The Havana Reporter
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HavanaReporter YEAR IINº.10
JULY 2, 2012HAVANA, CUBAISSN 2224-5707
Price: 1.00 CUC, 1.00 USD, 1.20 CAN
Tourism Cuban Tourism Likely to Grow Despite U.S. Economic Pressures
CubaU.S. and Cuban Scholars Advocate for Increased Academic Exchanges
Society Cuba’s Oldest Vintage Car
Solidarity from the Brazilian Amazon
CultureOperation Miracle’s 5th Anniversary in Nicaragua
Economy The Eco-Friendly Cuban Agriculture Model
CubaTogether for a Labor of Love
Y O U R S O U R C E O F N E W S & M O R E
Birthplace of the Mojito Turns 70Graffiti on the walls, doors, and columns testify to the celebrities from all over the
world who were won over by the bohemian atmosphere of La Bodeguita P. 11
Cuban Tourism Likely to Grow Despite U.S. Economic PressuresBy RobertoF.CAMPOS
HAVANA._ The Cuban tourism industry
will continue to grow despite economic
pressures and other global barriers, Cuba’s
Tourism Ministry Marketing Director said
José Manuel Bisbé said.
Bisbé presented the report “Destination
Cuba: Current Situation and Growth
Prospects,” at the International Seminar
on Journalism and Tourism, held in
Havana’s José Martí International Institute
of Journalism. The forum, organized by
the Cuban Journalists Union (UPEC), was
attended by 40 specialized journalists from
Bisbé presented an overview of the
development of Cuba’s tourism after the
victorious revolution of 1959 led by Fidel
Castro, whom he characterized as the
driving force behind the island’s tourist
sector. When diplomatic relations with
the United States were broken in 1961,
tourism dropped abruptly, since up to 90
percent of tourists had come from that
country, he noted.
During the 1970s and 80s there was
a revival in the foreign tourist trade, and
when the Eastern Bloc collapsed in the
1990s, the industry was boosted yet again,
“The U.S. blockade,” said Bisbé, “has
caused approximately $23.71 million in
losses to Cuban tourism, which was forced
to develop despite having access to only
50 percent of the tourists who visit the
Among the main Cuban tourist
destinations nowadays, Bisbé mentioned
the Varadero beach resort (19,418 hotel
rooms), Havana (12,699), Santa María Cay
(5, 531), the Jardines del Rey archipelago
(4,484) and Holguín province (4,219),
among other interesting places.
The Tourism Ministry has 14 tourist
information bureaus, 12 offices providing
service for Havanatur S.A. International Tour
Operator Group, and an office representing
the ITH Distribution Company. Cuba is
connected to 82 world cities through
65 regular flights and charters, has ten
international airports, and three cruise ship
The Cuban hotel industry is growing
at an annual rate of 5.6 percent, with 335
hotels and 58,434 rooms currently in
As many as 65 percent of the hotels are
four and five-star operations, with 30 joint
ventures running about 6,000 rooms in
14 hotels. According to Bisbé, 62 contracts
have been signed with 13 foreign hotel
groups including Sol Meliá, Barceló, Spain’s
Hoteles C, and France’s Accor.
By the end of 2011, the largest sources
of tourism to Cuba were Canada, the United
Kingdom, Italy, and Spain. Through May of
this year, the leading tourist sources were
Canada, the United Kingdom, France, and
Bisbé pointed out that challenges and
priorities for Cuban tourism include the
promotion of its diving facilities, yacht
clubs, eco-tourism and golf courses.
SAN FRANCISCO/HAVANA._ In a historic context marked
by disagreements and tensions, academics from the United
States and Cuba view their exchange of experiences as a
bridge toward the normalization of bilateral relations.
The 30th Congress of the Latin American Studies
Association (LASA) provided the most recent example of
the existing tension in bilateral relations. The over 5,000
scholars who attended the Congress held in San Francisco,
May 23-26, could not evade the controversy caused by the
denial of U.S. visas to various Cuban academics.
In an interview with The Havana Reporter, Dr. Jorge
Mario Sánchez, who co-chairs the LASA Cuba section,
attributed the problem to a political decision combined
with bureaucratic elements when the visa applications
Sánchez said that the State Department issued around 70
entry visas to Cuban scholars, while another 10 persons, well
known for their active participation in US-Cuba academic
exchanges were denied entrance to the United States.
According to Sánchez, the visa denials were counter-
productive and criticized by everyone, from the Cuban-
American extremists who opposed any Cuban participation
at all, to the media and academics who forcefully criticized
the visa denials to the 10 scholars.
Evidently, Sánchez continued, there is a policy in place
that opposes academic ties or any possible step toward
an improvement in Cuba-USA relations, contrary to what
President Obama claimed at the Summit of the Americas
in Trinidad and Tobago in 2009.
Signs of inertia and continuance of the old policies of
isolation, punishment, and differential treatment remain,
which are contrary to the interests and principles of LASA
as an organization, he noted.
For Sánchez, the LASA Congress has been one of the
most important events for Cuban scholars abroad, for
the possibility of presenting work in a diverse range
of academic studies, including humanities, economics,
history, demography, political sciences, and gender studies,
This is the largest such congress in the United States,
and possibly the world, for individuals and institutions
engaged in the study of Latin America. Despite being an
academic forum, it includes participation by organizations
with relevant links to the governments of their countries.
The LASA is divided in sections by regions or countries.
The Cuba section is the largest of all, with 263 members
and two chairmen, Sánchez, for Cuba, and Sheryl Lutjens,
for the United States.
Sánchez said the 30th Congress was particularly
important because it returned to the United States, despite
the mass denial of visas to Cubans who applied for the
2003 Congress in Dallas.
After that incident, the organization decided to hold
the Congress outside the United States, to defend the
principle of free flow of ideas and academic exchanges,
Rio de Janeiro and Toronto served as previous venues. The
assumption for the San Francisco forum was that there would
be no discriminatory treatment toward the Cuban delegation
and therefore the Congress returned to a U.S. venue.
No one imagined that a policy of visa denials for a select
group of Cubans would be applied, said Sánchez.
As a result of the situation, LASA’s leadership agreed to
send a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in support
of Cuba’s right to participate in the Congress. Meanwhile,
the Cuba section issued a resolution condemning the
incident, which was offered to all LASA members for their
As many as 180 U.S. universities maintained academic
ties with the Cuban universities before George W. Bush’s
term in office from 2001 to 2009, but all those exchanges
practically disappeared during those years, Sánchez
Despite the ups and downs, Sánchez expressed the
belief that it is still possible to restore these relations,
defended by academics from both countries who have
been forcefully distanced by the U.S. blockade and its
associated pressures for more than fifty years.
U.S. and Cuban Scholars Advocate for Increased Academic ExchangesBy MiguelLOZANO
Dr. Jorge Mario Sánchez co-chairs the LASA Cuba section. From left to right, Omar Everleny (Cuba), Juan Triana,(Cuba) and Claes Bundernius (Sweden) the 30th LASA Congress.
HAVANA._ One of the first Cadillacs in the world was
also the first car to roll down the narrow cobblestone
streets of the Villa de Guanabacoa, east of Havana, on
May 19, 1907.
