It is the fourth time a Cuban has received this international recognition.

By Dagoberto Valdés

The renowned Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez has been chosen to receive the prestigious Prince Claus Award for Culture and Development, one of the most prestigious on the European continent. The award will be bestowed in December, 2010.

The Prince Claus Award was established in 1997 in honor of he who gave it its name and heritage, Prince Claus, the consort of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands. Each year a select and competent international jury is convened in Amsterdam by the Foundation that bears the same name, a leader among the sociocultural NGOs, which is devoted specifically to promoting cultural diversity in developing countries. The top prize is awarded in the Royal Palace in Amsterdam on December 8, to mark the birthday of the late prince, and the ten other awards are presented in the Embassies of the Netherlands in the respective countries of the winners.

Yoani Sanchez has received one of these ten awards for her work as a communicator, and her educational efforts to develop citizen journalism in the difficult conditions in Cuba. Yoani has received numerous international awards among which are the Ortega y Gasset Prize for digital journalism, she has been chosen by Time magazine as one of 100 most important people in 2008 and, almost coincidentally with the distinction of the Netherlands, Yoani has just been chosen among the 60 personalities in the world who have promoted freedom of expression, by the International Press Institute (IPI) on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of this institution.

Cuba continues to receive the attention of the Prince Claus Fund; this is the fourth time its International Jury has awarded this important prize to a Cuban. In 1999 the magazine Vitral of Pinar del Rio, received the top prize shared with the Qatari television network Al Jazeera and the Algerian-French playwright Mohamed Fellag. In 2008 the versatile plastic artist Tania Bruguera received a Prince Claus Award at the residence of the Embassy of the Netherlands and in 2009 another of these awards was received by the editor, critic, translator and cultural animator of the Criterios Center, Desiderio Navarro. Again, it is Cuba that wins and is recognized for the plurality of its culture.

Yoani, who is a permanent contributor to our magazine, receives the congratulations and support of the entire Coexistence project team, many of whom know her. She deserves not only the prestige this laurel brings to her name from the Foundation that awarded it, which has been dedicated for over a decade to the promotion and development of the most rich and fruitful expressions of the cultures of people all over the world.

September 9, 2010