René no longer a
Claudia Fonseca Sosa
SINCE Thursday, May 9 at 2:00pm,
René González Sehwerert is "just a Cuban patriot."
At that time, in Havana’s U.S. Interests Section
(USIS), he received the document certifying his
renunciation of U.S. citizenship, a procedure which
will allow him to remain in Cuba.
displays the loss of U.S. citizenship
certificate at the International Press
Center. (Photo: Juvenal Balán Neyra)
"Now I am simply a Cuban citizen, a
Cuban patriot, something which, in any event, I have
always been, without that implying any antagonism
whatsoever toward the American people, toward the
country in which I was born," the anti-terrorist
fighter stated in a press conference, after
displaying the certificate he had requested from the
USIS on May 6, with his lawyer Philip Horowitz.
René explained that the request to
renounce his U.S. citizenship had to be made outside
U.S. territory and that he had previously lodged
this petition, which had been rejected by the
prosecution on the grounds of "lack of credibility."
When he came to Havana on April 22, because of the
death of his father, he lodged it again.
He noted that the process of
applying for and receiving the certificate was
characterized by "the cooperative attitude of both
parties, but this does not mean that the petition
has been granted as a humanitarian gesture, but that
they had run out of excuses for denying it."
The next legal step is that René’s
lawyer must present "a status report" to Judge Joan
Lenard of the Southern District of Florida – the
same judge who sentenced René to 15 years’
imprisonment in 2001 – and then wait for her to
modify the conditions of his supervised release.
"However, I will not feel completely
free until my four brothers are in our homeland with
their families," he said, affirming that from now on
he will devote himself to promoting the case. "I am
in Cuba, but we are still the Five," he stated.
"I should like to reintegrate into
society as a useful man and be part of the process
of socioeconomic updating underway in the country,"
In response to a question on how he
felt being back with his wife Olga Salanueva, his
daughters and grandson, René affirmed, "Love
conquers all," and that despite having lost
important moments in his family life, little by
little he will recover what was taken away from him.