Cuban Intellectual Wins the Jan Karski Prize

PINAR DEL RIO, Cuba, OCT. 14, 2004 ( A Cuban intellectual has won this year’s International Jan Karski Prize for valor and compassion.

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The prize, named after a distinguished Polish intellectual and diplomat, was awarded to engineer Dagoberto Valdés Hernández, director of the Center of Civic and Religious Formation and of the Vitral review of the Cuban diocese of Pinar del Rio.

In a statement, organizers said the international prize is awarded «to those persons whose life’s work exemplifies the Christian valor and compassion, toward all human beings, without distinction, of the eminent Catholic professor Jan Kosielewsky, ‘Karski.'»

«In particular,» a statement added, «the award recognizes personal generosity, a profound humanist sense, extraordinary valor and humility in accepting responsibility, personal pain or suffering as a result of serving others in need of truth and freedom.»

The prize was instituted after the death of the Catholic intellectual at age 86, in July 2000.

The award should be conferred on Valdés at a hotel in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 17, if he is allowed to leave Cuba.

Valdés, born in 1955, is an agricultural expert. John Paul II appointed him a member of the Holy See’s Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

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