The car, a Model E made in 1905, was designed by the
Cadillac Automobile Company, which was founded on
Aug. 22, 1902 as a subsidiary of the Henry Ford Company.
Five years later, this vehicle was purchased by the Moner
family of Guanabacoa, Cuba.
Even thought, the Cadillac brand is a real symbol of
the United States – currently owned by General Motors –
the name itself came from the surname of a French army
officer, Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, founder of the city
of Detroit (later to be known as the famous “Motor City”)
in the U.S. state of Michigan, in 1701.
One hundred years later in Havana, that early Cadillac
that plied Cuba’s streets in 1907 stands in Guanabacoa’s
Museo Municipal (city museum), where it is being restored.
Built in 1902, it is the oldest vintage vehicle in Cuba.
Up until just a few years ago, the one-cylinder, two-
horsepower, chain-geared engine still started, with
sparks. Its headlights were powered with kerosene.
Its wheels were made of wood, with rubber tires. This
is a totally authentic car, with all of its factory-made
parts, except for its convertible-style roof, which had
deteriorated beyond repair.
After the Moner family bought the car, it was used for
trips to Havana. It was also used as an ambulance and placed
at the service of the city’s firefighters. One of the many
people who became interested in buying this vehicle from
the Moner family was the U.S. writer Ernest Hemingway.
In 1950, the Cadillac company offered the family cash
— some say they offered a blank check — and a brand
new Cadillac in exchange for the 1902 model, but the
Moners turned it down.
But in 1964, at the urging of José Luís Llerena, then
the director of the Guanabacoa museum, the car’s owner,
Vicente Moner Tantalora, donated the valuable treasure
to the museum.
According to historians, it was this car that most
attracted the attention of Cuban revolutionary leader
Fidel Castro when he visited the museum in the 1980s.
A few years ago, experts from the vintage car motor-
racing association in Cuba (Asociación de Escudería de
Autos Antiguos de Cuba) confirmed that this Cadillac
was indeed the oldest auto on the island, leading to the
organization’s decision to use it as their emblem.
The Caribbean in CubaBy WaldoMENDILUZA
Cuba’s Oldest Vintage Car By SilviaMARTÍNEZ
President: Luis Enrique González.Information Vice President: Miguel Lozano.Editorial Vice President: Maitte Marrero Canda.Chief Editor: Néstor Marín.Translation: Prensa Latina English Department.Graphic Designer: Mario Sombert Fernández.Chief Graphic Editor: Emilio Herrera.Advertising: Irina Hernández.
Circulation: Commercial Department.Printing: Imprenta PALCOGRAF.Publisher: Agencia Informativa Latinoamericana, Prensa Latina, S.A.Calle E, esq. 19 No. 454, Vedado, La Habana-4, Cuba.Telephone: (537) 838-3496 / 832-3578Fax: (537) 833-3068E-mail: [email protected]
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HAVANA._ People from other Caribbean countries and their
descendants, residing in Cuba, preserve their traditions and
customs through a wide variety of sociocultural activities.
National holidays, history, music, dance, sports, typical
dishes and other Caribbean elements find a space at the
Caribbean Association of Cuba (ACC), a non-governmental
organization that is celebrating its 80th anniversary this
The ACC is a cultural society that allows Caribbean
people and their descendants from 28 territories of this
region to preserve the legacy of their ancestors and places
of origin, ACC President María Rollock said in an interview.
According to Rollock, more than 700 people belong to this
institution, which was founded on March 3, 1932.
“For the time being, this association only serves
Caribbean people who live in Havana, but we hope to
reach the entire country, and we are working toward
that,” said Rollock, the daughter of a Barbadian who came
to Cuba in the late 1920s to seek his fortune in the sugar
industry. Caribbean residents in Cuba try to preserve
their roots by organizing workshops, exhibitions, cultural
events, and reviving history, she said. They gather several
times a week to share dances and music, and in doing so,
they interact with the surrounding community.
“We also organize Creole and English-language
workshops, and have plans to do the same with French,”
Other attractive activities include the domino
championships and cricket games. The latter sport is
very popular in the Caribbean, but is hardly known in
Cuba. It first appeared in England in the 16th century.
Young members of the association have learned to play
cricket, and compete with young Caribbean students
who are studying in Cuban schools, she added.
The ACC marks the national holidays of every
Caribbean country and territory, such as independence
days, Rollock noted. In this regard, the ACC has very
good relations with the Caribbean diplomatic corps, and
their representatives take part in different activities, she
Speaking about the rescue of the ACC’s history, Rollock
mentioned the research that is being conducted with the
support of the National Archive, which includes interviews
of senior ACC members. “We have people who have been
with the Association for decades, and they are helping us
to recover a lot of information,” she stated.
For Rollock, the good work of the NGO founded 80
years ago is the result, to a large extent, of its relations
with Cuban organizations, such as the Cuban Institute
of Friendship with the Peoples, Casa de las Américas,
the Foreign Ministry, and the Cuban Peace Movement,
among others. Also beneficial are its links with
Caribbean students who are studying in Cuba, as part of
cooperation agreements with many countries, and the
local diplomatic corps, she added.
Rollock said ACC members are mostly from Jamaica,
Haiti, Barbados, and the Dominican Republic, in that order.
Another interesting fact is that 12 percent of its members
are young people ages 16 to 35, while older adults make
up 42 percent of its membership.
The Caribbean Association of Cuba was created in 1932
at the initiative of the British embassy, to bring together
Anglophone citizens and descendants in Cuba. It was not
until 1978 that the organization welcomed people from
the entire Caribbean region, Rollock explained.
CAMAGÜEY._ A new radar system using Doppler effect
technology, designed and created in Cuba by engineers from
the national Meteorology Institute’s Radar Center, will give
the country an efficient tool for top-quality forecasting of
Developed with advanced technology based on the MRL-
5 radar, which has been operating since 1981 in the Camagüey
Meterology Center, the new system will make it possible for
Cuba to conduct unprecedented tropical atmosphere studies
throughout the archipelago, because it is the only double-
wavelength radar that uses Doppler effect measurements for
Orlando Rodríguez, director of the Radar Center in this
eastern city, said in an interview with The Havana Reporter
that this radar holds great potential for helping Cuba study
all types of weather phenomena, especially hurricanes, which
frequently affect this country.
Forecasts will be better, because in addition to calculating
the intensity of rainfall, the Doppler radar will provide accurate
estimates of the speed and direction of winds brought
by storms and hurricanes — which is a new feature for
Cuba’s meteorological service, Rodríguez said. It will make it
possible to precisely detect tornadoes, hailstorms, wind gusts,
windstorms, and local severe storms. Moreover, the Doppler
technology also makes it easier to suppress signals from non-
meteorological objects, such as birds, terrestrial echoes from
hills and buildings and ocean echoes, whish are basically cases
where waves are created in the atmosphere that divert the
radar’s beam from its usual course.
For all of these reasons, Rodríguez said the information that
the radar will provide to forecast personnel will be “superior” to
that is provided by conventional radar systems, which report
signal intensity but not wind information, he said. Data from
the Doppler radar, which is currently being tested in this
province 550 kilometers east of Havana, can be included very
quickly, in numeric forecasting models, he said.
