Spain's Actress Penelope Cruz Shoots Film in Cuba

Havana, March 22 (Prensa Latina) Spain's actress Penelope Cruz is in Cuba to resume shooting Wasp Network film by French director Olivier Assayas, which will have its premiere this year.

According to local media, Cruz arrived Wednesday to Havana accompanied by her husband and scene partner Javier Bardem, although they do not give further details about their stay.

Her arrival coincides with that of US actors Susan Sarandon, Owen Wilson and Shailene Woodle, who these days visited the historical center and famous places in Havana such as the Boulevard of San Rafael and the Cuban Art Factory.

Before this visit, Penelope was in Cuba in February with the Mexican Gael Garcia Bernal and the Cuban Ana de Armas, as confirmed on that occasion by the team in charge of processing their trip and hosting.

The new work of the model and winner of an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in 2008 by Vicky Cristina Barcelona, will focus on the story of a group of Cuban anti-terrorists infiltrated in the US during the 1990s.

The film will tell the story of Gerardo Hernandez, Fernando Gonzalez, Ramon Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Rene Gonzalez and Juan Pablo Roque, based on the book The Last Soldiers of the Cold War by Brazilian Fernando Morais.

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Havana World Music underway at La Tropical’s Benny Moré Hall

Twenty-four Cuban and international bands are gathering in the Cuban capital at the Havana World Music Festival until Saturday.

The Benny Moré Rosado Hall of La Tropical is the main venue including the performance of Diego Guerrero from the Spanish region of Andalucia, who has mixed different music genre, such as AfroCuban ‘rumba’, ‘timba’ and flamenco, Canadian urban musical band Nomadic Massive and Brazilian contemporary hip hop group Mental Abstrato. National and foreign musical groups play their music at the Havana World Music every March to show the diversity and mixture that characterizes the world and Cuba as a nation.

Also on hand are Cuba’s Leyanis Valdés and Cuban traditional music bands Los Muñequitos de Matanzas and Nengón Kiribá, as well as Cimafunk, winner of the latest Havana World Music’s First Base competition, Cuban rapper Telmary and jazz musician Yissy García, also from the Caribbean island.

The festival, which is aimed at boosting cultural exchange between Cuban and international musicians and performers, is currently promoting the project Women of the World, gathering women from all over the world sharing their passion for music, including international stars, such as Renu, from Britain; Eda, from France, and Leyanis Valdés from Cuba. For six years the Havana World Music has become one of Cuba’s most important artistic events.

Edited by Damian Donestevez
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Cuba: The President’s 500 Tweets

Since last October 10th the President of the Councils of State and Ministers, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, began in Twitter, his tweets have already reached more than 500. Number 500 was posted this Wednesday on March 20th, at 7:41 a.m.

The piece of news is not just simple math, but the consolidation, through that media of thousand of messages, of the new type of communication in the Cuban political environment that the Cuban president has started in the Island.

The President’s 500 tweet

Although the topics in the tweets have been dissimilar, all are characterized by the same super objective explicit on the hashtag #SomosCuba, #SomosContinuidad and #FidelCastro.

Hence, from the systematicity, the transparency and commitment, the presidential agenda is on the hand of all residents and anyone interested worldwide.

Next to the Cuban flag and the royal palm as symbols he intentionally repeats, the President has made of his micro blogging a unique engine that drives leaders and institutions to join this contemporary way of doing which are a way to stay in touch with the people they respond to.

With every tweet, Díaz-Canel ratifies his respect to the citizenship that voted for him, his commitment to democracy and to “man's full dignity” validated in the Constitution by which he voted among the first ones.

His exhortations and arguments in favor of the new Constitution put the #YoVotoSí in Twitter.

What does the President talks about?

The order here below does not sets priorities, the Cuban President has talked about his journeys through the country and the contact with the people, about meetings held at the Council of Ministers, about science, computerization, History, about the Cuban economy and associated to it the Blockade, the commerce, the innovation, the production and efficiency, as well as imports and exports.

His tweets have also touched health, education, culture, family, students, youth in general and the Cuban woman.

There have also been present topics like Havana and its 500 years, the disaster and recovery soon after passing of the tornado, the press, the laws, the new constitution and especially, about Fidel Castro as example and guide next to Raúl.

He has also approached in his topics the foreign affairs, particularly the United States actions regarding Cuba and Latin America. In this topic of foreign affairs, the message on January 23rd, at 6:52 p.m., on the support of Cuba to Venezuela, he received the largest amount of “Likes” among all tweets, as indicate index engines for that social network.

Indexes also revealed that January was in fact the month in which the President was more active in Twitter, with 99 messages.

The so-called online government, the electronic government, and specifically the contact with leaders at the bottom, those who work in municipalities and provinces, have been rules in the President’s mandate and have equally feedback in his Tweeter profile.

