I Love him like the first Day
By Miguel Fernandez Martinez
Elizabeth Palmeiro, wife of Ramón Labañino, one of the five Cubans unjustly imprisoned in the United States, opens its heart to the readers to share views on 20 years of marriage, whose anniversary was marked this June 2.
Although the old tango by Gardel and La Pera persists in saying that twenty years is nothing, for Elizabeth Palmeiro is a long time, in the midst of the circumstances in which she has lived two decades of marriage with Ramon Labañino.
If you had the opportunity to send a message to Ramon for these 20 years of marriage, what would you tell him?
- That I love him as the first day. I would reaffirm him that I will be by his side no matter what, supporting him in this situation and that my love, far from diminishing from such sorrow, pain and the enormous frustration that exists in this circumstance, grew. These things I would repeat to him as simply as ever.
- Ramon is more romantic (than me). He writes poems, very nice letters, and although I am more timid on that side, I prove it to him with deeds, with works of love I do for him, like keep going with the family and our daughters.
The wife of the Cuban hero Ramón Labañino, unjustly imprisoned since 1998 in the United States, where he is serving an unjust sentence of 30 years, opened his heart to ACN in this anniversary that could not be celebrated on Wednesday June 2. Ramon, with his brothers Gerardo Hernández, René González, Antonio Guerrero and Fernando Gonzalez, is deprived of his liberty because of fighting the terrorism that, from the US, is prepared against Cuba.
How do you deal with these 20 years of marriage with Ramon?
- It is not in the best of circumstances, because Ramon, has been in solitary confinement for more than a month in the Mc Creary prison, after he got the documentation to be moved to a lesser security facility, according to the sentence of 30 years that was imposed on him last December.
- We spoke over the phone on April 25 for my birthday, and he took the opportunity to congratulate me for Mother's Day, and on the 27 they put him in the hole, for safety reasons, he was told by the prison authorities, to wait for the transfer.
- The last call he made was on May 30, a month later and he told me that he didn’t know when he was being transferred.
- You can imagine that in the midst of so many celebrations, this situation happens, about the time to celebrate Mother's Day, our wedding anniversary, his birthday on June 9, the month in which we also celebrate Father's Day, and this uncertainty of not knowing when we will be able to restore communication.
What do you feel in the midst of this isolation Ramon is subject to?
- You imagine how I can be in the middle of such a rare situation, unable to communicate normally, and the correspondence that comes when it can. I'm not in the mood to celebrate.
- The only thing I have left is the satisfaction of having withstood all the pressures and the efforts of our enemies to destroy the family, because the purpose of unjustly having them in jail, among other things, other than pouring all the hatred they have on the Cuban people on these five men, is also to destroy them as human beings and destroy their families, through isolation and distance.
- But they haven’t succeed and we got to these 20 years as on the first day when he had to leave the house and I was pregnant of the older girl, Laura, who is now 17 years, and he spent 18 months without seeing her.
- Little by little I grew accustomed to having Ramon away, but never too far, despite the distance he was always present.
Of Ramon, the husband, what do you remember the most in these 20 years?
- Ramon and I had a very short time of coexistence, because he, within a mere three years of marriage, began to carry out these missions against the enemies of Cuba, which kept him away from the house, and it required much patience and understanding from the two to cope with that situation.
- We both knew that he could not help me much in many normal things that a man does in the house, but I've always said, that a man is good in a house, even to argue with. We didn’t have the normal dynamics of a family, although we have been able to fulfil the dreams of any marriage, but in very abnormal conditions.
- I had to be alone with the girls, Laura first, Lisbeth later, who met her father in prison, and I had to face everything, but I was always supported by him, very involved in his life.
Did you go over these years in your wedding anniversary?
- The worst that can happen is to go over these 20 years, because there are many beautiful moments we shared together. Reviewing them now can sadden you a little and there is no reason for sadness.
- There are better reasons to cheer yourself up, to grow stronger, to further increase the love we have for each other, to endure what we still have to go through, that no one can say how long it will be, but what is real is that the conviction of Ramon is 30 years, and if we don’t achieve the great movement of international solidarity to take the Five from prison, is a long way that I have left.
Is this anniversary a day of reflection?
- Maybe it can be a day to reflect for other couples, but I do not want to think much, because this has been very hard and it caused years to fly, so fast. I did not do the math and it has been 20 years.
- What I do want to do is to prepare for the future and to be well, and not to think on what I have lost or what I have not enjoyed with him.
- I repeat that I will be to the bitter end by his side, always supporting him and loving him as on the first day.