French FM to Visit Cuba

Havana, Jul 24 (Prensa Latina) French Foreign and European Affairs Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian will visit Cuba on July 28 and 29, an ocassion in which he will talk to Cuban authorities, official sources said in this capital.

Le Drian's working agenda includes conversations with Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez, his host, and a tour of Havana's historical parts of the city. Havana was declared Mankind's Patrimony by the UNESCO in 1982.

Le Drian and Rodriguez held a working meeting in May this year, described as cordial and productive by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cuba.

According to the Foreign Ministry, the parties then noted 'the positive progress of the bilateral relationship and exchanged points of view on current international issues.'

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Cuban City Celebrates 10 Years as UNESCO Heritage Site

Camagüey, Cuba, Jul 10 (Prensa Latina) The inhabitants of this eastern Cuban city celebrate today the tenth anniversary of the inclusion of its Historic Center in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.

The Office of the Historian of the City of Camagüey (OHCC) has developed a special program to promote cultural values and projects in this town, which is growing among the main tourist destinations in the country.

The institution recently prepared a cantata, starring the new generations, at the Ignacio Agramonte Park, located in the area of the founding square or Mayor de la Villa, from 1528.

In the midst of the campaign 'The city I am, the city I live in', the OHCC inaugurated a new book sales space for the El Lugareño label, publications intended to promote and disseminate the values of regional culture, which is distinguished among other Cuban sites with the same distinction.

With a view towards the preservation of the values that identify the Historical Center, the institution is carrying out a series of actions to solidify citizen awareness in pursuit of 'taking care of codes which define us as human groups, with so many cultural nuances', said the director of the OHCC, Jose Rodriguez.

The Historic Center declared a Heritage Site in 2008, has in the OHCC one of the main managers in the care and promotion of regional traditions, considered by the representatives of UNESCO as one of the best preserved among the localities founded by the Spaniards in the Caribbean.

Regarding the 10 years of the Declaration, Rodriguez said that 'it is intended to provide visitors with an infrastructure that allows them to get to know the architectural and urban interior of Camagüey.'

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UNESCO Pays Tribute to Rumba and the Punto Cubano Music

The United Nations for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO) venue in Paris, welcomed this Monday homage to rumba and Punto Cubano music. These expressions were declared Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by this international organization.

Great privilege that of Cuba: two of its most important cultural items join a list endorsed by famed specialists from all over the world.

Easy to say, but if one takes into account the large canvass of arts worldwide, the patrimonial heritage of peoples... you must agree that a relatively small country has contributed dearly to the universal legacy.

Rumba and Punto Cubano music are living arts, paradigms of a resistance culture, with high ethical and aesthetic values. They have also been the voice of the those oppressed. A space of popular creativity.

Doctor Miguel Barnet and journalist Pedro de la Hoz spoke about this in their conferences.

Barnet’s conference was dedicated to the multiple roads of rumba, and that of de la Hoz to the characteristics of the Punto Cubano, with its regional variants.

The fact that UNESCO has acknowledged these two art manifestations it’s cause for joy, but also a responsibility, said the ambassador Dulce Buergo, permanent delegate of Cuba before UNESCO.

For Miguel Barnet their inclusion in this important list speaks of the strength of the Cuban culture, as well as the creative potential of a people.

Barnet’s presence at UNESCO meant a return to the venue of an organization in which he was delegate for several years.

The session this Monday was part of the seventh assembly of the party states of the Convention for the safeguard of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

An important moment was the granting of the official certificate of the inscription of Punto Cubano to the registry of Intangible Cultural Heritage of UNESCO.

Gladys Collazo, chairlady of the National Council of Cultural Heritage received it from the hands of Tim Curtis, secretary of the Convention.

There is agreement on something: Rumba music and Punto Cubano are just the beginning. Cuba has much more to offer.

"First it was Rumba, after that the Punto Cubano, tomorrow will be Son music, the sprees… Cuba’s heritage is wide, I am very proud of being Cuban, of being part of the people that have given so much to the universal art, and that has used art as a means to face all setbacks it has endured throughout history", said Barnet.

