The ceremony was held on Thursday November 3 in the Hall of Agreements of the City Hall and was presided over by the current mayor of Montevideo, Daniel Martínez. Other authorities present at the ceremony included the secretary general of the Montevideo City Hall, Fernando Nopitsch; the director of the Department of Culture, professor Mariana Percovich; the Cuban ambassador to Uruguay, Mercedes Vicente Sotolongo; Acting Education and Culture Minister Edith Moraes; and the national director of culture of the Education and Culture Ministry, Sergio Mautone.
During the ceremony the mayor of Montevideo affirmed that Padura is an author with a notable ability for transmitting from his historical and human point of view certain processes of interest for many readers. Meanwhile, Edith Moraes said that the declaration of Illustrious Visitor of Montevideo to the Cuban author pays tribute to one of the greatest contemporary writers.
Padura thanked them for the important distinction of Uruguay, a geographically small country that however has bequeathed the world such outstanding authors as Felisberto Hernández, Juan Carlos Onetti, Mario Benedetti and Eduardo Galeano, among other indispensable figures of Latin American literature.
He also affirmed that he was receiving the recognition as a Cuban writer who defends that cultural belonging backed by a tradition that dates back to José María Heredia until today with the colleagues of his generation.
During his short stay in Montevideo, Padura gave interviews to diverse media and gave a talk in the National Library, accompanied by Uruguayan colleagues Mario Delgado Aparaín and Jaime Clara.
The Cuban’s Latin American tour began in late October in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he attended the ceremony of the Clarín Award for novel as a member of the jury in this year’s edition.
After his visit to Uruguay he traveled to Sao Paulo, Brazil, to promote a new edition of the first novels in which the character of Mario Conde stars, which make up the tetralogy “Las cuatro estaciones” (The Four Seasons).
His tour concluded in Valparaíso, Chile, as a guest to the Sixth “Puerto de Ideas” Festival, an initiative dedicated to cultural reflection that brings together personalities from around the world with an outstanding trajectory in diverse disciplines of thinking, art and society.
In the four visited countries the Cuban writer carried out diverse meetings with the readers of his works, who in recent years have multiplied throughout the American continent. (2016)
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