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Saul Landau Awarded Medal of Friendship by Cuban Institute of Friendship With Peoples

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HAVANA, 7 Aug 13 – (Prensa Latina) – The Cuban Institute of Friendship With Peoples today awarded its Medal of Solidarity to Saul Landau, U.S. filmmaker, writer and academician.

Landau was unable to attend the ceremony for reasons of health, but in a message sent by him and read by Josefina Vidal, director of the Cuban Foreign Ministry’s U.S. Department, the intellectual thanked the Institute for the award and wrote that he was “deeply honored and moved.”

“I cannot adequately express my appreciation for your decision to award me such a prestigious medal, which, along with the ICAP, represents the virtues of the Cuban revolution,” he wrote. Landau, an activist for civil rights, recalled that his links to the island began when he supported the student solidarity movement “Fair Play for Cuba.”

“At the time, [Cuba] represented – as it does now – justice and equality, as a force for global progress toward peace and an end to oppression,” he added. “These values deserved universal support at the start of the revolution, the same as they do now, in 2013.”

At the event, held in the House of Friendship, organizers read a resolution from the Council of State that awards the medal. The document recognizes Landau’s “permanent expressions of sympathy” toward the island.

Ricardo Alarcón, former chairman of the National Assembly of the People’s Power (Parliament), recalled Landau’s life and works, which include more than 40 films and documentaries, 14 books and many chronicles, essays and editorials.

Alarcón also stressed the support given by Landau to the cause of the Cuban antiterrorists imprisoned in the United States, and recalled his visits to many of them.

Fernando González, Antonio Guerrero, Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino and René González were arrested on Sept. 12, 1998, in Miami for keeping track of terrorist groups that funded, organized and executed terrorist plans against Cuba.

The Five, as they are known, were sentenced to long and severe prison terms that include several lifetime sentences.

Only René is back in Cuba after serving his sentence in 2011 and submitting to a regimen of supervised freedom that forced him to renounce his U.S. citizenship in order to return to the island.

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