Havana´s 500th anniversary will bring restoration of city landmarks

Havana, November 13 (RHC)— 'Havana has played an important role in the construction of the national character, in the struggles for independence, and in the battles led by students and workers. This city has an impressive heritage reserve ... ', said Dr. Eusebio Leal Spengler, Historian of the Cuban capital.

Leal spoke at a press conference on Monday to provide details about the plan of activities in recognition of city, which will be marking its half millennium in November next year.

To greet the grand occasion, Leal Spengler explained that the finishing of the full restoration of El Capitolio building will be accomplished, with the completion of the halls of National Symbols, of the Anthem, and of the Constitution.

Other works include the setting up of the Railway Museum of Cuba at the Cristina Station in Old Havana, the new headquarters of the Automobile Museum; and the recovery of the first venue of the House of Representatives.

The preparation for the 500th anniversary of the Cuban capital will also include the setting up of the stations of a new public bicycle system in the old city, as well as a housing program that will improve living conditions of hundreds of residents.

“Havana is a city that has suffered the impact of cyclones and political-economic changes, but still it is very alive.”, said Spengler, and he added that works will be carried out in its 15 municipalities, and that residents are expected to actively participate in them.

Tradition acknowledges November 16, 1519 as the day Spanish conqueror Diego Velazquez established its third and final location.

Some of the cultural activities expected for Havana´s 500th anniversary, include the 13th edition of its renowned Biennial along the Malecon sea front drive and the Paseo del Prado, and in buildings and public spaces of the Historic Center.

Edited by Jorge Ruiz Miyares
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Cuban President's Tour: Reunion with Friends of all Time

Russia, North Korea, China, Vietnam and Laos, five visits to those countries of the Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel, cemented in just two weeks old and valuable relations, confirming that times pass, but the real ones friends are left.

Almost like a road map, Díaz-Canel used his Twitter account to report the main incidents in each nation and his impressions about a journey aimed at ratifying 'the continuity of the Revolution and thanks for the solidarity that fuels our resistance'.

The Cuban president made a brief stop in France, where he met with the Prime Minister Édouard Philippe, and with the Director General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay.

From there he traveled on Friday 2 to Russia, where he held official talks with his counterpart from that country, Vladimir Putin.

He also met with Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev, the headlines of the Duma (Lower House), Vyacheslav Volodin, and the Senate, Valentina Matvienko, the communist leader Gennady Zyuganov and the Patriarch of Moscow and all the Russians Kiril.

At the end of their stay in Moscow, Diaz-Canel and Putin signed a joint statement in which they reaffirmed the strategic partnership between their countries, condemned the interventionism and advocated a multi-polar world.

The visit left the balance of the agreement of a greater participation of Russia in projects related to energy, transport, pharmaceutical, metallurgy, culture and humanities.

At the start of the Asian leg of his tour, the Cuban president arrived at noon on Sunday 4 to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), where he received a massive popular reception at the airport and the main avenues of Pyongyang.

In addition to holding official talks with the chairman of the State Committee of the DPRK, Kim Jong-un, Diaz-Canel met more than once with him and renewed the friendship between the two nations.

Our relations are historical and are based on mutual respect and admiration, founded on the friendship of Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz and the great leader Kim Il-sung, he said.

The Cuban president also met with the president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly, Kim Yong Nam, and with Prime Minister Pak Pong Ju.

The respective delegations signed cooperation agreements in areas such as tourism, education and public health.

When he left, he wrote in his Twitter account: 'The delegation of #Cuba says goodbye to the beautiful # RepúbicaPopularDemocráticaDeCorea, to which we thank their unwavering condemnation of the blockade, a cruel and unjust policy that also suffers the Korean people for sanctions against their government #NoMasBlock '.

In China, Díaz-Canel attended the first International Exposition of Imports in Shanghai, attended by more than three thousand local and foreign companies.

In the Asian giant he was received by President Xi Jinping; Prime Minister Li Keqiang; and the President of the National People's Congress and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, Li Zhanshu.

After the official talks, the parties signed agreements to increase production capacity in prioritized collaboration projects and the granting of a Chinese loan that will support the acquisition of construction equipment for the renewable energy and tourism sectors, among others.

