Havana to celebrate the 2020 Chopin Year

The Chopin Year, organized by the Republic of Poland throughout 2020 on the occasion of the 210th anniversary of the birth of the brilliant Polish musician, will arrive shortly to Havana, according to a press release issued by the Embassy of that European country.

Included in the network of UNESCO Creative Cities for the music that is made and arrives there, Havana will make its this party, becoming host and guest at the same time, as it will share various stages with Polish musicians.

Karolina Mikolajczyk and Iwo Jedynecki, a talented duo of young musicians who play the violin and accordion, will be the first Polish artists coming to the Cuban capital next February 13.

They will perform, along with local artists such as soprano Milagros de los Ángeles, the Caliz Duet and the choral ensemble Vocal Luna, on February 14, 15 and 16 at the José Martí Memorial, the Saint Francis of Assisi convent and the ALBA House, respectively.

Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin was a composer and virtuoso Polish pianist, considered one of the most important in history and the greatest representatives of musical Romanticism, born on March 1, 1810, in Zelazowa Wola, Poland, and died on October 17, 1849, in Paris France. (ACN)

  • Published in Culture

Trinidad celebrates its 506th anniversary

Trinidad, January 13 (RHC)--  With the presence of Cuban Prime Minister Manuel Marrero, the solemn session of the Municipal Assembly of People's Power of Trinidad took place on Sunday on the occasion of the 506th anniversary of the founding of the village

Together with the Valle de los Ingenios (The Sugar Mills Valley), the city was declared a World Cultural Heritage site by UNESCO in 1998.

Tania Gutiérrez, president of the Municipal Assembly of Trinidad (Government), highlighted the revolutionary history of the third village founded in Cuba in which three generals of the war of independence against Spanish colonialism were born.

She also pointed out that the city is a "living legend, with happy and indomitable children" and highlighted the economic and social progress of the territory and said that Trinidad has the highest potential of the province.

The renowned Trinidadian artist Yudit Vidal received the Unique Prize for the Arts, awarded by the Municipal Assembly, for her outstanding work in the development of culture.

For her part, Katherine Muller-Marin, Director of Unesco's Regional Office for Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean, recalled the awarding of the status of Creative City to Trinidad - together with Havana - in the section of handicrafts and popular arts.

She said that 246 locations make up the UNESCO Creative Cities Network and praised the needle techniques used in this southern central city that have been converted into heritage.

Eduardo Torres Cuevas, director of the Marti's Program Office, delivered the keynote speech..

After the end of the celebration, participants visited several projects, including the official inauguration of the hotel La Popa by the Cuban Prime Minister Manuel Marrero. 

Edited by Jorge Ruiz Miyares

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UNESCO responds to Trump's threat to destroy Iranian cultural sites

Paris, January 9 (RHC)-- UNESCO’s director-general Audrey Azoulay has reminded U.S. President Donald Trump that his country was committed to multiple international conventions, binding Washington to respect cultural heritage in the case of conflict.

The warning from the head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization came in response to Trump’s threat in recent days to attack 52 sites in Iran, some of which pertain to the culture of the country, if Tehran were to retaliate over the killing of Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, in a U.S. airstrike.

Earlier this week, Azoulay met with Iranian ambassador to UNESCO, Ahmad Jalali, to address the situation in the Middle East and threats against its heritage, according to a statement released by the organization.  The UNESCO chief recalled that both the United States and Iran had signed conventions to protect cultural property in case of conflict and world heritage that meant that they could not “deliberately” take any measures to damage the cultural and natural heritage of other signatory countries.

She also pointed out that UN Security Council Resolution 2347, which was adopted unanimously in 2017, condemns acts of destruction of cultural heritage.  

In a message posted on Twitter, Trump had said that if Iran attacks U.S. interests his country has “We have ... targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some at a very high level & important to Iran and the Iranian culture.”

“If Iran strikes any Americans, or American assets... Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD,” the U.S. president had threatened.

Edited by Ed Newman
  • Published in Culture

UNESCO recognizes Venezuelan cultural tradition

Bogota, Dec 13 (Prensa Latina) UNESCO's Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage recognized here yesterday the Biocultural Program for Safeguarding Tradition of the Blessed Palm in Venezuela.

In this regard, the program was chosen to integrate UNESCO's Register of Good Safeguarding Practices. The tradition consists of gathering several palm species in a particular mountainous area. After several activities in the mountains, where the Palmeros (those participating) tell stories, stop at specific points as if going through the Stations of the Cross, take care of the trails and plant and prune palm trees, these palm leaves distributed ? blessed as part of Holy Week ? within several communities.

Several innovative measures were adopted as part of the Biocultural Program, for example, the creation of educational projects for youngsters and the offer of cultural activities for the communities of palmeros.

The Program has served to encourage hundreds of children and young people to participate and its educational components make it a model for other communities that also practice the collection of blessed palm during Holy Week.

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Cuban Chancellor to meet UNESCO Director General today

Audrey Azoulay, director general of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), will hold today a meeting with Bruno Rodriguez, Cuba´s Minister of Foreign Affairs, as part of her visit to the Caribbean island.

