Mexico City, Mexico.-This Saturday, June 17, the Cuban poet died in Gran Canaria Manuel Diaz Martinezwho had become a Spanish citizen and had lived in exile since the 1990s.
His death, at the age of 86, has caused great sorrow in Spanish and Cuban literary circles where he was appreciated for the quality of his poetic texts and for his generosity.
Author of twenty books, Díaz Martínez was a fighter for freedoms and human rights, which led him to confront the Cuban dictatorship.
“Friends, Manuel Díaz Martínez, our father and poet of all those who read it with admiration, has marched in the boat of Charon. He will be veiled at the Memora Funeral Home, in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, his second island. With him marches the Generation of 50 and one of the eyewitnesses of the so-called Padilla case”, María Gabriela Díaz Gronlier, daughter of the poet, said on Facebook.
“He left affirming that he lived an intense life and that, given the opportunity, he would repeat it again with the good and the bad that it gave him. She died thinking of a free Cuba,” María confessed.
Manuel Díaz Martínez published about twenty books and received numerous awards, including the medal from the Cuban Cultural Center in New York, the Julián del Casal Poetry Prize in 1967 and the City of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Prize in 1994. .
This poet, essayist and journalist had also represented Cuba in Bulgaria under diplomatic status.
In 1968 Díaz Martínez was separated from his position as editor-in-chief of La Gaceta de Cuba, when, as part of the jury for the Julián del Casal Poetry Prize, he refused to withdraw the prize for the chosen notebook, Out of the gameby Heberto Padilla.
In the coming decades the dictatorship would condemn him to ostracism, until his name sounded again in another controversy.
In 1991, Díaz signed what is known as the “Letter of the Ten”, a letter addressed to Fidel Castro calling for democracy. The persecution following the letter forced him into exile. In Spain he became a member of the Royal Spanish Academy.
On the death of the Cuban dictator, Manuel express his opinion on the future of Cuba, something in which he was completely right. “I am afraid that the death of Fidel Castro will not change anything in Cuba,” he declared at the time.
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