Ramón Labañino Salazar
Graduate in Economy. He graduated with golden diploma at the University of Havana
Ramón Labañino Salazar was born on June 9, 1963 in Havana. He was a pioneer, a member of the Union of Communist Youths, a participant in the school-goes-to-the-countryside programs, a leader at Manolito Aguiar Senior High School
Graduate in Economy, with golden diploma at the University of Havana. He is married with Elizabeth Palmeiro Casado. He has three daughters, Aily, who is 13 years, is a fruit of his first marriage, and Laura and Lisbet (nine and five , respectively) are the smallest.
Ramón, is one of the five Cuban youths captured in Miami in September 1998, accused of supposedly endengering national security of the United States;consequentlly,he was condemned to life imprisonment and transferred to a jail in Loreto, Pennsilvania, after a faked trial in Florida.
His house, located in El Vedado, is small and welcoming; and his wife, Elizabeth Palmeiro, remembers their happy family life in the narrow room of the apartment, surrounded by pictures of hers with Ramón, of the girls in different public rallies accompanied by their father, a Cuban flag, flowers and simple decorations.
She also spoke with emotion about the years that she spent alone, her pregnancies, her husband's complicated life, involved in activities that she ignored; and she admits that after 27 months without knowing about him, the news of his detention, and the characteristics of the work that he carried out took her aback.
Elizabeth eloquently described in detail her absent husband. "After 12 years of relations with him, I realized that I had discovered him again when I found out that he had been arrested. I remember that at that moment he appeared to me as an incredible person; I had married him because I loved him, but after everything happened, I felt much more for him."
During the conversation, Elizabeth vigorously reaffirmed her husband's innocence who - she said - was a victim of a dirty process , supported by the small group of Mafiosi of Miami: the extreme anti-Cuban right.
"At the two sentence hearings in which I was present, I realized why we have to keep the strength of the Revolution: if that people of Miami put their feet in this country some day, we will never again be who we are, they have so much hate, so much bitterness toward all the conquests of the Revolution that they would be capable of any cruelty."
"I could not attend the sentence hearing against Ramón because the Office of Interests of the United States in Havana postponed the visa arguing that elements of weight didn't exist, without keeping in mind that Ramón's mother had died and I am his nearer relative," she explained to us.
We continued the interview in the small room whose walls, almost lacking decorations, highlighted this person's simplicity.
Elizabeth admitted of the joviality that Ramón keeps, in spite of these hard moments. He is always interested in the girls, their education in which she always maintains present the father's figure.
While Laura, the eldest daughter, brings some of the drawings that she always sends to his father, the small Lizbeth, remains in the room watching the cartoons on television.
She speaks about her husband's preferences nostalgically . He enjoys to practice martial arts; he likes music, but he is not much of a dancer; he likes to go to the theater, to the cinema; and he/she enjoys the songs of the Silvio Rodríguez, Pablo Milanés, and Vicente Feliú.
Ramón Labañino’s case, as that of the other four Cubans accused of attempting against the national security of The United States, is another political vendetta of Washington against the Cuban Revolution.
Randy Alonso, member of the National Committee of the Union of Communist Youths of Cuba (UJC) asserted, before the delegates to the II Cuba-USA Encounter of Youths, that the five Cuban prisoners only had the mission of gathering information on the terrorist plans of the Anti-Cuban groups that operate in Florida.
He said that to understand the mission that they carried out in the American territory it was necessary to analyze the indifference of the different North American governments with regard to the accusations of criminal plans against the Island.
The attacks and terrorist actions against Cuba from 1959--year of the Victory of the Revolution – have caused the death to more than three thousand Cuban and lesions to a similar number , as well as material losses calculated in about 100 thousand million dollars.
Alonso who also hosts a television program on topics of interest of first order for the Cuban society, detailed the circumstances in which the five Cubans were arrested in September ,1998, and he denounced that this political and manipulated trial was rather against the Cuban Revolution.
In 1998-- the juvenile leader added-- it was said in the Pentagon that Cuba didn't constitute a threat for the United States. And even the antidrug czar (Barry) McCafrey assured that the Caribbean nation was not a point of drug traffic due to the government actions to combat that lash.
However-- Randy related-- two months later (July, 1998) after Cuba handed in to Washington tests of the terrorist activity organized by ultraright groups that reside in Miami, like the National Cuban-American Foundation , the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) responded with the arrest of the five Cubans.
Alonso stated that the Ministry of the Interior of Cuba gave abundant material on the counterrevolutionary activity organized and financed in that country, as well as audio recordings on similar plans, thanks partly to the work of these five arrested collaborators.
Only in the last decade, when the Island went through its worst economic crisis after the revolutionary victory of 1959, worsened by the blockade of Washington, they were able to prevent 170 actions terrorists, even attack plans against President Fidel Castro.
Alonso reiterated that the five Cubans detained in Miami, three of which were condemned to life imprisonment, gathered information about terrorism toward their country, but they never attempted against the American national security because they didn't have access to classified information.
"They worked and they lived like they could, they didn't receive a millionaire wage, nor had they access to strategic programs of that country."