The program of the visit includes tours of the Santa Clara Convent, headquarters of the Caribbean-EU-UNESCO Project, and the "Rafael Maria de Mendive" Primary School, in Havana´s historic center.

During her stay in Cuba, which will run until next Sunday, Azoulay will also visit the Rosario Mountain Range Biosphere Reserve, in Artemisa province, and the Cuban Art Factory, in Havana.

Cuba maintains an active participation in UNESCO, particularly in the Executive Council and the General Conference, where it has a proactive and supportive role in the organization's reform processes.

The Caribbean island entered UNESCO on August 29, 1947, and since then the links with that international body have remained uninterrupted.

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UNESCO Director General to visit Cuba

The Director General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco), Audrey Azoulay, will make an official visit to Cuba starting Wednesday, according to diplomatic sources from the island.

Its agenda in the Caribbean nation will include official conversations with Cuban authorities and other activities, according to a note published in Cubaminrex.

Cuba has been a member of Unesco since August 29, 1947, when the instrument of ratification was deposited with the government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Audrey Azoulay began her four-year term as director general of Unesco after being elected on November 15, 2017 at the 39th session of the General Conference of the international organization.

The official is a graduate of the French public administration school Ecole Nationale d'Administration and the Institute of Political Studies in Paris and studied business administration from the University of Lancaster (United Kingdom).

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Cuba's Minister of Culture meets with UNESCO Director-General

aris, Nov 20 (Prensa Latina) Cuban Minister of Culture Alpidio Alonso and UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay held talks here on their ties and the desire to strengthen them, diplomatic sources revealed on Wednesday.

According to the Permanent Delegation of Cuba to UNESCO, the meeting on Tuesday took place in a friendly atmosphere, in which the host expressed expectations for her trip to Havana next month.

Azoulay recognized the work of Cuba in UNESCO areas (education, science and culture) and thanked Alonso for his participation in the 40th session of the General Conference of the organization, and in particular in the Forum of Ministers of Culture carried out yesterday.

Meanwhile, Alonso reiterated Cuba's commitment to the multilateral agency and explained through examples the negative impact of the US blockade on the cultural sector.

He also shared Cuba's vision that without access to culture there can be no inclusive development.

During the meeting, Alonso bestowed Azoulay with an image of Havana, the capital city that recently commemorated the 500th anniversary of its founding.

The Cuban minister was accompanied by Cuba's permanent delegate to UNESCO, Ambassador Dulce Buergo, while the host was accompanied by her Assistant Director-General for Culture, Ernesto Ottone, among other UNESCO officials.

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UNESCO strongly rejects the US blockade of Cuba

Paris, November 7 (RHC) -- UNESCO has warned that the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the US government for almost 60 years causes unjustified damage to the Cuban people and obstructs their economic development.

That’s how the Paris based United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s report for the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres begins, reproducing opinions of countries and institutions on the stranglehold applied to the island. The document comes on the heels of a new vote at the UN General Assembly on Thursday of a draft resolution calling for an end to the unilateral and extraterritorial measure, Prensa Latina news agency reports. According to UNESCO, the blockade affects education, science and culture in Cuba in areas of the specialized UN entity’s work.

In the case of education, the blockade against the island limits Cuba's access to technology and equipment, hitting the objective of modernizing the national teaching program and the university system, says the report, adding that it also prevents free academic exchange and cooperation between the two countries in the scientific sector. Culture also suffers from the tightening of the blockade in areas such as the promotion and spreading of the Caribbean country’s artistic talent, despite the existence of a proven market for Cuban music in the United States, it adds. It also represents an obstacle for purchasing bibliography and resources related to telecommunications and for the use of the Internet.

The UNESCO report also includes the Washington’s financial persecution and its particular consequences in the cultural field. It also exposes the difficulties that the US policy causes to that UN organization’s relations with the Caribbean nation. The restrictions derived from the blockade’s extraterritorial connotations affects transactions, even in currencies other than the US dollar, which are made from its Paris headquarters to the Cuba offices, the report highlights. According to the multilateral entity, such a scenario limits its personnel’s activities in Cuba, both in private matters and in aspects of the work it performs there, forcing it to look for alternatives with an additional cost.

The report also shows the impact of the aggressiveness of the Donald Trump administration which includes the activation of Title III of the Helms-Burton Act, aimed at depriving Cuba of foreign investments, the establishment of a blacklist with more than 200 entities against which the persecution has increased, and the closure of its Citizenship and Immigration Service Office in Havana. UNESCO officials face obstacles in the issue of visas for missions in the United States or to use that country as transit to other destinations, increasing expenses to the organization, the report adds. The report to Secretary General Guterres also contains the position of dozens of governments and organizations that oppose the US blockade and advocate its end.

On Thursday the UN General Assembly will vote a draft resolution presented by the island on Wednesday, a draft resolution that shows the International community’s almost unanimous feeling that the siege of Cuba must end.A similar initiative has received a strong support at the Assembly year after year since 1992 in which the United States has been isolated in upholding the unilateral measure, only accompanied by its strong ally Israel.

Edited by Damian Donestevez
  • Published in Cuba
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