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30th Anniversary of Antonio Maceo Brigade Celebrated
The Cuban emigrants residing in the United States who are part of a friendship brigade to the island said that they are as faithful to the ideals of their homeland as those who live in the Caribbean nation

"Were Cubans who have been and will continue to be faithful to the ideals of our homeland, just as any Cuban living in Cuba," said Andrés Gómez, president and founder of the Antonio Maceo Brigada.

Composed of Cuban emigrants in the United States, the brigade celebrated the 30th anniversary of its first trip to Cuba, an action that brought about a series of events aimed at normalizing relations between the Cuban government and its emigrants.

In a friendly meeting held at the offices of the Cuban Institute of Friendship (ICAP), Andrés Gómez recalled December 22, 1977, when the 55 members of the first brigade returned to Cuba. That event, he said, changed their lives and motivated them to struggle throughout these 30 years "to keep our Cuban culture and our love for the Cuban Revolution alive."

This reunion marked the early policy decision by Cuba towards its emigrants, especially toward those who were taken out of the country at very early ages and later wanted to discover their roots.

Gómez thanked the Cuban people and government for making them feel at home, from where they should have never left.

Andrés Gómez said that in this long and complex process some paid with their lives for their decision to stay faithful to the Revolution. This was the case of Carlos Muñiz Varela, who was murdered in April 1979 in Puerto Rico shortly after participating in the first delegation of the Antonio Maceo Brigade.

Carlos Zamora, an official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MINREX), announced that from March 18-20, 2009, a meeting with Cuban emigrants from different parts of the world would be held in Havana.

The meeting marking the anniversary of the brigade was also attended by ICAP Vice President Enrique Román, and Roberto González - the brother of Cuban Five member René González.


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