EFE (via 14ymedio), Miami, September 20, 2022 — The Cuban writer, essayist and journalist Carlos Alberto Montaner, one of the most relevant critical voices of exile, will receive recognition this Tuesday in Miami for his defense of democracy and freedom, a tribute that the author himself described to EFE with humor as an “uproar.”
“It will be an emotional and multitudinous farewell of very close friends before my trip in October with my wife to Spain,” where Montaner (b. Havana, 1943) will settle permanently and plans to conclude the writing of his next book.
Montaner was very grateful to the Inter-American Institute for Democracy, its executive director, Carlos Sánchez Berzaín, and Beatrice Rangel, the people who “plotted” this tribute and award, even if they didn’t request his agreement, he said ironically.
Several guests will join in the tribute, which will be opened by the former mayor of Miami, Tomás Regalado, to the intellectual stature and human dimension of Montaner, who also has Spanish and American nationality.
The Argentine Gerardo Bongivanni, president of the Libertad Foundation, will address the ethical and political commitment of the Cuban in his presentation entitled “Carlos Alberto: The Freedom Fighter,” and Iliana Lavastida, director of the Diario Las Américas, will speak about the “Cubanness” of Carlos Alberto.
Gina Montaner, daughter of the novelist and politician, will bring the public closer to the figure of Carlos Alberto, the father, and Rosa María Payá, daughter of the Cuban dissident Oswaldo Payá (1952-2012), who died in an accident in Cuba that, according to the family, was “an attack caused by officials of the Castro regime,” will talk about Carlos Alberto, the mentor.
“It’s a tribute to Montaner’s career, which earns him the most important award of this institution to which the writer has been linked for years,” Berzaín told EFE, about the Francisco de Miranda prize for the defense of freedom and democracy that will be given to Montaner on Tuesday at the Museum of the Cuban Diaspora, in Miami.
Once in Spain, the Cuban intellectual will conclude the writing of a story that delves into the lives of one of Karl Marx’s three daughters, Laura, and her husband, Paul Lafargue, who, injected her and then himself with hydrocyanic acid [considered a “suicide pact”].
“I’m going to finish this book about Lafargue, who was really Cuban, since he lived until he was 11 years old in Cuba and then went to France. My theory is that he killed Laura before committing suicide in 1911,” said Montaner, the 2010 Juan de Mariana Prize winner in defense of freedom.
Montaner’s first vocation, that of a storyteller, has been successfully shown in novels such as Perromundo (1972) and La mujer del coronel [The Colonel’s Wife], the latter a story of a failed love, loaded with strong eroticism and with the Cuban totalitarian regime of macho traits as a backdrop.
Among his important essay work, described in his bibliography, is the Manual of the Perfect Latin American Idiot (1996), the bestseller he published together with Plinio Apuleyo Mendoza and Álvaro Vargas Llosa, in which he caustically portrays the collectivist ideologies of the Latin American left and its elites.
Translated by Regina Anavy
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