CADAL’s Puente Democrático program presented to the Czech foundation People In Need, the Manuel Cuesta Morúa’s application for the Homo Homini prize for his work for democracy and human rights in Cuba.
Manuel Cuesta Morúa (Havana, 1962) works since 23 years in the Cuban democratic opposition. He graduated in History from the University of Havana in 1986 and after that, did several postgraduate studies. Between 1986 and 1991 he worked in several official institutions. From 1988 to 1991 he worked in the House of Africa of the Museum of the Historian in Old Havana, from where he was expelled because of his political ideas. E same year he became member of the Corriente Socialista Democrática Cubana, an alternative organization, oppositional to the Cuban regime.In 1993 he started to work for the Human Rights and National Reconciliation Commission. In 1998 he founded, together with other political organization, the Round Table for Reflection of the moderated opposition and in 2002 Arco Progresista, which brings together organizations with social democratic nature in and outside Cuba. Currently, together with other organizations and citizens, he coordinates the platform Nuevo País and the Constitutional Consensus which achieved the participation of most pro-democratic, civil and human rights organizations in and outside Cuba. He is also member of the Comité Ciudadanos por la Integración Racial and has leaded the project Zero Violence.
In the application highlights his commitment and the risk which he carries by having convinced many citizens to participate in the Democratic Forum on International Relations and Human Rights in the occasion of the CELAC summit which took place in Havana in January 2014. Because of this initiative and his work for racial tolerance and freedom in Cuban, Manuel was prosecuted for “attacking the international peace”. He paid a high price, because he is kept from leaving the country despite several invitations to different international forums in order to tell his story and that of his compatriots.
In this occasion, for 20th time, the Czech foundation People In Need will award the Homo Homini prize during the One World festival in Prague in March 2015. The prize acknowledges brave persons which are working for the promotion of human rights, democracy and non-violent solutions for political conflicts. Since 1994, the Homo Homini prize recognizes every year the work of outstanding people like Sapiyat Magomedova (Russia, 2013), Intigam Aliyev (Azerbaijan, 2012), Azimžan Askarov (Kyrgyzstan, 2010), Liu Xiaobo (China, 2008), Su Su Nway, Phyu Phyu Thin and NilarThein (Myanmar, 2007), Ales Bialiatski (Belarus, 2005), and Sergej Kovaljov (Russia, 1994), among others.
The winner will be decided by the Executive Board of People In Need in January and the winner will be invited to a ceremony in Prague to get his award. People in Need was founded in 1992 and is working in more than 40 countries. The foundation’s work concentrates in humanitarian assistance, development and human rights.