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Cohen Recipient of Humanitarian Award in Spain

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The U.S. House Resolution formally apologizing for slavery that was sponsored earlier this year by U.S. Representative Steve Cohen (D-9th) has earned the congressman the D. Emilio Castrelar Work Recognition Award, presented in Madrid, Spain, by the Vida Foundation, which concerns itself with environmental protection and human rights issues.

“It is gratifying that my sponsorship in the U.S. House of Representatives of the resolution apologizing for the slavery and segregation of African-Americans in our country has inspired people abroad to work for racial reconciliation in their own nations,” Cohen said in accepting the award at a Friday ceremony attended by numerous officials of thie Spanish government and other dignitaries.

Cohen added pointedly, “Although Spanish-American relations have cooled in the past few years under the Bush Administration, I am very encouraged to see the enthusiasm and optimism with which the Spanish people and their elected officials are greeting the election of Barack Obama. There is no doubt in my mind that America’s image around the world has already undergone a dramatic makeover in the few weeks since his election.”

The D. Emilio Castelar award, named for the former president of the First Republic of Spain is given to individuals around the world who have “tirelessly worked in their field towards social and environmental welfare, securing the future of citizens through the promotion of human prosperity, peace, human rights, energy security and sustainable development,” according to the Vida Foundation.

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