CHLI Chairman Lincoln Diaz-Balart's Welcome Remarks at the 12th Annual CHLI Gala & Leadership Awards
Friday, April 22, 2016
Posted by: Roberto Cervantes
CHLI Chairman and former Member of Congress
Lincoln Diaz-Balart's Welcome Remarks at the
12th Annual CHLI Gala & Leadership Awards
April 20, 2016
One of the lessons I learned from my late father, my teacher, Rafael Diaz-Balart, was: Don’t let your support of the public good interfere with, much less prevent you from helping individuals. The public is made up of individuals. If you want to help the public good, help individual people.
How profoundly satisfying it is that CHLI has been able, through internships, to change the lives of over 200 young people. Most from families where they were the first to go to college. CHLI advances the Hispanic community’s economic progress, with a strong focus on social responsibility. We never forget the oppressed, especially in our own hemisphere, where in 2 countries, men and women are imprisoned because of their ideas.
In Cuba, where for 57 years a brutal tyrant and his brother have murdered, exiled and imprisoned their opponents.
And in Venezuela, where a puppet regime of Fidel Castro brutalizes and imprisons its opponents.
CHLI prepares future leaders, and honors the leaders of today.
Tonight we honor two exemplary Members of the U.S. Congress, Congressman Jeff Denham of California and Congressman Mike Quigley of Illinois. Both of them personify the best in American public service and have always stood with the Hispanic community.
And we also honor the ultimate symbol of dignity and peaceful resistance to the Maduro dictatorship in Venezuela, a man who’s sacrifice and devotion to his country’s freedom has led to unparalleled moral authority, which will, in turn, lead to political authority when the people of Venezuela are finally allowed to freely express themselves at the polls. That man we honor tonight, who sits in a prison cell because of the strength of what he stands for, and who is represented here this evening by his distinguished wife, Lilian Tintori, and his equally distinguished mother, Antonieta Mendoza de Lopez, is Leopoldo Lopez.
Leopoldo, hoy estás aquí con nosotros, no solo con tu esposa y tu madre, sino con tus amigos. ¡Venezuela será libre! ¡Cuba será libre!
Thank you all for sharing this special evening with us.