#Video: Rafael Cadenas receives the Cervantes Award, the highest award for letters in Spanish

The Venezuelan poet and essayist Rafael Cadenas picked up this Monday Cervantes Prize, the highest award of letters in Spanish.

Chains, 93 years old, received recognition dand hands of King of Spain, Felipe VI, in the traditional ceremony the Auditorium of the University of Alcalá de Henares, near Madrid.

«It is urgent to defend democracy from everything that stalks it» and for that you have to “recreate it”, since education has neglected it, said the winner in his speech.

“It is needed in countries where it exists, a pedagogy that strengthens it; in others, who have not known it, it is vain to try to introduce it. The Democrats must ask loudly for its renewal, “he stressed.

The winner remembered Miguel de Cervantes as “a great defender of freedom» and warned that the Spanish language “She is very battered.”

This is the first recognized Venezuelan writer with this award that is given annually the Ministry of Culture of Spain, endowed with 125,000 euros.

The kings of Spain, Felipe VI and Letizia, presided over the ceremony in which the Government of Spain was represented by the minister of Culture, Miquel Iceta.

The minister defined Cadenas as “a man of ethics and integrity radicals, both in his walk as in his literature».

«We are before a committed voice, of consistent honesty, who knows the exact words to defend the human being of authoritarianism, of the lack of freedoms and the violation of human rights,” said Iceta.

When reviewing the biography of the Venezuelan (Barquisimeto, 1930), He highlighted books such as “Outdoors” and “Memorial”, both from 1977.

And he remembered how in 1954, As a result of his participation in university protests, the dictatorship of General Marcos Pérez Jiménez “sends” Cadenas into exile, to the island of Trinidad, then British colony, until in 1958, after the overthrow of the regime and the establishment of democracy in Venezuela, he returns to his land.

The prize was awarded to him for his “vast and extensive literary work”, as well as the importance of a creator who has made poetry “a reason for its own existence” and has taken her “to heights of excellence“, according to the jury.

Chains has to his credit also the National Prize for Literature of Venezuela and in Spain the Reina Sofía for Ibero-American Poetry and the International Poetry Federico García Lorca-City of Granada, among other recognitions.

The writer, poet, essayist and teacher has united poetry and thought throughout his career with a work that expresses desolation, calm and beauty.

His most famous poem, “Defeat”, made him a symbol for many young people in the sixties and it became popular in Spain and Latin America.