Diaz-Canel arrived in Vietnam almost at midnight on Thursday 8 and the following day held official talks with the Secretary General of the Communist Party of Vietnam and President of this country, Nguyen Phu Trong, who imposed the Order of Ho Chi Minh.

The two presidents also witnessed the signing of the trade agreement that over the next few years will govern the operations of the two countries in this area.

In Hanoi, Diaz-Canel was also received by the Prime Minister, Nguyen Xuan Phuc, and the head of the National Assembly, Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan.

On Saturday 10, he traveled to Ho Chi Minh City, the largest city in Vietnam and its main economic, industrial and financial center, and from there he flew directly to the neighboring Lao People's Democratic Republic (RDPL).

In Vientiane held official talks with the president and general secretary of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party, Bounnhang Vorachith.

Both also witnessed the signing of a cooperation agreement between the Ministry of Education and Sports of the RDPL and the National Institute of Physical Education, Sports and Recreation of the Antillean nation.

Members of its delegations also signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation between the Bank of the RDPL and the Central Bank of Cuba.

Diaz-Canel also met with Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith and the head of the National Assembly, Pany Yathotou.

  • Published in Cuba

Cuba's President Arrives in Laos

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel arrived in the Lao People''s Democratic Republic on Saturday to attend an invitation from this country's President, Bounnhang Vorachit.

It is the second time that the Cuban Head of State visits this Asian country, with which bilateral diplomatic relations have existed since November 1974.

Since then, the two countries have helped and supported each other and contributed to improving cooperation between the two governments and peoples.

Prior to the arrival of the Cuban dignitary, Laotian press media announced their visit in great headlines and some published extensive biographies.

The presence of Diaz-Canel in Laos is part of a tour of countries in Europe and Asia.

He previously made a brief stopover in France and official visits to Russia, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, China and Vietnam.

  • Published in Cuba

Cuba Reaches Four Million Tourists, Moves Forward

The Ministry of Tourism (MINTUR) reported on Saturday that Cuba has reached four million foreign visitors so far in 2018, news that tour operators and travel agents welcomed.

The MINTUR notes that the figure of four million international visitors was reached only four days after the date it was reached last year.

These results are obtained in spite of the media campaigns to discredit Cuban tourism and amid the measures of intensification of the blockade against Cuba by the Government of the United States,

Cuba, the text recalls, is the only country in the world to which U.S. citizens cannot travel freely as tourists (because of a U.S. law).

The note also highlighted that this Tourist Destination stands out for its safety, for the hospitality of the people and for the natural and cultural attributes, as well as for the preservation and beauty of the beaches.

The MINTUR statement concluded that growth is planned for the remainder of the quarter, which will allow exceeding the figure reached the previous year.

There is a tourism development plan for 2030, there would be 100,000 rooms by that date (in all of Cuba) when the biggest weight is executed with limited own resources, but also prioritizes foreign investment in the country.

  • Published in Cuba

Cuba to Host Meeting of Friends of Partagas

Havana, Nov 10 (Prensa Latina) The 31st edition of the Friends of Partagás meeting, one of the great smoke festivals that takes place in Cuba every year, will gather cigar aficionados from November 12 to 16, the organizers announced.

Organized by La Casa del Habano de Partagas, it is one of the most frequent events of its kind, together with the International Habano Festival held every February in Cuba.

There will be five days with very special proposals where participants will enjoy unparalleled experiences in the land of the best tobacco in the world, according to the information disclosed on Facebook by the organizers of the event.

A Partagas cigar is immediately recognizable by its rich and intense flavor.

The Cuban tobacco industry maintains a more efficient rhythm every year in the face of international premium cigars or handmade markets, experts say.

Cuban cigars count in their favor with the climate, soil and experience of the producers, basic elements when it comes to expressing that they are the best in the world.

  • Published in Cuba

Cartoonist François Deflandre in Cuba's Belgian Week

Havana, Nov 9 (Prensa Latina) Belgian cartoonist François Deflandre will hold a conference-meeting on Friday during the 13th edition of the Belgian Week taking place in Cuba.

