Carlos Sánchez Berzaín
september 14, 2017
(Interamerican Institute for Democracy) Doctor Horacio Aguirre Baca a “Great warrior for democracy” who dedicated his life, talent, and all of his resources to the defense and promotion of freedom, democracy and human rights in the Americas, has left us. A great visionary and ombudsman with extraordinary virtues and unlimited generosity, a journalist and humanist, to whom the Americas owe a lot, and much more than we could ever repay. Honor and gratitude to Dr. Horacio Aguirre.
The Diary of the Americas that Dr. Aguirre founded on the 4th of July of 1953 remembers him as an “editorialist, entrepreneur, and ombudsman for freedom, a promoter of social and cultural projects” and as the patriarch who “was capable of envisioning the socio-cultural and political future of Miami” and of the Americas. Anything that could be said of him falls short, because he was an extraordinary humanist who was born in the United States but of Latin-American essence due to his Nicaraguan roots, a country where he lived his youth until he was forced into exile.
He kept his concept and vision of starting a newspaper in Spanish in the United States to defend human rights and democracy in a region that was under a permanent and constant threat from those who are enemies of democracy, promoters of communism, Castroist ideology, terrorism, narcotics trafficking, and from any form of direct or indirect pressure against the life and development of Latin American nations, so that -as he himself would say- “the nations of Latin American embrace the Rule of Law and stop being producers of misery and political exiles or forced migrants”. He himself was an exiled and led the fight against the causes of what he called “such a way of unlimited cruelty to compel people to leave behind that which they love”.
With a very solid academic background and extraordinary culture, Dr. Horacio Aguirre was a renowned intellectual, as shown by the editorials of the Diary of the Americas that he himself wrote for over 50 years, his brilliant presentations, discourses, and generous tributes. A jovial presenter, keen chatter and commentator, he actively participated in the development of intellectual and academic centers, as he did for over ten years with the Interamerican Institute for Democracy, of which he was a key member of the Consultative Council.
In a recognition event that several of Miami´s Latin-American communities hosted for Dr. Horacio Aguirre while he was alive, on 22 July of 2010, the notable attorney and journalist expressing that Nicaragua was his homeland, remembered how through the pressure from those enemies of freedom of the press they were able to “kill newspapers saying out loud what many said in a low voice”, alluding to the violation of the freedom of the press and freedom of speech widespread due to the advancement of dictatorships in the Americas. Through internet, you can see and hear Dr. Aguirre with his 85 years of life assessing the region`s political situation at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03aBvHVCj0w.
The “Award to Defenders of Freedom of the Press in the Americas” from the Interamerican Institute for Democracy bears the name of Dr. Horacio Aguirre as a recognition of his entire life`s fight for the values of liberty. In September of 2016, when the Board of Directors approached Dr. Aguirre and asked him to allow his name to be given to this award, the attorney personally drafted the paragraph that describes the award as “recognition to citizens who defend the essence of freedom which is the right to truthful information”. This coming 14th of September the DR. HORACIO AGUIRRE Awards will be presented; to journalist Jorge Lanata from Argentina for his outstanding investigative reporting on the fight against corruption, to Fundamedios de Ecuador for its institutional defense of freedom of the press, and to Hispanopost for its innovative journalism.
Dr. Aguirre stayed as the Director of the Diary of the Americas until his retirement at almost 90 years of age, a retirement forced by his deteriorating health and pressure by the financial situation his boundless generosity, the disinterested help he always gave and his fight for just causes that did not generate him monetary profit, had taken his newspaper enterprise. He continued, however, with his intellectual activities in defense of democracy and of fundamental human rights, attending meetings, conferences, and seminars. He actively participated at the monthly “fellowship” gatherings led by Dr. Virgilio Beato. The last gathering he participated at was on 15 March of this year at which he affirmed that “we can foresee the defeat of the dishonor in Venezuela by the valor of its youth, with the result of the liberation of the Cuban people soon”.
Honor to Dr. Horacio Aguirre because honor is “glory, good reputation that follows virtue, merit, heroic acts which transcends families, persons, and the very acts of who does them”.
Gratitude to Dr. Horacio Aguirre for everything he has done and has left as legacy to the people, to the fighters for freedom, to those persecuted, to the exiles, the nations, the journalists, politicians, and governments, and to all the countries of the Americas, because gratitude is “the feeling that compels us to estimate the benefit and the favor he has done for us” this great human being and Latin-American of universal spirit.
Published in Spanish by Diario las Américas on Monday September 11th, 2017
Translated from Spanish by: Edgar L. Terrazas, Members of the American Translators Association, ATA # 234680.