Not all the big prizes in the world are bogus, even if many of them are. A prize with honor is the one given in Sakharov’s name by the European Parliament. This is the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. Yes, yes, I know, the European Parliament. But the list of winners includes Wei Jingsheng (China), Oswaldo Payá (Cuba), Hu Jia (China again), and the Ladies in White (Cuba again). Also the Russian group Memorial. This is a prize worthy of the name it bears.
Congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart, the Florida Republican who unfortunately is retiring at the end of this term, has urged the candidacy of Guillermo Fariñas. In a letter to the president of the European Parliament, Jerzy Buzek, Diaz-Balart wrote,
Mr. Fariñas, a psychologist and independent journalist, is currently on a hunger strike in Cuba demanding the release of twenty-six prisoners of conscience who are gravely ill inside the Castros’ gulag.
Mr. Fariñas enjoys the deep respect of the Cuban opposition and, indeed, of all freedom-loving citizens. He is a true freedom fighter.
It is very important that Mr. Fariñas’ heroic conduct be recognized and honored. He is a symbol of the best of the Cuban nation; a nation which has been oppressed by a totalitarian dictatorship for fifty-one years but has never stopped fighting for its liberty.
Not only eloquent, but true.