Writer Jesus Arboleya Wins Casa de las Americas Award
Havana, (PL).- Cuban writer Jesus Arboleya said that winning the Casa de las Americas Award is a special honor because this is one of the most prestigious awards worldwide, and also because it is a revolutionary award. Arboleya earned the highest distinction in the social-historical literature category, for his book “Cuba y los cubanoamericanos. Un analisis de la emigracion cubana” (Cuba and Cuban Americans. An Analysis of Cuban Migration). The jury that unanimously granted the award, announced at the Casa de las Americas in Havana, was comprised of the French Salim Lamrani, Colombian Renan Vega Cantor, and Cuban Sergio Guerra Vilaboy. According to the decision, the jury took into account that Arboleya´s work reconstructs in detail, with solid supporting documentation, the issue of relationships between the United States and the Cuban Revolution from the perspective of migration policies between both countries. The clarity and expository text fluently allows the work to be accessible to all readers, without diminished rigor and analytical depth, and demystifies one current issue that has been subject to many interpretations, the jury added. For his part, Arboleya stated that this award, in its 54th edition, is “deeply connected to the history of our struggles, the defense of our identity, and the dignity of our people.”
Jesus Arboleya Cervera (1947), is a PhD in Historical Sciences, and has collaborated with the Center for Policy Alternatives, the Center About the United States at the University of Havana, the Center for American Studies, and the Center for European Studies, as well as having worked with the Chilean newspaper La Nacion. Among his books are “Las corrientes políticas en la comunidad de origen cubano en Estados Unidos” (The political currents in the Cuban community in the United States (1994), Havana-Miami: The US-Cuba Migration Conflict (1995), and “La contrarrevolución cubana” (The Cuban counterrevolution) (1997).
Editor’s Note: Colonel Jesus Arboleya Cervera was identified by DGI Captain Jesus Perez Mendez after his defection in 1983. Arboleya, who served as a Second Secretary at the Cuban Mission to the United Nations in New York City before transferring to the Washington-based Cuban Interests Section, was also identified by convicted spy Carlos Alvarez. During his tour, Arboleya was the architect of the 1970’s US-Cuba normalization drive, which almost succeeded in 1977 following the formation of a group of prominent Cuban-Americans who called themselves the Committee of 75. Although headed by respectable Cuban-Americans, including two clerics and several businessmen, the Committee was DGI-inspired. According to Senate testimony of March 12, 1982, at the time, Arboleya may have been the longest serving DGI officer in the United States.
On a related note, Arboleya’s co-author, Rafael Betancourt Abio, along with his brother, were founders of the pro-Castro magazine Areito in April 1974. He was also a founder of the Antonio Maceo Brigade in December 1977. On April 28, 1978, he met in D.C. with Arboleya and Ricardo Escartin Fernandez, another DGI member. Rafael Betancourt Abio was born in Havana April 23, 1952.