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  • George W. Bush Presidential Center

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President Bush to Finally Award 2007 Presidential Medal of Freedom Winner Oscar Biscet with His Medal

June 14, 2016
Biscet and wife Elsa to visit President and Mrs. Bush at the Bush Center in Dallas

On Thursday, June 23, 2016, President George W. Bush will award Oscar Biscet, of Cuba, with his Presidential Medal of Freedom.  Biscet, previously jailed as a prisoner of conscience from 2002 until 2011, was awarded the medal in absentia for his human rights advocacy and democracy efforts. 

After spending over 9 years in prison, many of those in solitary confinement, this is the first time Dr. Biscet has visited the United States. 

In 2007, Dr. Biscet’s Medal of Freedom was accepted by his son, Yan Valdes, at the White House.  The Medal of Freedom is the highest civil honor that a President can bestow.  By an Executive order of John F. Kennedy, the medal is designed to recognize great contributions to national security, the cause of peace and freedom, science, the arts, literature, and many other fields.

Oscar Biscet is a healer known to 11 million Cubans as a physician, a community organizer, and an advocate for human rights. For two decades, he has told the world what he has seen in Cuba: the arrogance of a one-party state; the suppression of political dissent; the coercion of expectant mothers. For speaking the truth, Dr. Biscet has endured repeated harassment, beatings, and detentions. The international community agrees that Dr. Biscet’s imprisonment is unjust, yet the regime has refused every call for his release.

About the George W. Bush Institute: Housed within the George W. Bush Presidential Center, the George W. Bush Institute is an action-oriented, nonpartisan policy organization with the mission of developing leaders, fostering policy and taking action to improve and save lives. The work of the Bush Institute is inspired by the principles that guided the President and Mrs. Bush in public life: education is the foundation of a successful life; freedom is a universal human desire; free enterprise is the engine of economic prosperity; and every human life is precious.

Photo caption: President and Mrs. Bush accept the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Dr. Angel Garrido for the Freedom Collection archive on behalf of Oscar Biscet.