The Executive Directors of the Global Embassy of Activists for Peace Attend the Award Ceremony for the President of Panama


Miami, USA

November 29, 2013

Ricardo Alberto Martinelli, President of Panama

“Thank you for this recognition, but I only did what was right.”

With these words, Ricardo Martinelli, President of Panama, thanked Miami’s Cuban exile community for the recognition he was awarded for granting asylum to nine Cubans who were detained in the Immigration Detention Center of the Bahamas amid strong allegations of abuse.

The Cuban prisoners were transferred to Panama thanks to the humanitarian efforts of the Panamanian Government, in conjunction with Cuban American attorney Lorenzo Palomares and different Cuban entities in Miami.

[Images: BBC Mundo, Diario de Cuba, PanamaAmerica, Terra (Noticias internacionales)]

The event, which was held on November 29, gathered state, county and municipal authorities in Miami, and entrepreneurs among others.

During the event, the Panamanian President’s leadership role in Latin America was also highlighted due to his work in defense of Human Rights.


– Attorney Lorenzo J. Palomares-Starbuck –

"They were tense moments, difficult moments and negotiations, there was no… the United Nations was involved in the transfer of those refugees. Thanks to President Martinelli, who honors us today with his visit.

Mr. President, I thank you for the opportunity you gave me to work with you, to be able to go to the Bahamas, to be able to give something to the Cuban American people here, with regards to ending the hunger strike they had, and to have provided, at least to those nine people I was successfully able to bring to your country, the freedom and opportunity to work and become people of good."


President Martinelli was awarded the Keys of the City of Miami by Mayor Tomas Regalado. He was also given a recognition by the County of Miami Dade and other municipalities.


Tomas Regalado, Mayor of the City of Miami

"Upon his arrival to Miami, someone mentioned to him the issue of the visas for the Cuban prisoners, and you said, “I do not need any type of recognition. I did it because it was right the right thing.” But, thank God that we have with us, the Cuban people, a President in Latin America who does the right thing.

Therefore, on behalf of the Mayor’s International Council, and with our Director, Angel Zayon, I would like–since this has to do with human rights–for the first Cuban to be appointed to serve as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, former Cuban political prisoner Armando Valladares, to deliver the Keys to you."

– Ricardo Alberto Martinelli, President of Panama

"In French there is a word that means a lot, and translated, it is Noblesse oblige, “nobility obliges”; I think that the important thing in life is that when one believes he is doing the right thing, one has to follow through to the end, regardless of the consequences. And I, as President, as a human being, believe I did the right thing because that was the morally and ethically correct thing I should have done."

Prior to the recognition dinner, President Martinelli and his committee met privately with entrepreneurs and representatives of different institutions that work in defense of human rights.