This equipment signifies an important technological leap,
because the Doppler radar’s information processing and
distribution system can use free software like ORPG (Open
Radar Product Generator), which is used by WSR-88D radars
in the United States, and which previously had been adapted
and modified by Cuban engineers for Cuban radars.
“This gives us total compatibility with the algorithms
(detection of storms, hail, tornadoes, etc.) developed over the
last 40-plus years by the meteorological community in that
field, and with the information formats of most radar systems
in the region,” Rodríguez said.
Cuba’s Doppler radar has a maximum range of 500
kilometers and should be fully operative by the 2012 hurricane
season, which lasts from June to November.
At this time, the market price for a radar of this type
would be between four and six million dollars, Rodríguez
said. The production cost for the Cuban prototype was about
$300,000, a figure that could be reduced to less than $100,000
if extended to other radars, he added.
Doppler Radar, a New Cuban Meteorological ToolBy MabelGUERRA
HEALTH & SCIENCE 5
Cuba, USA Jointly Monitor Migratory BirdsBy AdalysPILAR
PINAR DEL RÍO, CUBA._ Cuban and U.S.
scientists are conducting a study for the
monitoring of migratory birds and birds of
prey in the Guanahacabibes peninsula on
the island’s western tip.
The research involves experts with
the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory, which is
based in Texas, and researchers from the
western province of Pinar del Rio, according
to Osmani Borrego, one of the project’s
Explorations in the area are preceded by
a training period for all experts who will be
involved in the study of birds that migrate
from the United States and elsewhere to
Cuba. Considered an important corridor for
migratory species, Guanahacabibes harbors
more than 200 species of birds. Birds of prey
that tend to fly to the peninsula include the
swallow-tailed kite, which is native to North
In the spring, the region large numbers
of bluebirds and the Lazuli Bunting songbird
from Mexico and the United Unites fly here
as part of the spring migration, Borrego
said. Most of them come to this karst plain
following the route of the Mississippi River
flyway. In general, these birds are small and
come in many different colors, some with
very bright plumage. Though they prefer to
live in forests, many can be seen in gardens
and backyards as well. In Guanahacabibes,
migratory birds can be found in forests,
mangroves, swamps and along the coast,
where they recover their strength to
continue their migration journey, said
scientist Alina Pérez a leading figure among
The American redstart (known as
Candelita in Latin America), and the ovenbird
Seiurus Aurocapillus (known as Señorita del
Monte in Cuba) are among the birds that
most frequently migrate to Guanacahabibes,
which is also known as El Cabo (The Cape).
This peninsula is one of Cuba’s best-
preserved natural, with some of the country’s
greatest biodiversity and was designated a
Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1987.
Solidarity with the Cuban Five from the Brazilian AmazonBy AlejandroGÓMEZ
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BRASILIA._ Solidarity with the Cuban Five,
who have been unjustly imprisioned in
the United States since 1998 for fighting
against terrorism, continues to grow
around the world, including in a remote
corner of the Brazilian Amazon.
In Amapá, one of Brazil’s nine Amazonian
states, and its capital, Macapá — the only
state capital that does not have a land
connection with another state capital — a
Committee for Solidarity with Cuba and to
Free the Five was organized in early May.
The new organization includes
legislators and representatives from
political, social, trade union and student
groups in this state, through which the
Amazon River flows, and which is the
only Brazilian state that is crossed by the
imaginary line of the Earth’s equator.
In a founding ceremony for the
committee attended by 300 representatives
from the different member organizations,
Senator Joao Capiberibe of the Brazilian
Socialist Party (PSB) was elected as honorary
president, and the Amapá Sports Secretary,
Luiz Pingarilho, was elected as president.
In a telephone interview from Macapá
with the Prensa Latina news agency,
Pingarilho said that the group’s first decision
was to send a letter to U.S. President Barack
Obama, urging him to free the Cuban Five
— Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino,
Fernando González, Antonio Guerrero and
René González – and to allow them to
return to Cuba.
The Five, as they are known around the
world, have been locked up in the United
States for almost 14 years, after receiving
long unjust prison sentences for reporting
to Cuba on the terrorist activities of right-
wing anti-Cuban extremists.
In addition to opposing the 50-year-old
U.S. blockade against Cuba and demanding
that it immediately be lifted, Pingarilho
said that the committee’s top priority at
this time is to mobilize to end the injustices
committed in the case of the Five and to
achieve their freedom and return to Cuba.
The group will also work to defend
Cuba against misinformation the media
regarding the real situation in Cuba and its
Pingarilho, who is also president of
the Communist Party of Brazil (PCdoB)
in Amapá, highlighted the support
offered by state Gov. Camilo Capiberibe
for the creation of the committee and its
objectives. The activist also praised the
participation in the founding ceremony
of Sen. Joao Capiberibe and his colleague
Randolfe Rodrigues, of the Socialism
and Freedom Party (PSL), and of federal
deputies Evandro Milhomen of the PCdoB
and Janete Capiberibe of the PSB, all of
whom are national legislators for the state
WASHINGTON._Cubans residing in the United States
organized a demonstration in Miami to demand normal
relations with their native country and to oppose what
they described as a “terrorist attack” against a travel agency
that books charter flights to the island.
On May, a caravan of almost 100 cars was organized by
grups belonging the Alianza Martiana coalition and the
Cuban-American Defense League, as a response to the Apr.
27 attack on the offices of Airline Brokers, located in Coral
Andrés Gómez, journalist and editor of Areíto Digital,
said that caravan participants believe that the “terrorist
attack was not just against that company, but also against
the right of Cuban émigrés to travel to Cuba.”
With flags and placards reading “Yes to travel to Cuba,
No to terrorism” hanging from the sides of vehicles, the
caravan passed through some 12 miles of centrally-located
The immense majority of drivers in the thousands of
cars encountered by the caravan along the way expressed
support by honking their horns, but the Miami-based
media, faithful to its right-wing nature, completely ignored
the demonstration, Gómez said.
“We want to make it known that we most vigorously
condemn the terrorist act that destroyed the offices of
Airline Brokers,” caravan organizers said in a press release
issued prior to the demonstration. The grups also urged
members of congress and other elected public officials in
the state of Florida to condemn the attack.
The firebombing was considered by Cubans resident
in the United States to be an action opposing certain
measures taken by U.S. President Barack Obama to ease
restrictions on travel to Cuba, even though the economic,
commercial and financial sanctions of the U.S. blockade
against Cuba remain intact.
In an attempt to intensify the half-century-old blockade,
the governor of Florida also decided to ban access to public
funds by foreign companies that have trade ties with Cuba.
The law, signed by Gov. Rick Scott, should become
effective on July 1, but is considered unconstitutional by
many groups in the United States, because it interferes in
federal matters of international relations, making it likely
to be contested.
