On Dec. 15, Radio Martí aired coverage of the the European Union’s Sakharov Prize for the Freedom of Thought Ceremony, live from the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France.
Cuban dissident Guillermo Fariñas was awarded the Sakharov Prize for his readiness “to sacrifice and risk his own health and life as a means of pressure to achieve change in Cuba”.
His 134-day hunger strike earlier this year helped draw attention to the plight of Cuban political dissidents jailed in a 2003 crackdown.
Fariñas’ request for permission to travel to Europe to claim the prize was not granted by Cuba’s authorities. Instead, during the ceremony, an empty chair with a Cuban flag draped over it sat in the middle of the European Parliament.
Radio Martí transmitted the event, which also included a pre-recorded acceptance speech from Fariñas, who renewed his call for freedom of all Cuban political prisoners.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, Radio Marti’s broadcast an interview with Fariñas, who was speaking from his home in Santa Clara. Also interviewed was José Ignacio Salafranca Sánchez, a Spanish Member of the European Parliament, who played a key role in awarding Fariñas the prize.