Another of the peculiarities that distinguishes his tweets, marked by their reach, passion, feeling and strength, it’s how many of them highlight the worth of Cubans, their self-esteem and feeling of belonging.

When the president congratulates one specific Cuban, either a famous personality or somebody little known, when he equally stimulates with one of his messages to a group of workers or an entire sector like that of lawyers or the written press, he is also motivating the will of improvement every day.

Praising in those people or groups features like dignity, decency, human solidarity, the selflessness, the working spirit and the commitment to Homeland, he is implicitly setting examples to follow, stressing the “Yes we can” of Raúl, ratifying that #VamosPorMás.(#WeWantMore)

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Truth or visa?: The New York Times lies against Cuba and Venezuela

After The New York Times confirmed that the humanitarian aid truck had been burnt by guarimberos (opposition demonstrators), someone warned me about the unusual favor that the imperial press was doing to the Bolivarian Revolution: "With the alleged truth already known and published, they are seeking credibility on the Venezuela issue. It’s the old strategy of the stick and the carrot. Prepare yourself for the lie disguised as truth they are going to release later".

Barely two weeks had passed for the warning to become true. Last Sunday, The New York Times just published a report in which it accuses the Government of Venezuela of, along with the complicity of the Cuban doctors working in that country, using food and medicines to pressure the citizens before the 2018 presidential elections, warning them that they would be cut off from subsidies and treatments if they did not vote for Nicolás Maduro.

Quoted by EFE agency, that paradigm of “serious press” known as The New York Times bases its assertions on the testimony of 16 deserters of Cuba’s medical missions to Venezuela, “who described a system of deliberate political manipulation, such as not using basic medicines on patients aimed at reserving them for the electoral period, when votes in favor of Maduro were demanded in exchange for treatments”.

You do not need to be very intelligent to find the backdrop of this new revelation of the US daily. Firstly, to question the legitimate nature of the May 2018 elections: “The accounts of manipulation and fraud remark the many challenges to Maduro’s legitimacy as president".

And secondly, to cast serious doubts on Cuba’s solidarity medical aid to that country, since The New York Times replicated the message of the Cuban interference that the hawks in charge of the campaign of lies against Cuba and Venezuela have continuously been repeating these days: "But the use of Cuban doctors to exert political control is not widely known, according to the doctors. The practice unfavorably shows a sweeping exchange that allegedly benefits all Venezuelans, regardless of their political preferences”, The NYT says.

It’s no surprise, then, that immediately after the report was published, US President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, posted a commentary on the said article on Twitter, in which he claimed:

"It is not surprising that Maduro and his Cuban bosses have lied and killed to usurp democracy and steal the wealth of the Venezuelan people”, Bolton said. "This is a clear example of how Maduro ignores people’s needs and makes the situation worse for his personal gain”, he added.

Coincidentally, the new lie of The New York Times is published several weeks after Cuba rejected the legislation introduced by senators Robert Menéndez and Marco Rubio, who own a broad record of anti-Cuban campaigns and actions to reactivate the Cuban Medical Professional Parole Program. The initiative, presented at Capitol, seeks to reactivate the US brain-drain against physicians of the island.

It wouldn’t be strange at all that the sources used by The New York Times form part of the "reactivation" of a program designed to encourage the Cuban doctors, who collaborate in third countries, to desert from their missions. But, the editors of the “prestigious” newspaper, apparently, ignore that their testimonies have no validity, if we take into account that their probable admission in the United States is conditioned by their good services to the campaign of lies against Cuba.

It’s the migratory policy of truth or visa. As The York Times report points out, one of the witnesses is "one of the few doctors interviewed who have returned to their profession with a small practice in Ecuador".

As we already said in a previous commentary, the editorial policy of The New York Times has never been oblivious to the fake news campaign launched in U.S. against Venezuela.

Translated by Jorge Mesa Benjamin / CubaSi Translation Staff

Cuban FM Stresses Importance of Ties with Latin America

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez highlighted the importance for Havana of its relations with Latin American and Caribbean nations, with which it shares the common goal of defending peace and geographical coexistence.

In Twitter, he wrote Cuba has defended the proclaim of Latin America and the Caribbean as a zone of peace, calling the region an area of insertion and common destiny.

He further said the island consolidated its 'multifaceted relations with all Latin America and the Caribbean'.

In another twit the Minister pointed out Europe represented in 2018 a third of the island's trade turnover with the world. It was an important source of tourists and the most important in term of cooperation.

Rodriguez further wrote that 'our relations have the potential to keep expanding in 2019'.

Previously, the Cuban FM highlighted the strengthening of bonds in 2018 with nations in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Oceania, based on respect and cooperation.