In a related development, the U.S. Treasury Department
has redoubled its efforts to supervise travel to Cuba, and
announced that any violations of the restrictions will be
punished with fines of up to $65,000 and the suspension of
travel licenses, among other actions. According to a press
release from the Department’s Office of Foreign Assets
Control, the purpose of the warning was to prevent any
attempt by U.S. citizens to enjoy tourism in Cuba that does
not qualify for one of the cultural, educational or academic
programs authorized by President Barack Obama in
Cubans in USA Demand Normal Relations with CubaP
Andrés Gómez, a journalist and editor of Areíto Digital.
Festival of Fire in Santiago de CubaBy AdonisMARTÍNEZ
Santiago de Cuba will become the spiritual capital
of the Caribbean from July 3-9, when more than
800 guests from 50 countries are scheduled to
gathered in the Cuban eastern city to celebrate the
Festival of Fire.
With Martinique as a guest country, the week-
long Fiesta del Fuego will feature different cultural
expressions not only from the Caribbean region but
also from other parts of the world.
The well-known annual street party is celebrated
all over the city, where Cuban conga and son music
will merge with the French tumba and calypso, the
Colombian cumbia, Haiti´s kompa, the zouk from
Martinique and Guadeloupe, Jamaica´s reggae and
the Dominican merengue.
Prominent scholars will attend a seminar entitled
“The Caribbean binding us together,” to discuss
identity and cultural resistance of the Caribbean
people, as well as a workshop on popular religions
that will include academic sessions and rituals.
The 2012 Festival of Fire, which will also pay
tribute to its founder, the late Joel James Figarola,
will wrap up with the traditional Burning of the
13 esq. a I, Vedado. Tel: 832-9359.
Every Tues.-Fri. in July (6:30 p.m.): La
Historia de Juan Lennon, a musical
theater performance inspired by
the history of rock music and The
Beatles. Performed by the company
Teatro de las Dos Orillas and the
rock band Miel con Limon.
Ayestarán y 20 de Mayo, Centro
Habana. Tel: 878-5551.
Calle K, e/ 25 y 27, Vedado, Havana.
5ta. Avenida Esq. a 94, Playa. La
Habana. Tel. 203-7676.
Hubert de Blanck
Calzada e/ A y B, Vedado, Havana.
Línea e/ Paseo y A, Vedado,
Havana. Tel. 831-9304.
Línea e/ A y B, Vedado. Tel: 833-
Galiano e/ Neptuno y Concordia.
Centro Habana. Tel: 862-5416.
Basílica Menor de San Francisco
Oficios e/ Amargura y Churruca,
Habana Vieja. Tel.: 862-9683 — Sat.
30 (6 p.m): Concert by Havana´s
Polyphonic Choir. Tue. July 3, Sat.
July 7 (6:00 p.m): Opening and
closing concerts of the Corhabana
2012 Internacional Choir Festival.
Fri. July 13 (6:00 p.m.): Concert
by Musica Eterna (chamber
music orchestra directed by
Guido Lopez-Gavilan Sat. July 14
(6:00 p.m.): Vivaldi´s Four Season
and Astor Piazolla´s Estaciones
Porteñas by Camerata Romeo,
directed by Zenaida Romeu.
Gran Teatro de La Habana
Prado e/ San Rafael y San Jose.
Habana Vieja. Tel: 861-5873 —
Garcia Lorca hall: Sat. July 20
(8:30 p.m.) & Sun July 21 (5 p.m.):
The National Lyrical Theater and
Orchestra of the Gran Teatro
perform Madama Butterfly.
Oratorio San Felipe Neri
Aguiar Esq. Obrapía, Habana Vieja.
Tel: 862-3243. — . Thur. July 5 (7:00
p.m.): Nuestro Tiempo (chamber
music orchestra) and Ecuadoran
pianist Juan C. Escudero will play
Dmitri Shostakovich´s Concert
No.1. Thur. July 12 (7:00 p.m.):
Concert by a Chinese string
quartet. Last Sat. of every month
(11 a.m.): Children´s lyrical chorus
Iglesia de Paula
Ave del Puerto esq. a San Ignacio,
Habana Vieja. Tel: 860-4210 —
Venue of the Corhabana 2012
International Choir Festival. Wed.
July 4 (7:00 p.m.): Ensemble
Alter Voce, from México, Coro de
Cámara from Matanzas, Cuba.
Thur. July 5 (7:00 p.m.): Ensemble
Vocal Luna (Cuba), and Ensemble
Coral Mexiquense de Cultura
(México). Fri. July 6 (7:00 p.m.):
Camerata Vocale Sine Nomine
(Cuba) and Ensemble Vocal
5 (Colombia). Fri. July 13 (7:00
p.m.): Cellists Juan Verdera and
Alejandro Martínez will play the
Concert for two violoncellos. Sat.
July 14 (7:00 p.m.): Concert by
students from the Convivium
Musicum academic program
sponsored by Ars Longa. Directed
by German maestro Martin Rost.
Palacio de Teatro Lirico
Zulueta e/Animas y Neptuno,
Habana Vieja. Tel: 860-4392 —
Main venue of National Lyrical
Theater. Every Fri. (6 p.m.), every
Sat. (5 p.m.): Opera performances.
Sundays (5 p.m.) Chamber
orchestras & small groups perform
classic & contemporary pieces.
Museo de la Revolución
Calle Refugio e/ Monserrate y
Zulueta. Old Havana. Tel: 862-
4091. Fri. July 27 (5 p.m.): Concert
by singer-songwriter Raul Torres.
Sat. 29 (3 p.m.) National Chorus of
Teatro Karl Marx
Avenida 1ra y 10, Miramar. Tel:
203-0801 — Sat. July 7 (8:30 p.m):
Arnoldo y Su Talisman (salsa) will
perform songs from their new
NIGHT CLUBS & CABARETS
Calle 17 Esq.a 6. Vedado. Tel:
830-6808. — Tues.-Sun: Live
performances by rock bands and
classic rock videos nightly.
Casa de la Música Galiano
Galiano y Neptuno, Centro
Habana. Havana. Tel: 860-8296.
— Every Tue. in Jun. (6 p.m.): Kola
Loka (fusion). Every Sat. (5 p.m.):
Combinación de La Habana
Teatro Nacional Café Cantante
Teatro Nacional, Paseo y 39, Plaza
de la Revolución, Habana. Tel: 879-
6011 — Every Sun. in July (5 p.m.):
Los Kents. Every Fri. (5 p.m.): Cary
Centro Cultural Fresa
Calle 23.Esq. a 12, Vedado. Havana
Tel: 836-2096 — Every Thu.
(10:30 p.m.): Grupo Enfusion.
Every Sat. (10:30 p.m.): Soloist
Yeni Sotolongo. Every Sat & Sun
(9 p.m.): Laura duet. Every Wed.
(7 p.m): singer/guitarist Erick
San Nicolás esq. Cuchillo, Barrio
Chino, Centro Habana. Tel:
8639451. — Every Fri in July (9
p.m.): Anais Abreu. Every Sat. (10
p.m.): Argelia Fragoso. Every Thu. .
(10 p.m.): Lynn Milanes & friends,
featuring Rey Ugarte. Every Sat.
(6 p.m.): Silvio Alejandro and his
guests Ariel and Lili.
