was the awards granted to the Cuban Five (a medal for the 70th anniversary of the victory), and Cardoso was decorated for the End of the Great Patriotic War. For his part, Antonio Guerrero received the annual People's Word Award.

We will remember for our entire our life the visit to Russia and the privilege of participating in the victory parade, Gerardo Hernandez said during a meeting with groups and organizations of solidarity that lasted nearly four hours. / PL.

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