In a ceremony held at the Cuban embassy in France, the island’s permanent delegate to UNESCO, Yahima Esquivel, received the decoration from the Agostinho Neto Foundation from its president, who was accompanied by Irene Neto, daughter of the late poet, doctor and Angolan guerrilla fighter.
Irene, who heads the Board of Directors of the Foundation dedicated to promoting the life and work of the hero, emphasized that the Order pays tribute to a man like Guillén, committed to the battles of the generation he joined with his father against oppression, racism and colonialism.
In November 1955, the Cuban national poet was among the personalities who requested in a letter to the Portuguese government the release of the then young Neto, imprisoned for his pro-independence ideas.
Ambassador Esquivel read a message of thanks from Nicolás Hernández Guillén, grandson of the distinguished Cuban intellectual and president of the Foundation that bears his name.
Hernández Guillén expressed gratitude for the gesture and evoked moments of the ties that united the two poets, who met at least twice in Havana, in 1966 and 1976, and once in Luanda in 1978.