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Giving Fariñas the Sakharov prize debases the award, Spanish member of the EP says


At least one Euro-deputy does not share the European Parliament's enthusiasm over Guillermo Fariñas.
 Maria Muñiz de Urquiza, 47, a Spanish socialist member of the EP, said Thursday in Strasbourg that presenting the Sakharov Prize to the Cuban dissident "discredits" the award. The prize has been "politicized," she said, and the EP ignored recent positive developments in Cuba.
Giving Fariñas the credit for the prisoners' release "implies ignoring or trying to minimize the efforts of Spain's foreign policy and of other agencies, like the Catholic Church, and focusing only on Cuba, as if human rights violations didn't exist anywhere else in the world," Muñiz told the Europa Press news agency.
The award "has been utilized politically from the standpoint of sectarianism" without considering events in Cuba, "where a gradual release of political prisoners has been taking place."
The Parliament "has decided to give the award again to a well-known cause that is being solved, whereas there were others [...] that deserve international recognition," she said.
Cuban dissidents were given the Sakharov Prize in 2002 and 2005 (see our previous blog item).
Rewarding another Cuban oppositionist "absolutely devalues the Sakharov Prize," Muñiz said. "It discredits and diminishes it, because you cannot pay attention to only one cause of human rights violations in the world, which, in any case, is being solved."