Karen Caballero, 2012 winner
Karen Caballero of Radio and TV Martí was given the award for her coverage of the “Lights of Liberty Flotilla,” a small group of boats with a mission to sail across the dark and hazardous Florida Strait to just outside Cuban waters to set off a fireworks display. The event sought to draw attention to the solidarity between Cuban exiles with those residing on the island and to human rights abuses by the Cuban government.
Caballero said that, for her, it is a great honor and responsibility to have won the David Burke Award, especially after the emotional experience aboard the Lights of Liberty Flotilla which made her feel both closer to and more distant from Havana, a city, her city, which she could see in the distance but to which she could not return from exile.
She added that using artificial lights to send a message of freedom to the Cuban people and of support for dissidents on the island who risk everything daily made her feel not only closer to the suffering of her countrymen, but also to their hopes of a shift toward democracy in Cuba.