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La juventud cubana opositora- Premio Boitel 2008
29/09/2008 | Directorio Democrático Cubano

The Cuban Youth Opposition Movement- 2008 Pedro Luis Boitel Freedom Award

Miami. September 29, 2008. Cuban Democratic Directorate. The Eighth Annual Pedro Luis Boitel Freedom Award, an honor recognizing Cuban pro-democracy activists on the Island, was presented on Friday, September 26, in the city of Doral. This year’s award honored “the Cuban Youth,” and was accepted by recently exiled activist Eliécer Consuegra Rivas on behalf of the growing movement on the Island of young Cubans for freedom.


The ceremony’s keynote address was delivered by US Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutiérrez, who spoke to an audience including Cuban exile leaders and other supporters of the nonviolent civic struggle for democracy taking place in Cuba.


“I had the luck to be there when this award came into being, in Eastern Europe, in a bus leaving Tbilisi in 2000. The idea was conceived by Romanian activist Gabriel Andrescu.  If Andrescu were here tonight he would be happy his idea had borne so much fruit. Here today is Bertha Antúnez whom I first met in Cuba, and who won this award in 2004; and here also is Eliécer Consuegra, a remarkable young man who was waging the struggle on the Island until just a few days ago. That is why this is a special night”, said Javier De Céspedes, president of the Cuban Democratic Directorate, his voice full of emotion.


During the ceremony, Cuban Democratic Directorate National Secretary Dr. Orlando Gutiérrez-Boronat presented a video on the struggle being waged by young Cubans on the Island and their active participation in a national movement for free expression.


“The examples of young people like José Daniel Ferrer García, currently held at Guantánamo prison, like Néstor Rodríguez Lobaina and the five thousand youths who signed a petition for university autonomy and academic freedom, of rocker Gorki Ávila just a few weeks ago, and the protests in the University of Autonomy, are just a few of the instantes of the Cuban youth’s rebellion in the past months,” stated Gutiérrez-Boronat during his remarks before the packed hall.


Eliécer Consuegra Rivas, who arrived in exile this past September 4, and was president of the Eastern Democratic Alliance in Cuba until his departure, accepted the award honoring the Cuban youth opposition movement from the hands of Bertha Antúnez.


“It is in the name of those young people who struggle for Cuba’s sake with such courage and love, of Néstor and Rolando Rodríguez Lobaina, of the recently imprisoned Yordis García Fornier and Isael Poveda, and of so many others who struggle for freedom in Cuba that I come here. I tell you that this is the moment to support those young people, that this community who has never abandoned us, that this exile community help us to achieve victory. There in Cuba, these young people remain, as political prisoner Juan Carlos Herrera Acosta would say, upright in the face of terror,” stated Consuegra Rivas to the audience’s applause.



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