Rodriguez mentioned Cuba sent more doctors to countries in Northern Africa and the Middle East, and said that one of Havana's goal in 2019 is geared to expand links with these two regions.

  • Published in Cuba

Psychiatry Congress Concludes in Cuba

The 9th Congress of Psychiatry, PsiqCuba 2019, concludes here on Friday after three days of sessions with the presence of over 300 delegates from the Americas, Europe and Australia.

According to the program, delegates from several nations are debating in the morning session: Depression, Disorders and Suicide; Technology and Mental Health; Addictions and Integration of Service Networks.

For the afternoon, there are two presentations scheduled: Being kind is only a virtue or a human need? and Mental Health: intra- and cross- sectional responsibility.

During the closing ceremony, in addition to the rapporteur of the Congress, the call of the 10th Cuban Congress of Psychiatry will be presented.

Along with PsiqCuba 2019, the 7th Pan American Congress of Child and Adolescent Mental Health, the 2nd Latin American Symposium of the World Association of Dual Pathology and the 2nd International Congress of Psychotherapy were held for the past three days.

According to the president of the organizing committee, Miriam de la Osa, the 21st century offers us new challenges in the field of Psychiatry.

Many changes are taking place in health-care systems and the field of research and our specialty still has a long way to go at a time of (...) necessary adjustments with the intention of working for human improvement, he added.

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US Seeks Excuses to Intensify Blockade against Cuba

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez has reiterated today that the US Government is seeking pretexts to increase confrontation and intensify the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed on the island for almost six decades.

He who speaks about alleged deliberate acts against US diplomats in Cuba blatantly lies. There is not the slightest evidence or scientific explanation. The US is always manipulating for political purposes. The US is always finding out excuses to increase confrontation and intensify the blockade, the FM wrote on his Twitter account @BrunoRguezP.

Cuban Government ensured yesterday that there was no evidence of acoustic or other attacks against US diplomats.

No possible authors have been identified, nor any people with motivation, intention or means to execute this kind of actions, stressed Lieutenant Colonel Roberto Hernandez who attended yesterday a press conference at the Foreign Ministry.

The General Director of the US Office in the Cuban Foreign Ministry, Carlos Fernandez de Cossio, said again that the island guarantees the security of all people, including diplomats accredited here.

Fernandez de Cossio expressed that Cuba has not questioned the existence of sick staff. The truth is that based on the research done and existing evidence, nothing indicates that the disease they may suffer or the symptoms reported are the result of their stay on the island.

Meanwhile, Mitchell Valdes, director of the Neurosciences Center of Cuba, summarized the work done by the committee of Cuban experts and the Academy of Sciences of the island on the alleged health incidents reported by US diplomats.

Washington insists on using the term attacks for the alleged health problems experienced by its diplomats, a position that Havana frames in the interest of the current administration in the White House in reversing the steps taken toward improving relations by previous administration of Barack Obama.

  • Published in Cuba

Havana Jam Event since already 40 Years ago

It been forty years since it was closed an unprecedented event at the Karl Marx Theater where there were some of the most outstanding musical figures from the United States and Cuba through different days where there was a great sense of friendship and the pleasure to work for what makes us united.

High-class Jazz musicians, prestigious rock musicians and singers was the delegation sent from the United States and Cuba sent many of its most valuable musical representatives, besides, the Jazz musical genre was the one which was the most represented as the United States brought not only some related outstanding figures but also the Weather Report band that played marvelously.
Cuba on its part, showed one of the best moments of the local Irakere band to the extent that it finished making a tour with the U.S. one.

The rock musical genre had also happy moments and really expected ones as a group of great related figures gathered in Havana city and they were Billy Joel, Rita Coolidge, Kris Kristofferson and Stephen Stills the final day.

The local Aragón band Pacho Alonso, the Yaguarimú band and a very valuable group of Cuban percussionists performed. The visitors travelled with the Estrella de la Fania band on a memorable meeting where Rubén Blades, Johnny Pacheco, Héctor Lavoe, Larry Harlow, Roberto Roena, Papo Lucca and even Wilfrido Vargas were present.

The coments have been many ones and diverse on this topic and there have been many ones who have commented that the chosen repertoire for that occasion was wrong, but it is important to take into account that the invited ones were at the end of the first day at late hours at night and after a very busy day.

Anyway, it is always pleasant to live those moments, especially when they are the ones who invite us. It is also worth coming back once again to the closing day when I had the privilege to attend for concluding that day of good music.

On those moments, Billy Joel had reached the heyday of his career and he had a song among the most important of the year, that is why, he got a warm standing ovation when he started to play at the Karl Mark and we hope the friend Ernesto Juan Castellanos could finish his documentary about that event and it deserved its repercussion and the effort used.


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