International José Martí Prize

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The International José Martí Prize serves to "promote and reward an activity of outstanding merit in accordance with the ideals and spirit" of Cuban independence leader, thinker, and poet José Martí".

José Martí

The Prize is awarded by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) every second year. It was first given in 1995, the centenary of Martí's death. In addition to the intrinsic distinction bestowed on recipients, the award comes with a sum of money (currently USD $5,000), and donated by the government of Cuba.

Prize winners are selected by the unanimous decision a jury of seven – five "eminent persons" appointed by the director-general of UNESCO, another eminent figure chosen by the Cuban authorities, and a representative of the director-general – from a list of candidates submitted by UNESCO member states and accredited non-governmental organizations. Individuals, groups of people, and institutions are all eligible as candidates.


The following persons and organisations have been recognised by the International José Martí Prize since the scheme's inception in 1995:

Hugo Chávez, President of Venezuela;
Pablo Gonzalez Casanova, Mexico; sociologist, former rector of the National Autonomous University of Mexico.
no award
Oswaldo Guayasamín, Ecuador; painter, particularly of indigenous themes.
Honourable mentions: Milagros Palma Guzmán, Nicaragua; and Georges Anglade, Haiti.
Celsa Albert Batista, Dominican Republic; historian, vice-rector of the Catholic University of Santo Domingo.

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