The president of Colombia, Iván Duque, wins the Oswaldo Payá Prize

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  • Wed, 02/13/2019 - 11:43
  • EFE

The Latin American Youth Network for Democracy (JuventudLAC) announced on Tuesday that the president of Colombia, Iván Duque, is the winner of the "Oswaldo Payá: Libertad y Vida" Award for his "activism" in favor of the freedom of Venezuela.

The network and the Foundation for Pan American Democracy awarded Duque and, in turn, the Colombians, with the third edition of the award for their leadership within the Lima Group, "raising their voices in promotion and defense of institutional and republican values".

Sources close to the organization told to Efe that Duque, who will meet Wednesday with US President Donald Trump in Washington, will also hold a meeting with them in this city on the same day.

The White House has indicated that the two leaders will discuss the ongoing efforts "to restore democracy in Venezuela".

The two previous winners of the award have been the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, and the Democratic Initiative of Spain and the Americas (Idea), which brings together 36 Spanish-American former presidents.

JuventudLAC, founded in 2014 and promoter of the Cuba Decide initiative, highlighted Duque, who is expected to present the award in Cuba, for "exemplary solidarity, giving refuge to thousands of Venezuelans who escape tyranny in their homeland".

"The Cuban dictatorship is the destabilizing center in the hemisphere and the cause of the Venezuelan democratic collapse", Rosa María Payá, daughter of Oswaldo Payá and leader of Cuba Decide, stated on Tuesday, highlighting Duque's work.

Payá, president of the Honor Council of JuventudLAC, highlighted "his support for the Venezuelan people and the struggle for democracy throughout the region".

This organization, which brings together more than 100 youth groups in the 20 countries of the region, said that after taking office in mid-2018, the Colombian leader "has exercised a leadership role at the international level, denouncing and condemning the abuses committed by the dictatorial regimes".

Along with Duque were also nominated this year by JuventudLAC and the Foundation for Pan American Democracy, the United States ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley and former President of Uruguay Julio María Sanguinetti, among others.

The award that bears the name of the founder of the Movimiento Cristiano Liberación and organizer of the Varela Project, died in 2012 in a road accident in which his family and his followers see the hand of the security of the Cuban State, recognizes people and organizations that have made exceptional contributions to the struggle for democracy.


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