The Award House

From Monday 15 to Thursday 25, Casa de las Americas invites to different proposals as part of the 59th edition of its Prize, the oldest and most permanent literary gathering in our continent.

A special moment will take place on January 24, when Casa de las Americas will be honored with the UNESCO/UNAM Jaime Torres Bodet Award in Social Sciences, Humanities and Art in its second edition.

Dialogues among the public and the members of the jury, launch of magazines and the winning books in 2017, as well as the inauguration of an exhibition make up the collateral program of the Prize.

On Thursday 25, at 7:00 pm, the jury will announce the awarded works in the following categories in contest this year: short-story, theater, essay on artistic-literary theme; as well as works in Brazilian literature, with non-fiction books written in Portuguese.

The jury will also award books in Caribbean literature written in English or Creole.

Moreover, the literary institution has also called to the Women’s Studies Award.

And on Monday 15, it will set up the jury made up by more than twenty prestigious writers and personalities from twelve countries. Cuban singer-songwriter Silvio Rodriguez will deliver the speech of jury’s setting up. Thus, there will begin the tributes to take place this year, the five decades of the first concert that brought together on February 18, 1969 at Casa de las Americas three founding pillars of what was called later the New Trova (Song) Movement: Silvio, Pablo Milanés and Noel Nicola.

Later, the jury will work in the city of Cienfuegos, located on the central-southern coast of the island. On Saturday 20, at 11:00 am, the aforementioned city will house the launch of the winning books of the 2017 Casa de las Americas Award, as well as such magazines as “Casa de las Americas”, “Conjunto” and “Anales del Caribe”.

Then, in the evening, local “A Cuestas” Theater will stage “Zone” piece, by “La Fortaleza” Theater Company.

And on Monday 22, the collateral program of the Prize will kick off at Casa de las Americas headquarters in El Vedado, once the works of the judges have finished in the city of Cienfuegos. From 3:00 pm, the “Manuel Galich” Room will house the works of such panels as:

“Literary creation, editorial circulation and translation in the Caribbean”, with the judges of the Caribbean literature in English and Creole category, as well as “Saved pages or which ones would I take to the desert island”, a dialogue with members of the jury in the short-story genre.

That same Monday, at 6:30 pm, plastic arts will have their space within the program of the Literary Award with the inauguration of the “Digital Art Pioneers in the Art Collection of Our America” exhibit, at the Galería Latinoamericana of the literary institution.

On Tuesday 23, the panels will continue their work, always in the afternoon with two others. The first will be “Out of the canon: the other side of Brazilian literature”, with the judges of the Brazilian Literature Award; and the second “Critical experience”, a dialogue with the judges of the Prize in essay genre of the artistic-literary theme.

Moreover, the program includes the presentation of the winning books of the 2017 Casa de las Americas Prize and the latest edition of Casa de las Americas magazine.

On Wednesday, January 24, at 3:00 pm, the “Theater of the real and the social thing: 2018 Latin America” panel will take place, with the awarding judges in theater genre; and at 6:00 pm, the “Che Guevara” Room will feature the ceremony to hand over the UNESCO/UNAM Jaime Torres Bodet Prize to Casa de las Americas.

That award acknowledges the efforts of a person, group of people or international institution that has contributed to the development of knowledge and society through art, teaching and research in social sciences and humanities.

In the case of the House, it rewards its contribution to a better world, not only through its links with intellectuals of the region, but also for the narrow links it keeps with institutions and organizations, like UNESCO. The renowned Cuban cultural institution had previously been awarded with the UNESCO Simon Bolivar Prize in 2004.

The winners of the 2018 Casa de las Americas Prize will be announced on Thursday, January 25, at 7:00 pm.

With its literary contest, Casa de las Americas begins, like every year, its program in 2018, days for the intercrossing of the literature and the art that are born from the deep rivers of our America.

Translated by Jorge Mesa Benjamin / Cubasi Translation Staff

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UNESCO congratulates Cuba for 59 anniversary of the revolution

The Organization of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), congratulated Cuba for the 59 anniversary of the victory of the Revolution and expressed the willingness to further strengthen ties with this Caribbean nation.

