Miami, June 30, 2023- Carlos Alberto Montaner, exiled Cuban writer and journalist, crusader for the freedom of Cuba, giant of the Latin American Intellectual community and close friend of the Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba, has died in Madrid at the age of 80, of a neurodegenerative disease.
“I did what I could” he ended up saying in his last column, which he delivered to supporters and detractors in early May; and what he could was a lot.
In that farewell piece he recapitulated part of his life and his journalistic work: his contributions to 20 Latin American radio stations; his work in the writing of the newspapers El Mundo and El Nuevo Día from San Juan, Puerto Rico and El Nuevo Herald from Miami; his columns published in the American Literary Agency and best newspapers in Latin America, Spain and the United States; and his comments to CNN en Español.
The piece also mentioned his journalistic awards; teaching and literary work, in which he left classics such as the “Manual of the Perfect Latin American Idiot”. What did not fit in his farewell statement was his career as a politician, founder of the Cuban Democratic Platform and the Liberal Union of Cuba, and vice president of the Liberal International
But, to paraphrase the title of one of his first books, “Journey to the Heart of Cuba,” Montaner carried Cuba in his heart. His comments for Radio Martí in the station’s early years made him known and respected among Cubans and helped cement the audience of the medium that broke Castro’s monopoly on information. Havana tried to discredit him, branding him a CIA agent and terrorist, but it was like throwing stones at the Morro Castle of La Habana, and since then his prestige has only grown.
For the Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba, he was a constant collaborator, advisor, sympathizer and friend. In the wake of that good friend’s untimely departure, FHRC President Tony Costa commented on the following:
“I met Carlos more than 30 years ago. He shared in the struggle as one of the people most dedicated to the cause of freedom in Cuba, with an extraordinary intellect that allowed him to clearly understand the problems and their solutions. At the Foundation we learned a lot from him. On a personal level, he was a great friend that I will never forget. His name cannot be missing when the story of how we got there is written in a free Cuba.”
The Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba expresses its solidarity and support for his family, especially his wife Linda and their children. Rest in peace with all the glory, Carlos Alberto Montaner.