Havana._ Outstanding U.S. actor Danny Glover was presented with a special Habanos 15th Anniversary Award as part of the celebration of the 15th Habanos Festival (Festival del Habano), and he accepted it in the name of the Cuban Five, whose cause he has championed for years.
During the closing of the Feb. 27-March 2 festival, which attracted some 1,500 cigar aficionados from more than 70 countries, Glover was presented with the special 15th Anniversary Award, a silver sculpture by Cuban artist Raúl Valladares, for his friendship with Cuba and his work “for peace and justice,” as festival organizers said.
For years, Glover has been known as a champion of the cause of the Cuban Five—Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González, Gerardo Hernández and René González— who were arrested in 1998 while monitoring violent anti-Cuba groups based in Florida, and they have been in U.S. prisons ever since (with René now on supervised release).
In his remarks, Glover said that in 2003 he “had the opportunity of speaking out for five incredible Cuban men: Gerardo, Antonio, René, Ramón and Fernando. I accept this award in their name. Thank you, thank you, thank you.” And he reaffirmed his commitment to doing everything within his power to work for their release.
The Habanos Festival is organized annually by Habanos S.A., maker of Cuba’s famous hand-rolled cigars, known as Habanos.
Along with Glover’s special award, the annual Habanos of the Year Awards were presented to outstanding figures. In the categories of Production and Business, this year’s prizes went to Osvaldo Encarnación, production director for the Tabacuba Group, and Mauricio Abrahamabady, a sub-distributor of Habanos S.A. in the Caribbean. In the category of Communication, a Habano Award went to Phoenicia Chipre of Phoenicia Trading, a distributor of Habanos S.A. in the Middle East and Africa.
Another feature of the event was the annual humidor auction, which this year raised almost $1 million to benefit Cuba’s healthcare system. The winners of the auction took home six humidors made of precious woods by prestigious Cuban artisans.