Casa de la Música de Miramar
Calle 20 esq. A 35, Miramar,
Havana. Tel: 202-6147 — Salon
Te Quedaras. Every Tue. in July (9
p.m.) & Every Thurs. (4 p.m.): Ray
Fernandez. Every Sat. (5 p.m.):
Calle 9 e/ 120 y 130, Cubanacan.
Tel: 204-6248 — Every Sun. in July
(5 p.m.): Frank Delgado (trova)
and Tue. (8 p.m.): Concert by D’
MUSEUMS AND GALLERIES
Museo de Artes Decorativas
Cale 17 e/ D y E. Vedado. Tel: 830-
9848. — Exhibition: Vases in the
history of decorative arts.
Basílica Menor de San Francisco
Oficios e/ Amargura y Churruca,
Habana Vieja. Tel.: 862-9683 — All
of July: “The genius of Leonardo
da Vinci. “ Fri. 13th (4 p.m.):
Exhibition opening: “Las orillas
de la memoria“ by Miguel Vizoso
Mercaderes e/ Obrapía y Obispo,
Habana Vieja. Tel: 863-9740. — All
of July: exhibitions on traditional
Asian dress and tourism in Asia.
Calle Obrapía e/ Oficios y
Mercaderes, Habana Vieja. Tel:
862-2611 — Fri. July 6 (3 p.m.):
Exhibition opening: Jewelry by
rd Encounter of Casino & Salsa Dance Academies & Dancers, Jul 12 - 16, Varadero
Sun. July 8, Gran Teatro de La Habana
CorHabana festival, July 3-7, Teatro Amadeo Roldan & other venues
NIGHTCLUBS & CABARETS
ART GALLERIES& MUSEUMS
Centro de la Danza
Prado e/ Genios y Refugio, Habana
Vieja. Tel. 866-0806 — Fri. July 6 (3
p.m.) Fraternal encounter between
Afro-Cuban dance company
Raices Profundas and Venezuelan
traditional dance group Asi es Mi
Tierra, with performances by both
Teatro Nacional de Cuba
Paseo y 39, Plaza de la Revolución,
Habana. Tel: 879-6011 — Sala
Covarrubias. Fri. July 27, Sat. 28
(8:30 p.m.) & Sun. 29 (5 p.m.):
Contemporary dance company
Narcico Medina performs “Narciso
en el Umbral de la Semilla” as part
of a tour that continues on to the
Gran Teatro de La Habana
Prado e/ San Rafael y San Jose.
Habana Vieja. Tel: 861-5873 —
Garcia Lorca hall. Thurs. July 5 and
Fri. July 6 : Special show celebrating
graduation of the National Ballet’s
Vocational Workshop. Sun. July 8 :
Gala performance by the National
Ballet for 50th anniversary of the
Institute for Friendship with the
Peoples & European Solidarity
Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes
Trocadero e/ Monserrate y
Zulueta, Habana Vieja. Tel. 861-
0241 — Edificio de Arte Cubano.
Until July 22: “Cuando Caen las
Fronteras” by Abel Barroso.
Palacio de Lombillo
Empedrado esq. Mercaderes,
Habana Vieja. — Fri. July 6 (4 p.m.):
Exhibition opening: “Aplicaciones”,
by Raylven Friman.
Museo de Naipes
Muralla e Inquisidor. Plaza Vieja.
Habana Vieja. Tel: 860-1534 — Sat.
July 7 (10:30 a. m.): Exhibition
opening: “El Mus: intimidades de
un lenguaje divertido.”
Casa Victor Hugo
Tue. July 10 (4 p.m.): Exhibition
opening: Impressionist decorative
porcelain, joint exhibit with the
Museo de la Orfebreria
Calle Obispo e/ Oficios y
Mercaderes Habana Vieja. Tel:
863-9861— Fri. July 13 (3 p.m.):
Exhibition opening: “Llaves
antiguas de la ciudad”, Michel Toll
(THR is not responsible for any changes made by sponsoring organizations)
rd Encounter of Casino & Salsa Dance Academies
& Dancers “DANCE IN VARADERO”
July 12 - 16
Salsa and casino dancers and representatives from dance academies
around the world come together to enjoy dance classes and
workshops at Cuba’s famous beach resort, Varadero. Prestigious
Cuban arts schools professors will provide the classes during the day
-- including mambo, chachachá, rumba and son -- and participants
will enjoy evening performances by some of the island’s best dance
Main venue: Hotel Barcelo Solymar, Carretera Las Américas km. 3,
Varadero, Matanzas, Tel: (45) 61-4499
National Ballet of CubaGran Teatro de La Habana, Sala Garcia Lorca
Performance celebrating the graduation of the Vocational Workshop
of the National Ballet’s Cátedra de Danza.
Gala performance dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the Cuban
Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP) and the 40th
anniversary of the creation of the European Cuba Solidarity Brigade.
“Elegy to a young man. Fabio Di Celmo In Memoriam,” a choreography
inspired by the story of the victim of a terrorist attack on a Cuban hotel,
representing moral and human values of these times. Choreography:
Alicia Alonso, Score: Antonio Vivaldi, Costumes: Pedro Moreno, Sets:
CORHABANA9th International Choral Music Festival
Cuban and international choirs participate in this annual choral festival,
featuring performances in the city’s main concert halls, workshops,
and masters´s classes. The Festival’s 9th edition will be dedicated
to the work of maestros Electo Silva and Leo Brouwer. The Amadeo
Roldán Theatre will be the main venue of the festival, along with the
Basílica Menor de San Francisco de Asís, Oratorio de San Felipe Neri,
Iglesia de Paula and the Centro Hispanoamericano de Cultura. For
more information, contact:
Teatro Amadeo Roldan
Calzada esq. a D, Vedado, Havana. Tel: 832-4521-22
Cuba’s Conjunto Folclórico: 50 Years of Popular TraditionBy NubiaPIQUERAS
HAVANA._ The creation of contemporary
performing arts based on popular
traditions is one of the main contributions
of Conjunto Folclórico Nacional (Afro-
Cuban Music and Dance Group, CFN) to the
development of the Cuban culture along
its 50 years of existence.
In statements to Prensa Latina, the co-
founder of this emblematic Cuban group,
Rogelio Martínez Furé, said that in this
dialectic process, men and women from
this century have been able to create their
own forms of artistic discourse, without
forgetting the origins because, as an
African proverb goes, the future is full of
At the same time, the influence of
Cuban music and dance, key elements in
the company’s performances, has helped
enrich the cultural values, patrimony, and
historical identity of Cuba as a nation on all
international venues, he added.
As a lifetime apprentice, as Martínez
Furé called himself, there have been
ups and downs during the CFN 50 years
of existence, but also friends who have
helped become into professional artists
a series of dancers, musicians, and singers
who have inherited a rich popular cultural
“In any case, we have always welcomed
every positive trend; urban and rural,
experimental, old and new, sacred and
profane; as part of an assimilation process,”
affirmed Furé, who is also professor,
researcher, and writer.
Meanwhile, the group’s director,
Manolo Micler, mentioned the show
recently presented at the Mella Theater as
part of the activities marking company the
Referring to future projects, Micler
mentioned a tour of Cuba´s eastern region,
the group’s participation at the Cervantino
Festival in Mexico, and at the Salsa Festival
in Maracaibo, Venezuela.
