Omara: the charms of a Diva

The place chosen for the premiere of the documentary Retrato de una diva (Portrait of a diva) was Pabellon Cuba’s Salon de Mayo in the Cuban capital city. This audiovisual presentation proposes a new approach to the figure of singer Omara Portuondo led by the experienced filmmaker Ileana Rodriguez.

  • Published in Culture

Homage to Alicia Alonso, legend of universal dance

Alicia Alonso maestro de generaciones is the title of the gala directed by Alberto Mendez that Cuba’s National Ballet will offer to its general director in her 95th birthday in Avellaneda Room of Teatro Nacional, next Sunday, December 20 at 8.30pm.

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The Liberation of Five Cuban Heroes: the Day Justice Triumphed

The return to Cuba, a year ago, of the antiterrorist Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, and Antonio Guerrero supposed the ending of the struggle of an entire people for the freedom of Five men, heroes of their Homeland.  

Hernández, Labañino, and Guerrero, next to René González and Fernando González (best known as the Five) were arrested by U.S. authorities in 1998 and sentenced, in a faked process, to top-heavy incarcerations for alerting of violent actions planned by terrorist groups from Florida against Cuba.

This fact was the beginning of a long and difficult battle for freedom of five exceptional men who despite the hardships of prison, never gave in to pressures, or injustice, neither betrayed their ideals.

This sparkled a struggle for more than a decade for the liberation of these men who embarked in that mission with the goal of protecting their homeland from the terrible effects of the scourge of terrorism.

For that reason the words of the historical leader of the Cuban Revolution were heard then asserting on, June 23, 2001: The innocence of those patriots is complete. I only tell you one thing they will Return!

And indeed, they returned. First it was René, later Fernando: in both cases, after completing their respective sentences they set foot in Cuban soil to receive homage and the love of a thankful Cuba. The cause of the Five had become the cause of an entire town and drew solidarity from all over the world.

However, happiness was not complete, as it was recognized then: three fight brothers were missing, René and Fernando said, and the relatives of the Five knew it, and all Cuba felt it.

Hence the magic of December 17, 2014 when a new stage was announced in the United States - Cuba relationships and Washington recognized that it had clearly failed in its hostile politics for more than half a century against Cuba and finally the three heroes who remained prisoners were set free and could return to their island.

The news became official during the Cuban president's memorable television address.

In his address, Raul Castro reminded Fidel Castro's promise and he said in a happiness shared by 11 million countrymen: arrived today in our Homeland, Gerardo, Ramón and Antonio.

When Raúl Castro welcomed them, he expressed the gratitude of the entire country and the Five - finally together - ratified their fidelity to Homeland and showed their will to keep on fulfilling the tasks the Revolution assigns them.

Later on, in February, the antiterrorists would be awarded with the Playa Giron Order, the title of Hero of the Republic of Cuba (distinction they already had since 2001) and they would fulfill a dream: the beloved meeting with the historical leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro.

Qva Libre musical group works in a new record

Havana.- Cuban funk-alternative rock group Qva Libre, that has become one of the most popular ones of the Island due to its peculiar style, is presently working in a new record that will include several guests. 

  • Published in Culture

Cuban Filmmaker and Team Celebrate Goya Nomination

HAVANA – Cuban moviemaker Marilyn Solaya and her team were celebrating on Monday after learning that her film “Vestido de novia” (Wedding dress) was nominated for a Goya Award – Spain’s equivalent of the Oscar – in the Best Ibero-American Film category.

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Obama 'Interested' in Visiting Cuba

U.S. President Barack Obama said Monday he is open to visiting Cuba sometime in 2016.

"I am very much interested in going to Cuba, but I think the conditions have to be right," Obama said in an interview with Yahoo News.

The president said “progress in the liberty and freedom and possibilities of ordinary Cubans” would be a precondition for a visit. That seemed to include being able to “talk to anybody,” including U.S. funded “pro-democracy” groups.

During the same interview, Obama conceded he would likely be unable to fulfill his electoral promise to close Guantanamo Bay, adding that a future U.S. president may decide to hand the site back to Cuba.

The interview was conducted on the one year anniversary of an announcement that Washington and Havana would restore diplomatic ties.

While both sides say significant progress has been made over the past year, the Cuban government says normal ties will be impossible unless the United States dismantles its blockade.

Obama said in July that the blockade had failed. Since then, he has often hinted that it would soon be lifted. But despite beginning a path to normalize bilateral dealings, including lifting some travel and trade bans to the island, the sanctions continue, as a change of policy would have to be passed by the U.S. Congress.

Cuban President Raul Castro has reiterated that in order for full relations to be re-established, the United States must meet four conditions: to leave Guantanamo detention camp; end the blockade; end the “wet-foot-dry-foot” law encouraging Cubans to pursue residency in the U.S.; and end anti-government radio and television transmissions into the island.

Lifting of the half-century blockade would represent a historic moment for Cubans, 77 percent of whom were born under the harsh economic conditions resulting from it.

  • Published in Now
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