René González: ‘Ready to go on fighting until my death’

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By Leandro Maceo Leyva

René, with his older daughter Irmita, talks by phone with his wife Olga, who was not granted a visa to travel from Havana to be at his side.

“Ready to go on fighting until my death,” were René González’ first words after embracing and kissing his daughters, Ivette and Irmita, who filmed the emotional reunion at the exit of Marianna Penitentiary in Florida in the early hours of last October 7. Also present were Cándido and Roberto, René’s father and brother.

Cuban Television’s Mesa Redonda program broadcast the video, which was also reproduced on the Cubadebate website.

“My love… How are you? (… ) they’re telling me that I look really great. Your older daughter’s here taking photos. They’re really beautiful, both of them,” he relayed by telephone to his wife, Olga Salanueva, who was refused a visa to travel to the United States and be at René’s side.

He added that the evening before his release he was confined to the hole by prison authorities, “I spent the rest of the night there in the hole, slept well and they woke me up. I jumped up like a shot. Everything was super-quick; 10 minutes from when they opened the hole to when I came out,” he said.

René is also filmed singing “El Mayor,” Silvio Rodríguez’ song, while traveling with his daughters, father and brother in the car taking them to the place where he is to live in Florida, to serve the three-year probation period imposed by Judge Joan Lenard.

On October 11, René and his lawyer Philip Horowitz attended a meeting with his Federal Court probation officer, thus formally beginning his probation period.

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