In addition, they will perform in several
Cuban provinces along with Conjunto
de Danza Tradicional (Traditional Dance
Group) from Venezuela, where activities
for the CFN anniversary started recently.
Founded on May 7, 1962 by Martínez
Furé and the Mexican Rodolfo Aries
Cortés, Conjunto Folclórico Nacional has
won numerous international awards, and
enriched its repertoire with such pieces
as Alafín de Oyó, Ciclos arará, Palenque,
and Tríptico oriental, works acclaimed by
the most diverse audiences in Europe,
Latin America, and Africa.
PHOTO FEATURE 11
By MarthaANDRÉS PHOTOS: VladimirMOLINA
Havana._ In the center of Havana’s colonial district, tucked between tall buildings
on each side, the Bodeguita del Medio restaurant and bar beckons to passers-by
with its unusual sign, advertising what continues to be a unique spot in Cuba.
Locals and visitors drop in to taste one of the delicious Cuban dishes prepared
here; sip a delicious, world-famous mojito cocktail, listen to traditional Cuban
music and enjoy warm, friendly service. Songs like “Guantanamera,” “Chan Chan”
and “Hasta siempre, comandante” are staples for the ever-present musicians as
diners enjoy roast pork, exquisite black beans, rice and other favorites.
Graffiti on the walls, doors, and columns testify to the celebrities from all over the
world who were won over by the bohemian atmosphere of La Bodeguita. Their
signatures blend in with thousands of others.
According to Alejo Carpentier, the eminent Cuban novelist, as Paris’s
Montparnasse became decadent, that it was when La Bodeguita sprang up, and
like any meeting ground for bohemians, it has been the venue ever since for love
affairs, romance, happiness, dreams and more.
La Bodeguita del MedioUnique Bit of Cuban Bohemia
Venezuelan Government Empowers Women By DamyVALES
CARACAS._ The government of
President Hugo Chávez is ensuring
a more active role for women by
implementing policies to strengthen
gender equality through by fostering
women’s economic, social, and political
According to Judith López, Vice
President of the Women’s Institute
(INAMUJER), because his campaign
platform had included advocating the
need to achieve gender equality as an
essential component of a just society.
“The Bolivarian government has
made Venezuelan women visible
in society. We now have the Equal
Opportunities for Women Act, the Law
on the Right of Women to a Life Free
of Violence and 46 courts that hear
gender-based cases, working with 63
prosecutor’s offices and 138 municipal
institutions,” she told Prensa Latina.
Lopez, who is an economist said,
the first concrete action taken for
strengthening women’s rights was the
creation of an emergency hotline for
women. Initially it operated for one hour
daily, but now it operates 24 hours a
day, seven days weekly, along with a 112
emergency number, which was adopted
some time later.
The fact that the number receives
more than 5,000 calls daily is evidence
of women’s awareness about their
indisputable right to a life free of
violence, she said.
“The Venezuelan government’s
strategic objective is to eliminate gender
inequality,” she said. That requires
systemic transformation of society as a
whole, “because it is impossible to get rid
of this problem, which is a public health
issue, in a capitalist society,” López said.
She said other achievements
included the 2001 creation of the
Women’s Development Bank, which
provides financial and other services
to women giving them productive
tools for participating in the country’s
socioeconomic development. That
institution strengthens public
microfinance with an approach based
on gender, class, and ethnicity. With
respect to ethnicity, López noted that
in 2006, the Afro-descendant Women´s
Coordinating Committee was created to
address cases of discrimination against
women from different ethnic groups
and abuse of indigenous women. In
2011 the first municipal institute for
Indigenous Women Services was created
in Alto Orinoco in Amazonas state. That
institute currently provides services for
women from the Piaroa, Yanomami, Baré,
Yekuana, Jivi, and Arawaka ethnic groups.
As an entity attached to the Ministry
of Women’s Affairs, INAMUJER’s role
is to prevent violence against women
through information, workshops, and
presentations in the community, as well
as to help raise awareness about the
need to achieve gender equality.
The Venezuelan legal system
recognizes a total of 19 types of
violence, López said. Since 2001, reports
of violence have been mostly cases of
psychological abuse, followed by cases
of sexual harassment and physical and
sexual attacks. Among other aspects,
López highlighted the importance of
a government program called Mission
Madres del Barrio (“Mothers of the
Neighborhood”) reduce women’s
According to article 67 of the
Organic Law on the Right of Women to
a Life Free of Violence, anyone accused
of violence against women must enroll in
programs aimed at helping them change
their behavior and preventing them from
committing similar acts again.
The increasing participation of
Venezuelan women in the political,
public, and legislative sectors is one of
the most visible achievements in their
fight for social equality.
Efforts by the Venezuelan
government to ensure women’s rights
might be summarized in a statement
by Chávez: “The peoples cannot attain
their full independence if women are
not truly independent. I am convinced
that a genuine socialist also must be an
Investors Set Their Sights on Latin AmericaBy MarioESQUIVEL
HAVANA.- The positive performance shown by Latin
American economies, with a projected 3.7 percent increase
in overall gross domestic product for 2012, makes the region
an attractive target for foreign direct investment (FDI).
Figures recently disclosed by the Economic Commission
for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) corroborate
this view, after the region’s FDI experienced a record high
of about $153.44 billion in 2011.
The previous record high was reported in 2008, when
that indicator stood at $137 billion, but the following year
it dropped drastically to $81.58 billion, due to the world
Experts agree that the 2011 record high is an interesting
one because it corresponds to a period when the effects of
the euro zone crisis began to be felt, weighed down by the
sovereign debt issue.
Signs of the upcoming upward trend had already
been perceived in 2010, when some $120.88 billion in
different forms of FDI were reported. ECLAC said that the
amount registered last year accounted for 10 percent
of the world total. During the period analyzed, Brazil
was Latin America’s largest FDI recipient, with $66.60
billion, accounting for 43.8 percent of the regional total.
In addition, the amounts reported by Chile ($17.29
billion), Colombia ($13.23 billion), Peru ($7.65 billion),
and Uruguay ($2.52 billion) represented record highs for
In Central America, FDI experienced a 36 percent
increase on a year-on-year basis, and in the Caribbean, FDI
income grew 20 percent.
The ECLAC survey also mentioned the sectors
most attractive for foreign investment, with 57 percent
invested in natural resources, especially mining, oil, and
gas. The service sector accounted for 36 percent of FDI,
and manufacturing, just seven percent. Amid these
circumstances, the ECLAC called for the promotion of
polices for guiding FDI and making the best use of its
potential benefits, including the transfer of knowledge
and technology. The commission also called for increasing
local capacities by strengthening national innovation
mechanisms, creating production chains, training human
resources, and developing local businesses.
