Cuba Confers Friendship Medal on Keith Ellis Print

Havana, September 9, 2014 - Prominent Canadian Intellectual Keith Ellis, professor emeritus at the University of Toronto, was honored today in Havana with the prestigious Medal of Friendship in recognition of his long history of solidarity with the island.

The award by the Council of State of the Republic of Cuba was granted at the proposal of the Instituto Cubano de Amistad con los Pueblos (ICAP- Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples). The award was directly conferred by Fernando, Vice-President of ICAP, one of the Five Cuban Heroes who was unjustly imprisoned by the government of the United States for defending Cuba from terrorism.

Ellis, who was born in Jamaica in 1935, has an extensive history as an essayist, researcher, literary critic and translator. He expressed appreciation for the award, committing to multiplying his efforts in solidarity with the Caribbean country.

"Many of us are dedicated to Cuba. We know why we do so and will continue to do so," he stated.

Professor Ellis's work as an essayist and literary critic encompasses such works as Narrative Art of Francisco Ayala (1964), Critical Approaches to Ruben Dario (1974) and Nicolas Guillen: new poetry of love (1994).

In addition, he has translated a substantial part of the poetry of José María Heredia and José Martí.

Ellis traveled to Havana as part of a delegation of more than 30 Canadians participating in the Tenth International Symposium of Solidarity with the Five Cuban Heroes and against terrorism, to be held on September 11 & 12. [Based on report from Prensa Latina].