According to Prensa Latina, UNESCO recognized the traditional active role of Cuba for the promotion of international cooperation in the fields of competence of that entity.

A statement released today by the Permanent Delegation of Havana before that body of the United Nations stressed that in 2017 this country and UNESCO celebrated 70 years of fruitful relationship.

Within that framework had carried out many activities that contributed to recognize and give visibility to the achievements of the revolution in the various sectors of the organization's mandate, indicated the text.

In this regard, points to the tribute to the prima ballerina assoluta Alicia Alonso, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, during the tour of the National Ballet of Cuba by France last July.

It also refers to the recognition of the singer-songwriter Silvio Rodríguez, Artist for Peace of UNESCO, on the occasion of the inauguration of his photographic exhibition tour of the Neighborhoods, held in December at the headquarters of the multilateral body.

As another important event adds the celebration of the International Day of Jazz in Havana, as well as the Cuban cultural day which included the exhibition offerings, for the plastic artist Silvia Rivero, and a special presentation of the musician José María Vitier and soprano Barbara Llanes, at UNESCO Headquarters.

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UNESCO Starts Meeting on Cultural Assets Trafficking

The fourth Meeting of State Parties to the 1970 Convention on Illicit Trafficking of Cultural Property began today at the UNESCO headquarters in this capital, an issue that is cause for concern in the world.

Opening the event, UNESCO Deputy General-Director for Culture Francesco Bandarin highlighted the increasing interest in the issues related to the 1970 Convention, aimed at prohibiting and preventing illegal imports, exports and transference of cultural assets.

In that reference, he highlighted the activities carried out by that United Nations agency, with a view to training and raising awareness of the problem, and also defended creating synergies between this and other conventions in the cultural sector.

The meeting will be developing until tomorrow and they will deal with subjects as the use of the Convention fund, reviewing the rules and election of nine members of the Subsidiary Committee.

Cuba is participating in these sessions as State Party to the 1970 Convention, with a delegation led by the Cuban permanent ambassador to UNESCO, Dulce Buergo.

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UNESCO Acknowledges High Quality of Cuban Jazz Musicians

Havana, May 1 (Prensa Latina) The celebrations on the International Day of Jazz held in Cuba are an acknowledgement of the high quality of Cuban jazz musicians by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The statement was made by UNESCO General Director Irina Bokova during his visit to Havana, which also coincided with the 70th anniversary of Cuba's membership in that UN agency.

At a meeting with Culture Minister Abel Prieto, the two officials agreed that jazz sends a message of non-aggression and it is a chant to the confluence of cultures and peoples.

Bokova also confirmed that relations between Cuba and UNESCO are developing at the highest level and will continue to strengthen.

During a tour of Old Havana, Bokova lauded the restoration works being carried out by City Historian Eusebio Leal in the historic heart of the Cuban capital.

Leal, in turn, decorated Bokova with a commemorative medal granted by the City Historian's Office when a major restoration work is completed.

UNESCO Condems Syria's Cultural Destruction by Terrorists

Paris, Jan 20 (Prensa Latina) The Unesco Director-General, Irina Bokova, condemned today the destruction caused by the Islamic State of several patrimonial places in the Syrian city of Palmira, which she described as a war crime.

'This destruction is a new war crime and a huge loss for the Syrian people and humanity', said Bokova, after receiving reports and images taken by the UN Operational Satellite Applications Program, confirming the damage.

'This new strike against the cultural heritage, that we knew hours after receiving information about mass executions made in the theater, shows that the cultural cleaning carried out by violent terrorists seeks to destroy human life and historical monuments in order to deprive Syrian people of its past and its future,' regreated Bokova.

A UNESCO statement reads that the images allowed to confirm the damage caused to Tetrapillum and the Roman Theater in Palmira, a place declared Patrimony of Humanity in 1980.

Bokova stressed that 'the Tetrapillum was a architectural symbol of the spirit of encounter and openness of Palmira, and that is also one of the reasons for its destruction. Its location and shape were unique in the ancient architecture and specific symbol of the identity of the city, source of pride and dignity for all Syrians'.

In the statement, UNESCO reiterated the call 'to the entire international comunity to stand together against this cultural cleansing.'

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