The European Union as a whole was the largest
foreign direct investor in Latin America, averaging
some $30 billion annually, followed by the United
States, Spain, and Japan. Taking this situation into
consideration, experts warned of possible effects that
the euro zone’s sovereign debt crisis might have on the
flow of capital from Europe. According to ECLAC, that
crisis could affect exports, price policies, foreign direct
investment, remittances, and tourism, as well as other
Regarding finance, it could be difficult to access lines
of credit, markets could become volatile and there could
be capital flight toward the central banks of industrialized
Of course, a recession in Europe and in other
industrialized economies would result in reduced demand
for goods, with a consequent decrease in Latin American
exports and price cuts for its basic products.
MANAGUA._ Without any patient
being charged a penny, more than
94,000 Nicaraguans have recovered
their eyesight as part of Operation
Miracle, a program to provide vision
restoration surgery trough the
humane touch of Cuban doctors.
“It might seem modest, but those
are 94,000 people, and behind them,
thousands of others are working away,
not just healthcare personnel, not
just Cubans; regular are also making
a huge effort,” Health Minister Sonia
Initially, these services were
provided in places such as Ciudad
Sandino, Matagalpa and Bluefields,
but subsequently, on instructions from
President Daniel Ortega, mobile surgical
posts were created to reach every corner
of the country.
In February 2012, this new experience
began in one of the poorest regions of
this small Central American nation: the
so-called Triángulo Minero. Siuna was
the town chosen, and in short period,
restorative eye surgery was provided
to more than 500 patients from the
towns of Paiwas, Mulu-kukú, Prinzapolka
and Mina Rosita, with the help of local
authorities who provided transportion.
Community organizations and
municipal governments, in particular
city councils run by the Sandinistas
(members of the ruling Sandinista
National Liberation Front), provide
food and transport to ensure access by
residents who live in remote areas.
May 1 marked the fifth anniversary
of the Cuban Operation Miracle group
in Nicaragua. “They have been going
non-stop since ever they came,” Castro
said, referring to the family doctors,
ophthalmologists and optometrists who
keep records of every case and conduct
laboratory analyses. This is “an effort
involving Christian, socialist and solidarity-
based accompaniment,” that only friendly
countries are capable of generating, as a way
of restoring the rights of the large majority of
people, she said.
According to Health Ministry
statistics, a cataract operation, which
involves the implant of an intraocular
lens, costs from $1,000 to $1,500 in a
private Nicaraguan clinic, making it
inaccessible for most of the population
in this country, which is considered
among the most impoverished in the
As the result of an initiative by Cuban
leader Fidel Castro and Venezuelan
President Hugo Chávez, Operation
Miracle is one of the programs of the
ALBA (Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples
of Our America), an organization that
promotes unity and cooperation based
on the principles of solidarity and
justice, according to its creators.
For Cuba, Operation Miracle
represents the expansion of a decades-
long practice: approximately 135,000
Cuban health workers have participated
in medical cooperation missions under
the principles of free service and
universal access, according to reports by
the Cuban Health Ministry.
Currently, 38,868 Cuban health
professionals, 15,000 of whom are doctors,
are working in 66 nations, said Yiliam
Jiménez, director of the Health Ministry’s
Medical Cooperation Central Unit.
BUENOS AIRES._ At the age of 44,
oil engineer Miguel Galuccio has just
accepted the greatest challenge of his
professional life: creating a new identity
for Argentina’s recently-renationalized
gas and oil company, YPF.
After graduating from the Instituto
Tecnológico Buenos Aires, Galuccio
began working at YPF, the country’s
largest and most important company,
from 1994 to 1999. After the Spanish oil
company Repsol bought YPF, Galuccio
quit because he disagreed with the new
Shortly after assuming his new post
as YPF chief executive a few weeks ago,
this Argentine engineer expressed
his decision to work for YPF again as
a company with “a nationalist sense,
which is competitive, enterprising,
modern, a leader in the oil industry, and
central to the development of Argentina’s oil industry.”
“We must seek our own identity, and we have a
concrete plan for YPF to become the world’s number
one expert in the revival of marginal oilfields, and
a leader in the development of non-conventional
resources,” he noted.
“We also aim to turn YPF into an exporter of professional
services for the development of downstream projects
throughout Latin America,” Galuccio added.
The opinion of this professional, who until very recently
was the highest-placed Latin American executive at oil-
services giant Schlumberger Ltd, is in line with that held
by Argentine President Cristina Fernández.
In announcing Galuccio’s appointment as YPF general
manager in early May, Fernández said that the company
was beginning a new stage of professionalization and of
alignment with national interests. Cristina recalled that
when the YPF nationalization bill was sent to Congress, she
stressed the need for the company to have a
professional profile, which “does not mean
that YPF will lack political leadership,” the
president clarified, and adding Galluccio’s
appointment was meant to achieve that.
On May 3, the Chamber of Deputies
passed the YPF nationalization draft bill
208-32 with five abstentions. Shortly
before, the Senate had passed it 63-3 with
Cristina Fernández gave the green
light to the draft bill in Congress on April
16. The bill states that oil self-sufficiency,
prospecting, drilling, industrialization,
and distribution were matters of national
public interest. In explaining the decision
to renationalize YPF, which was privatized
in 1992, Cristina insisted it was imperative
for the country to regain control of
resources that are strategic and vital.
She also said that due to poor
management by Spain’s Repsol between 2001 and 2011,
the country’s oil reserves had shrunk by 50 percent. Last
year’s low production levels forced Argentina to import
gas and oil for the first time ever, she added.
If the practice of asset stripping, non-production,
and non-prospecting had continued, Argentina would
have become an unviable country, not because of a lack
of resources but because of poor business policies, the
Argentine Newly Re-Nationalized Oil Company Seeks New IdentityBy MoisésPÉREZ
Operation Miracle’s 5th Anniversary in NicaraguaBy María J.MAYORAL
Argentina’s President Cristina Fernandez announces a bill to nationalize Spain’s controlled oil company YPF, at Government House in Buenos Aires, Argentina,
Lefersa Keeps Cuba’s Bread RisingBy MasielFERNÁNDEZ
HAVANA._ Ten years after its founding,
Levaduras y Fermentos S.A, (Lefersa),
continues to play an essential role in
providing instant dry yeast for domestic
consumption and reducing the cost of
The plant, the only one of its kind in
Cuba, is located in Santa Cruz del Norte,
Mayabeque province, and operates in
association with the Lesaffre Group of
France, one of the world’s leading yeast
“The main goal of this plant is to produce
dry yeast for the domestic market,” the
plant’s general director, Raciel Alfaro, said
in an interview. A large variety of domestic
raw materials are used in the production
process, such as sugar cane molasses, the
most important ingredient.
The plant uses advanced technology,
and a number of the production stages are
fully automated, he said. Lefersa is currently
being reorganized to be able to meet
growing domestic demand with increased
domestic production, he said. “The fact
that a ton of yeast is currently valued at
nearly $4,000 on the international market
is something that cannot be ignored, Alfaro
noted. Domestic demand for yeast is about
2,400 tons annually, exceeding the plant’s
annual production of 2,200 tons. The main
challenge is to meet domestic demand, but
Lefersa also hopes to export in the long
term, Alfaro said.
Immediate plans include reorganizing
equipment, increasing possibilities for
expansion and seeking more viable
alternatives for investment, he said.