The event, entitled Before - After, will highlight the work of Deflandre focused on the Brussels commune of Watermael-Boitsfort and its garden cities.

As the program explains, the photographs and documents make a precise parallel between old (1930) and current (2015) views of these places where he has lived and drawn for thirty-two years.

The event will be at the Casa de Las Tejas Verdes, located on 2nd and 5th Avenue, Miramar district, and has the support of the Brussels-Capital Region, the Embassy of the Kingdom of Belgium in Cuba and the Office of the City Historian.

François Deflandre is a graphic artist, draftsman and screenwriter, renowned for his narrative and visual style of strange surrealist stories.

He has works such as 'The Blood of the Automatons,' 'Gothic Puzzle,' 'The Circle of the Spectrums,' and 'The Accessorist'.

His passion for garden cities has earned him international awards and the recognition of critics and media in the world.

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New Album Prolongs Cuban Rumba Tradition

Havana, Nov 9 (Prensa Latina) The new CD-DVD with a documentary anthology of the Cuban Rumba group Muñequitos de Matanzas is a valuable tribute to their ancestors, the musicologist and general producer Cary Diez said on Friday.

'Maferefun la rumba, the title of the album that contains 10 tracks and the documentary by the filmmaker Julia Mirabal, brings us this group that after 66 years of its foundation always sings to its ancestors, always shows the rebellion worthy of a runaway slave, as reflected in the song La Mundo Se Está Acabando Mayoral (The World Is Coming to an End Foreman), a sign and a principle of freedom,' Diez told Prensa Latina.

The artistic director of the new project, who won a Latin Grammy Award in 2001 as the producer of the CD La Rumba Soy Yo and one of the most prestigious researchers on this dance musical expression, described some of the works in the CD-DVD to Prensa Latina.

She stressed that the CD is also the rebellion of Africans enslaved in a lament sung by Rafael Navarro Pujada, the leading singer of the group.

Diez highlighted that the phonogram also includes a plena from Puerto Rico and its culture, and a tribute to the bolero and Rafael Hernandez, the great Puerto Rican composer. 'Francisca la Conga, with which the album ends, has the strength of the Bantu Congo culture that extends from the West to the East and connects us with the magnetism of Muñequitos de Matanzas,' explained the researcher in relation to the CD, recorded at the studio of Pablo Milanes and presented on Thursday in this capital.

With a discography of more than 30 volumes of their own and many collaborations, after several years without venturing into a studio, Muñequitos returns now with Maferefun la Rumba, news that deludes specialists and fans of this expression of Cuban culture registered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on its list of Humankind's Intangible Cultural Heritage.

The CD-DVD produced by the Cuban recording label Bis Music will be presented and sold to the public on November 11 at 17:00 hours, local time, at the Mella Theater in this capital, in the framework of the El Rumbazo 2 Festival, sponsored by the Cuban Music Institute and the Postmambo studios.

This show, directed by Cary Diez and Arnaldo Diaz, will have the participation of Muñequitos de Matanzas, the Academy La Rumba Soy Yo and the group Rumbatimba.

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Habanos S.A Seeks Greater Presence in Asia-Pacific Market

Habanos S. A., producer of premium cigars, is seeking to strengthen its presence in the Asia-Pacific market, a region considered one of the centers of the world economy, said Tuesday a source of the entity.

The Marketing Director, Ernesto Gonzalez, told Prensa Latina they are developing new products focused on that area.

Habanos S.A. has in China one of the strongest customers in Asia, and the company is currently focusing on consumers in that area to develop a culture on everything related to Habano and its properties, said the director.

The company, world leader in its category, now consolidates the European markets, which represent 56 percent of its sales, mainly in Spain, France, Germany, England and Switzerland.

The Cuban domestic market is also one of the most important in terms of sales volume.

We keep working focused on customers and satisfying their needs. Our strategy is to consolidate the gaps we have and continue growing, explained Gonzalez.

The company holds 70 percent of the world tobacco market, with the exception of the United States. Out of 10 cigars sold, seven are Cuban, he said.

  • Published in Cuba
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