Their voices will reach
us from their cells and they will do so
free of hatred, free of bitterness. They
convey to us this joy to be alive which
motivated them to assume this sacrifice
in the first place. They will remind us
that their spirits cannot be broken
despite all the fury which the most
powerful government in human history has
unleashed upon them. It punishes them
with such spite because - to paraphrase
a poet – they emit a light which is
unbearable to their accusers.
They did not come from
some other planet. In these very streets
they took their first steps and
experienced the marvel of their first
letters. Here they absorbed from their
parents the soul and history of our
forbearers. Here, they loved and were
loved. They were young here, as are many
of you are here enjoying a concert.
Except that when it was necessary, they
took a step to protect all of this and,
when it was even more necessary, they
gave their prosecutors a moral lesson.
And it has been, therefore, still more
necessary to endure this hatred, but
they have done so with dignity, with
light hearts and a smile on their faces
at the most difficult moments.
Gerardo, Ramón, Antonio
and Fernando are tonight the prisoners
of our happiness; but they could now be
any one of you, just as any one of you
could be in their places. They are moved
by every note in this concert. Along
with your hearts, their hearts beat to
the magic of music. Your joy is their
joy, because it is this joy which feeds
their souls; it is the source of their
ability to resist and the foremost
reason for their sacrifice.
But they remain
imprisoned, denied all that is theirs,
snatched from among us by irrational
hate. And although they call on us to be
happy, we must not forget, because they
continue to be the prisoners of our
happiness. And when the music stops and
we return to our daily lives, we can
never forget that we are indebted to
them and we must bring them home, we all
owe ourselves the gift of this enormous
concert with which we must celebrate
their return to freedom.
Thank you very much.