Venezuelan Rafael Cadenas receives the Cervantes Prize

The poet became the first Venezuelan to win the Cervantes Prize I did from the hands of the King of Spain Felipe VI.

It is urgent to defend democracy from everything that stalks it and for this it is necessary to recreate it. This task falls to education, which has neglected it”, warned those present in the Auditorium of the Madrid University of Alcalá de Henares, the winner of the 2022 Cervantes Prize, the Venezuelan poet Rafael Cadenas (Barquisimeto, 1930).

He did not comply with the protocol that requires a morning suit for the participants in the solemn ceremony presided over by Kings Felipe and Letizia and which was not attended by President Pedro Sánchez. He didn’t even wear a tie because he’s never worn one in his life.

In his brief speech, with few references to his country, Cadenas pointed out that.

“Democrats must call out for its renewal. It must be internalized, become transparent, give primacy to the social, abolishing poverty, supporting culture.

This is not a dream, but a job for everyone, to be done only with full freedom”.

After assuring that “I am full of Spain”, he remembered Cervantes as “a great defender of freedom”.

“I will remember his well-known words, although they should be more widely disseminated and placed on the shields of the countries: ‘Freedom, Sancho, is one of the most precious gifts that heaven gave men (…) for freedom, as well as life can and should be risked for honor, and, on the contrary, captivity is the greatest evil that can come to a man”.

He reviewed the life of the author of El Qujiote “an adventure novel” and that of Don Quixote “which can be seen as a process from normality to madness and from this expected normality again, after going through tests that eventually they would heal.”

He also remembered Sancho Panza “who, in my opinion, has been underestimated by the quixotists”, and who “represents the real, probably our time enhances it, since we are witnessing a revaluation of ordinary life, and it is that in it too there is the mystery”.