The Cuban people received the John McCain Freedom Award.

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source: www.rickscott.senate.gov

Grammy-winning singer Willy Chirino, a prominent figure from exile, received the award from Republican Senator Rick Scott of Florida.

The Cuban people were awarded the "Freedom Prize" named after the late US Senator John McCain (1936-2018) for "the bravery and courage" shown during the protests that began on July 11 to ask for freedom. And democracy in Cuba.

Singer Willy Chirino, a Grammy Award winner and a prominent Cuban exile figure, received the award on behalf of the people of Cuba from Florida Republican Senator Rick Scott in a ceremony held Wednesday night in Washington.

Chirino asked not to let "the cry of the Cuban people be ignored; the time of freedom for Cuba is now."

The "John S. McCain Freedom Prize" is an award given by the Republican Institute (IRI) to whoever or who has stood out in the fight for democracy and human rights in the world.

Since 1995, Ronald Reagan, president of the United States from 1981 to 1989, Pope John Paul II, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, the Cuban Ladies in White, and the people of Hong Kong.

The official statement of the delivery of the "Freedom Prize" recognizes that the world witnessed the more than 200 protests throughout all of Cuba, in which "the people defied fear and uncertainty to send a message of freedom and resilience."

"Despite Miguel Díaz-Canel's efforts to control the protesters, the freedom movement has not ceased and continues to express a strong desire for change. Cubans showed unwavering courage in their struggle to achieve respect for their rights. His call must be heard and answered", concludes the text.

Senator Scott pointed out during the handover ceremony that the Cuban regime promised "prosperity and equality for all, but the only thing that remains the same for all is poverty, suffering, and repression, except for the Castro family and their friends, who live in opulence."

This week the human rights organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) denounced in a report the "brutal strategy of repression" deployed by the Cuban regime following the July 11 protests, which has resulted in at least 130 cases of arbitrary detentions, mistreatment, and false judgments.

Juan Pappier, a researcher for the Americas at HRW, stressed that this strategy aims to "instill fear" and regretted that Cubans have been "systematically detained, held incommunicado, subjected to abuses in dire prison conditions, and tried in processes that are a true farce."

The organization warned that the authorities might respond with greater force to the march called for November 15.