Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Monday, January 9, 2012

Thanks for your solidarity with Cuba and with the Cuban Five
ICAP - Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples.

Children First
Cuba tops the list of countries in the continent with less than 5 percent infant mortality, same as Canada. The province with the lowest infant mortality rate in Cuba was Las Tunas, followed by Artemisa, Pinar del Rio & Holguin, Havana, and Ciego de Avila & Granma.

Pope visiting Cuba from March 26 to 28, 2012
The Pope will be arriving at the province of Santiago de Cuba to visit the Sanctuary of the "Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre." The Virgin of Charity’s effigy was discovered, according to legend, by fishermen about 400 years ago. The Pope plans to celebrate mass at Plaza de la Revolucion, Revolution Square.
The Virgin of Charity, called Virgen Mambisa, has been on the meantime on a pilgrimage throughout Cuba since August 8, 2010 and just arrived in Havana on December 31st at the end of the Conference of the Catholic Bishops of Cuba. The effigy was welcomed by people and youth along the Malecon and, a mass officiated by the Archbishop of Havana, Cardinal Jaime Ortega, ended the Conference.

Telling President Obama to free the Cuban Five
The International Solidarity Committee to Free the Cuban Five is calling on people around the world to begin the year 2012 with a collective action for the Cuban Five.  A press release sent by the Committee urged people to send an e-mail, fax, or make a telephone call to President Obama on January 5th to demand the freedom of the Cuban Five. The press release emphasizes that the action would be much more effective if all the contacts were made from all over the world at the same time.
The press release specified that President Obama knows that the Five are innocent, as affirmed by intellectuals, religious and union leaders, students, actors, activists, parliamentarians, Nobel prize winners and thousands of others all around the world.
The United States, said the Committee, should put an end to this injustice lasting for more than thirteen years; Washington can gain the respect of the international community awaiting this humanitarian gesture. 

Scientific Workshop:
Afro American Social and Cultural Anthropology &
the V Festival of Oral Narration

Havana, Jan 4 (Prensa Latina) Academics, researchers and artists from Spain, Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil, Equatorial Guinea, Portugal and Cuba met on Wednesday in Havana to celebrate the XVI Scientific Workshop on Afro American Social and Cultural Anthropology and the V Festival of Oral Narration. Events held in the House of Africa, attached to the Office of the Historian in Havana City.

The focus of both forums: to stimulate reflection on issues of culture and identity, on the African Diaspora, on resistance and maroons, on oral history visual anthropology, on religion and the role of museums in the community.

Havana City Historian, Eusebio Leal Spengler, delivered a lecture marking the 26 anniversary of the foundation of the House of Africa. Herman van Hoff, general director of the Regional Office for Culture of Latin America and the Caribbean of UNESCO, presented on topics related to the forum.

Two examples of the work shown were the photo exhibition of musical instruments and dances of Equatorial Guinea and the Maferefum painting exhibition of Cuban artist Nelson Jose Garcia exploring African roots through Art. Bienvenido Rojas, researcher, presented the books “The Silence of the Garifuna” and “The Voice of the Garifuna” thus opening the cultural program at the historic centre for 2012.

South Americans travelling to Cuba in 2011
Nearly 134,000 South American travelled to Cuba up until December 25, according to statistics from the Cuban Office of Information and Promotion of Tourism for the Southern Cone. The leading country source of tourists was Argentina, with 74,473 visitors, a more than 30 percent growth compared to 2010. Chile followed with 23,377 travellers to Cuba, an annual increase of close to 35 percent.  Uruguay travellers also increased more than 35 percent over previous year with 6,800 visitors. Brazil increased only slightly with 13,751 travellers while Peru was below the previous year level with almost 14,700 tourists.

During the International Tourism Fair of Latin America (FIT 2011) which closed last November in Buenos Aires, Cuban authorities offered full guarantees for the success of the largest air operation with Argentina scheduled for January to April 2012. The director of the Office of Information and Promotion of Tourism of Cuba for the Southern Cone explained that in the mentioned period the number of direct weekly flights between Buenos Aires and Havana, Varadero, Cayo Largo, Cayo Coco, Santa Clara and Holguin will increase to eight.

Ruta del Esclavo Museum: More than Seven Thousand People Visiting in 2011

Matanzas,Cuba.- Close to 7,700 people, more than 1,000 of them foreigners, visited the Ruta del Esclavo (Slave Route) Museum in 2011, paying tribute with their visit to victims of slavery. The Museum, the only one like this in Latin America, is located in what was the San Severino Castle, and offers visitors a perspective of Black people lives when brought from Africa as slaves.

Anabell Diaz, cultural promoter of the Museum, which is also a National Monument, explained that people are mainly interested in the hall of ancestral traditions of the slaves, the cult of the Orishas of Yoruba Pantheon, also known as Regla de Ocha or Santeria.

On the year devoted to African descendants by the United Nations Organization (UN), the Museum dedicated its program to the event with a “Miradas a la Cultura Africana” (Views of African Culture) exposition that remains open to the public.

Yaimarelys Hernandez, specialist of the Museum, stressed the public's interest in Wilfredo Lam's exhibition, in and of itself an act of decolonization with original pieces from the well known Cuban artist, presented by Alexis Leyva Machado (Kcho). The piece will stay in the museum until next February.

The Museum is located at the entrance of Matanzas bay; the facility, a former military fortress of the Spanish metropolis in Cuba, preserves its colonial architecture telling the living history by passageways, dungeons and instruments of torture used on slaves who worked and lived there.