Quality control is maintained with
strict hygiene measures throughout the
production process, the plant director
said. A chemical lab and a microbiology
lab monitor the different variables during
yeast production, “because yeast is a living
microorganism that is given to undergoing
changes at any time,” he explained.
A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY
When Lefersa was created 10 years ago,
the idea was to replace baker’s yeast
At that time, four plants in Cuba were
producing fresh yeast, which requires
refrigeration and has a use-life of
approximately 21 days. Because of its high
moisture content, it remains biologically
active, and when it lacks nutrients, it
degrades and dies, as if it were feeding off
itself, explained Fernando Travieso, quality
control and development director at the
For that reason, it was decided to
produce instant dry yeast, which requires
no refrigeration, has a much longer life
shelf than fresh yeast (up to two years
under optimum storage conditions) and
helps bread rise faster. During the bread-
making process, there is less handling of
this kind of yeast, because it is directly
added to the dough, so the procedure is
more hygienic, Travieso said.
After 10 years of keeping Cuba’s bread
rising, this enterprise is committed to
increasing its productivity, both to fully
meet national demand and to open up
the way to the international market in the
future, its directors said.
HAVANA._ The Cuban agricultural model is eco-friendly,
says the UN´s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
representative in Cuba, Marcio Porto.
According to Porto, .the economic crisis of the 1990s
in Cuba forced the country to make a good agricultural
decision saving means growing.
Cuba managed to develop sustainable technologies
to obtain the same amount of products that it used to
produce with chemicals and other supplies, he added.
There is no doubt that this practice helps preserve
the soil, and make a more efficient use of water and other
natural resources, Porto told Prensa Latina. In his view, the
research work done by Cuban scientific institutions helps
to improve the quality of agriculture and its sustainability
with regards to the environment.
Porto recalled that when he was working at FAO
headquarters in Rome, Italy, Cuban researchers used to drop
by to present their research and brand-new technologies.
Most of the times, these technologies used materials
that other people did not use, but they were cheaper and
effective, because they were in harmony with ecology, he
explained. They used low-cost biodegradable materials that
were as effective as the plastics or other costly materials used
in other countries, he added. Cuba is an interesting example
of how to create technologies in times of crisis, and of how
much the people can develop their capabilities to produce
more with less, Porto sustained. Commenting on the
International Seminar on Urban and Suburban Agriculture
recently held in Havana, he said the meeting provided space
to coordinate urban and suburban agricultural projects in
Latin America and the Caribbean. The objective is to agree
on a regional strategy to improve food and nutrition security
in the region, Porto stressed.
The Eco-Friendly Cuban Agriculture Model By RobertoSALOMÓN
HAVANA._ Cuba has become a world chess powerhouse,
according to Cuban Grand master Silvino García, president
of the National Chess Federation.
“This sport has developed so much here, that we have
our hands full with all of the chess players who have won
titles from the international federation,” García said in an
Cuba has many children with talent and tremendous
potential for chess, and a number of young chess players
who are very close to the top, such as Carlos Hevia, who
has an Elo rating of 2545, a figure yet that is out of reach for
many players around the world.
In America, only Cuba and the United States have
chess players with Elo ratings higher than 2700, and Cuba
has earned that distinction without the resources that
other countries have, García said. He noted that chess has
become widespread and popular in Cuba, and that there
are programs for developing an interest in chess among
extremely young children. “Not very far in the future, we
can aspire to having a champion — if not a world champion,
then a player very close to the top — at all times,” he said.
According to García, there are great expectations
surrounding the performance of the Cuban team that
will go to the coming World Chess Olympiad in Istanbul,
Turkey. The team has extremely strong players, such as
Leinier Domínguez and Lázaro Bruzón, both of whom have
Elo ratings of over 2700. Cuba’s players recently acquired
further “very positive” experience with the 47th Capablanca
Memorial tournament, which was held in early May at the
Hotel Habana Riviera, and which provided possibilities for
fostering links with other federations, Garcia said.
According to the Cuban GM, this traditional Cuban
tournament is a “global paradigm” due to its continuity
over the years, along with its contributions to Cuban and
universal culture, and for enabling the training of different
generations of chess players from Cuba and Latin America.
Cuba is a World Chess PowerhouseBy AdrianMENGANA
Cuban Grand master Silvino García, president of the National Chess Federation, Cuban Grand master Leinier Domínguez and Cuban Grand master Lázaro Bruzón. (from left to right)
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HAVANA._ With almost two decades of
experience as a therapeutic clown, Joan
Barrington of Toronto recently shared
some of the tools of the trade with
members of the Cuban children’s theater
troupe La Colmenita.
Barrington traveled to the island in
March to hold an introductory workshop
on therapeutic clowning with 13 La
Colmenita artists, who then put their
learning into practice at the William
Soler Pediatric Teaching Hospital in the
Using laughter to heal the soul and
relieve the pain of thousands of child
hospital patients is the goal of this work
by Barrington. As one of the founders of
the Canadian Association of Therapeutic
Clowns, she helped start up therapeutic
clown programs in pediatric hospitals
across Canada, and is the founder of
Therapeutic Clowns International. “My
work is exhausting, but it is a gratifying
exhaustion,” she said in an interview
after a two-hour visit to the William Soler
Hospital with her Cuban pupils.
When she puts on her makeup and
costume and becomes Bunky, her clown
persona, Barrington brightens the
hearts of children who are hospitalized,
sometimes for months, bringing her
supreme satisfaction. “It´s very hard
to be a clown, especially a therapeutic
clown,” she said. “It´s like you´re from
another planet. You are accompanying
children who, in addition to their physical
condition, suffer from the anxiety and
sadness that come with being in a
The La Colmenita members who took
her course are 19 to 25 years old, but are
seasoned performers, having begun their
stage lives as children with the troupe,
directed by Carlos Alberto Cremata. One
theme they studied with Barrington was
“finding your inner clown.”
“The idea is to put yourself at the level
of the sick child, and create a harmonious
environment, not just for the patient, but
also for the parents, staff and visitors,” she
explained. “Our work is about building
trust through offering choices, and
bringing imagination and inclusive play
to the bedside. This is about the patients,
not about the clown. It means being a
playmate alongside these children in
their journey through their illness.”
The therapy centers on play; it is in the
nature of a child to play, Barrington noted.
“Why should children stop playing just
because they have to live in a hospital?”
Techniques she shared with the La
Colmenita members included how to
play with a child who is in isolation, or
hooked up to an IV or lying in bed, without
invading that child’s space. During their
visit to the hospital, the group moved
from floor to floor, turning heads with
their bright costumes, and using skits,
tricks and sterile toys to draw smiles and
laughter from babies, children, parents
“Seeing the children laugh has been
one of the most gratifying experiences
of my life,” said troupe member Amalia
Rojas, 19, who began performing at the
age of 4. “The clowning workshop gave
us a new tool to bring joy to children, like
we do every day in La Colmenita.”
The La Colmenita group will begin
bringing their laugh therapy on a regular
basis to the William Soler Hospital and
other health centers, according to the
LA COLMENITA ARTISTS, CANADIAN CLOWN
Together for a Labor of LoveBy MaylínVIDAL