The title of Doctor Honoris Causa awarded by the University of Panama to the President of the Councils of State and Ministers of the Republic of Cuba, Raúl Castro Ruz, was presented on June 27, in a moving ceremony held at the higher education institution.
The honorary academic distinction was awarded by unanimous decision to the Cuban leader, for his exemplary international political stance, committed to promoting dialogue and understanding between diverse forces across the continent; as well as the Cuban government’s contribution to the creation of integrationist blocs such as Petrocaribe, ALBA and Caricom, through which the island promotes programs of solidarity which aim to improve the peoples’ health and education, according to the supporting document.
During his speech, the rector of the University, Gustavo García Paredes, stated that people began to think differently after the triumph of the Revolution on January 1, 1959, while the historic victory also paved the way for the emergence of national liberation processes in the region.
García Paredes noted that President Raúl Castro was able to re-establish relations with the United States without renouncing the dignity or principles of the Revolution.
For his part, the First Vice President of the Cuba’s Councils of State and Ministers, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, who received the distinction on behalf of Raúl, highlighted that the award represents a symbol of the friendship and historic ties between the peoples of Cuba and Panama.
In his acceptance speech, Díaz-Canel noted that he felt honored to be receiving the distinction from the hands of the most senior officials of the University, an institution linked to the country’s revolutionary struggles for sovereignty and the return of the Panama Canal territory.
He also emphasized the historic significance of the institution for Cubans – active witness to the struggle to apprehend those responsible for the assassination attempt against then President Fidel Castro, during the Ibero-American Summit held here in 2000.
The University has been the site of important events and acts linked to the emancipation of the continent, and is also a bastion of the Panamanian people’s struggle for sovereignty, highlighted Díaz-Canel.