Dr. Rene Bolio, President of Justice Cuba, Costa Rican Congressman Dragos Dolanescu and Dr. Orlando Gutierrez Boronat, National Secretary for Cuban Democratic Directorate "Directorio".
San José, Costa Rica- August 5, 2019-Cuban Democratic Directorate- The “Pedro Luís Boitel 2019 Freedom award” has been presented to former political prisoner and opposition member Jose Díaz Silva and his wife Lourdes Esquivel Veyto. This years recognition was announced by Congressman Dragos Dolanescu of the Costa Rican Legislative Assembly and Dr. Rene Bolio, President of the international commission Justice Cuba, in coordination with the Cuban Democratic Directorate.
Jose Diaz Silva, is a former Cuban political prisoner who served a total of 14 years. He is the President of the human rights organization "Opponents for a New Republic", represents the "Democracy Movement" in Cuba and is an active member of the "National Front of Resistance Orlando Zapata Tamayo ”. Lourdes Esquivel Veyto is with the "Ladies in White" and is the Secretary of “Opponents for a New Republic”. The spouses have a long history in the Cuban resistance, defending human rights and freedom in Cuba.
The award was announced in the office of Congressman Dragos Dolanescu, in San Jose, Costa Rica, in a small ceremony. Jose Diaz Silva and Lourdes Esquivel Veyto were telephoned in Havana to be informed that they were the recipients of the Freedom Prize Pedro Luis Boitel 2019. The brave former political prisoner Luis Zúñiga, who served a political prison in Cuba for 19 years, was also present at the ceremony.
The Pedro Luis Boitel Freedom Prize was created in 2001 by a coalition of eight non-governmental organizations from Eastern and Central Europe along with the Cuban Democratic Directorate. The award is presented annually to recognize the exceptional resistance within Cuba that promotes a shift towards democracy. It is called the Pedro Luis Boitel Freedom Prize in remembrance of the activist who fought against the military dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista and then against the totalitarianism of the Fidel Castro regime. Pedro Luis Boitel was sentenced in 1961 to 10 years in prison, but the Castro government kept him imprisoned even after he had completed his sentence. He began a hunger strike that lasted 53 days and was denied medical assistance, as a result he died on May 25, 1972.