14ymedio, Havana, September 29, 2023 — Cuban professor Eduardo Zayas-Bazán, exiled in the United States since 1960 and author of numerous books, was named this Thursday as the new president of the Cuban Liberal Union, founded by Carlos Alberto Montaner in 1990.
Born in Camagüey in 1935, into an important Cuban family to which José Martí’s wife, Carmen, and the republican politician Eduardo Zayas-Bazán y Recio also belonged, the career of the new president was detailed in a statement made public this Thursday by the Executive Committee of the organization, which is a member of Liberal International. Zayas-Bazán graduated in Law from the University of Havana and, after the triumph of Fidel Castro’s Revolution, he left the Island.
In 1961, age 26, he served as a frogman during the Bay of Pigs invasion and was wounded and captured by Castro’s forces. He was later imprisoned in the Castillo del Príncipe – one of the colonial fortresses of Havana – until the US Government paid his ransom along with that of 59 other prisoners in need of medical attention.
Throughout his life as an exile, Zayas-Bazán has dedicated himself to teaching languages at universities in the United States, and taught for 31 years at East Tennessee State University, of which he is now professor emeritus. He has also received numerous awards for his foray into the field of languages, including the Martel Award from the Sigma Delta Pi honorary society – awarded every three years to distinguished language teachers – and the Jacqueline Elliot Award from the Tennessee Foreign Language Teaching Association.
In addition, he has published more than 18 books as an editor, author and translator, including El pez volador [The Flying Fish], a historical novel published in 2007, and Mi vida [My Life], his autobiography published in 2021. Many of his writings also address themes related to teaching languages or culture.
The Cuban Liberal Union is part of Liberal International, an international grouping of liberal parties from around the world based in London, England. The organization was founded in 1947 in Oxford and promotes the formation of a society based on personal freedoms, human rights and social justice. Founded by the recently deceased Carlos Alberto Montaner, the Union has been chaired by the doctor and politician Antonio Guedes (2010-2015), the writer Miguel Sales (2015-2020) and the economist Elías Amor Bravo (2020-2023), whom Zayas-Bazán succeeds.
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