The poet Rafael Cadenas received the 2022 Cervantes Prize at the ceremony held in the Auditorium of the University of Alcalá de Henares, becoming the first Venezuelan writer to receive the most important award in Hispanic literature. During his speech, Cadenas called on the “democrats” to request an urgent renewal of the current democratic system, which he considers to be at risk. He affirmed that a pedagogy is needed that strengthens democracy in countries where it already exists and that it is vain to try to introduce it in those countries where it has not yet been known.
Cadenas also expressed his concern about the current situation in the world, referring to the words of psychiatrist Karl Jaspers about the dangers of totalitarianism and the bomb. In this sense, he mentioned the “imprint” of Don Quixote on the believers of utopia who ended up disenchanted and affirmed that nationalisms, ideologies, and creeds divide human beings, although the world should be cosmopolitan thanks to the development of communication.
The poet stressed the importance of reviewing the foundations of the entire culture and taking care of the Spanish language, which he considers battered due to the numerous translations from English on television and other media. He concluded his speech by quoting Cervantes, whom he considers a great defender of freedom, and recalled his words about the importance of freedom as one of the most precious gifts that men have received from heaven and that life and honor must be risky for her. In general, Rafael Cadenas’ speech highlighted the importance of democracy, education, communication, and freedom in today’s world.
Leave a Reply