The Cuban opponent Librado Linares, prisoner of the Black Spring 2003, has been awarded the Graciela Fernández Meijide Prize, awarded by the Center for the Opening and Development of Latin America (Cadal). The dissident, promoter of the Cuban Reflection Movement, was recognized by the Argentine organization in the “activist” category.
“The fact that this award is given by Cadal, an organization with which I have a lot of harmony and affinity, is a tremendous honor. Also the quality of the jury, made up of the journalist Norma Morandini, the academic Vicente Palermo and the professor Rubén Chababo, make me feel very happy”, he declared this Thursday to 14ymedio.
jury members have stood out especially “Linares’ civic virtues, his commitment to democratic values and principles and the example he embodies in his sustained struggle for the validity of human rights on the island of Cuba.”
Since 2011, the dissident “has brought together and organized groups of activists who resist the authoritarianism of the regime established on the island in 1959.” The verdict adds that he has carried out “campaigns to denounce the serious abuses and violence that the repressive apparatus systematically commits against civil society.”
Arrested and sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2003, Linares, the text continues, “has suffered arbitrary arrests and detentions, interrogations, cruel and degrading treatment, confiscation of personal belongings, intimidation of his family, house searches, acts of repudiation, as well as prolonged illegal detentions”.
“Even if there is only a minimal chance that they will deny me the return, I will not go out under those conditions”
The opponent served eight years in prison and, in 2011, after a negotiation between the Cuban regime, the Vatican and the Spanish government, he received an extra-penal license. “I don’t think they’ll let me travel to the award ceremony, which will be in Buenos Aires on August 23, because I’m regulated”, laments Linares. “They won’t even let me leave the municipality of Camajuaní,” in Villa Clara.
Linares fears that this time they will decide to let him travel but then they will not allow him to return to the island, as has happened to various activists and independent journalists. “If there is not a firm commitment to let me return, I will not go out,” he warns this newspaper. “Even if there is only a minimal chance that they will deny me the return, I will not go out under those conditions.”
During his activism, Linares has been a member of the Cuban Council and the Varela Project. He has also been part of initiatives such as the Boitel-Zapata Vive National March, the Campaign for another Cuba and many other democratic initiatives that “have shown his great courage because they are dissident actions carried out under the domination of the only regime with totalitarian characteristics. of the American continent”, describes Cadal.
In the “organization” category of the Graciela Fernández Meijide Award, the Grupo de Apoyo Mutuo de Guatemala Foundation (GAM) was awarded, created by relatives of victims of forced disappearance during the internal armed conflict.
The award will be delivered within the framework of the annual Conference in memory of the victims of totalitarianism and consists of a plaque. Cadal will bear all the travel expenses of the honorees and will facilitate contact with political personalities and social organizations in Argentina and the region.
The award seeks to recognize “activism in defense of the human rights of individuals, groups or organizations in countries with authoritarian contexts or that have registered serious setbacks in terms of civil and political liberties in recent years, in both cases in accordance with the reports from prestigious international organizations”.
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