ARMANDO VALLADARES “THE FIRST PRISONER OF CONSCIENCE OF CUBA” RECEIVED A DOCTORATE HONORIS CAUSE AT FRANCISCO MARROQUIN   UNIVERSITY OF GUATEMALA

NOTA DEL EDITOR: Con gran satisfacción reproducimos esta información del Doctorado Honoris Causa, otorgado por la Universidad Francisco Marroquín de Guatemala, a mi muy admirado y querido amigo el Embajador Armando Valladares, poeta, escritor y pintor de origen cubano, primer preso de conciencia de Fidel Castro. Salud Don Armando, felicitaciones.

ALFREDO CORONIL HARTMANN

Ítaca 3-XI-2017.

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 LANGUE ANGLAISE.
 

Bulletín N.33

Weekly Circulation Oct. 30 – Nov. 05 2017
Press Committee

Editor: Claudia Andrade

ARMANDO VALLADARES
“THE FIRST PRISONER OF CONSCIENCE OF CUBA”
RECEIVED A DOCTORATE HONORIS CAUSE AT FRANCISCO MARROQUIN   UNIVERSITY OF 
GUATEMALA

Armando Valladares, former United States Ambassador to the UN Human Rights Council, is the Director of the Human Rights Committee of the Interamerican Institute for Democracy. Francisco Marroquín University recognized his career and the courageous struggle he waged at a young age to denounce the violation of Human Rights in Cuba under the Castro’s regime.

Titles received:

1. Doctor Honoris Causa in Social Sciences – for his dedication to the noble cause of freedom and the rule of reason.
2. Honorary Professor – for his tireless defense of freedom and human rights.

Valladares stressed that he feels very honored to receive this PhD, which is the highest distinction granted by the Institution. He added that “it is an important recognition of the Francisco Marroquín University. They organized a series of conferences to remember the 100th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution and the crimes of communism throughout the world, and they granted me the great honor of delivering the closing remarks. I think that a US university wouldn’t dare to hold a conference like that: ANTIFA Communists and those of the Democratic Party flying the banners of the hammer and sickle would prevent it as they prevented in Berkeley University destroying windows and burning cars that spoke conservatives”.

 Rector de la Universidad Francisco Marroquín de Guatemala, Gabriel Calzada, Armando Valladares y el Vice Rector Javier Fernández-Lasquetty.

El poeta Armando Valladares y la respetada periodista del Wall Street Journal Maria Anastasia O´Grady

Rector University Francisco Marroquín of Guatemala, Gabriel Calzada, Armando Valladares and Vice Rector Javier Fernández-Lasquetty. / Armando Valladares and  Mary O’Grady journalist
The Wall Street Journal

Guatemala.- The Cuban poet, writer and painter, Ambassador Armando Valladares, received an Honorary Doctorate at the Francisco Marroquín University, for his contributions to the cause of freedom, on Saturday, October 28, 2017 during the graduation ceremony. Valladares was a political prisoner of the Cuban dictatorship for 22 years and was an Ambassador in the Human Rights Commission of the United Nations Organization.

Armando Valladares was imprisoned when he was 23 years old, in 1960, a few months after the triumph of Fidel Castro’s revolution. The reason? Refusing to put a sign on his desk that read I am with Fidel. For that simple gesture was sentenced in a process without guarantees to 30 years in prison During his imprisonment he became a planted, that is, he refused to wear the prison uniform of ordinary prisoners. He refused to sign a self-incriminating document and refused to accept that his conduct would have been a crime. For all this, he was subjected to torture for 8 years, those of which he spent in an isolation cell without light and surrounded by insects. During his imprisonment he went on numerous hunger strikes in protest against the inhuman conditions to which he was subjected.

In his punishment cell he began to write poems that, in the few authorized visits to his wife, she was able to hide from the prison guards. When published outside of Cuba, the poems received international acclaim, while Amnesty International recognized him as a prisoner of conscience. International pressure secured his release and departure from Cuba in 1982.

Since then, he has devoted most of his life to promoting human rights and denouncing their violation, especially in the communist regime of Cuba. He wrote his prison memoirs under the title “Against All Hope”, a book that has been translated into 18 languages. U.S. President Ronald Reagan named him U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, where he highlighted the painful conditions of unjust imprisonment of 15,000 Cuban political prisoners. He finally got the United Nations to open an investigation in Cuba, for the first time. Armando Valladares has also been Chairman of the Human Rights Foundation, the organization that denounces human rights violations in totalitarian regimes.

Armando Valladares has received numerous recognitions, such as the Pen Club Freedom Award, the Presidential Medal of the Citizen (of the USA) and the Canterbury Medal of the Becket Fund. He has published several books of poetry and has exhibited his works as a painter.

A video about the life of this champion of freedom is available below.

Gabriel Calzada
Rector Francisco Marroqui University

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