Silvio Rodriguez Puerto Rico Tour Hails Independence Fighters

Rodriguez formed part of Latin America’s socially conscious Nueva Trova songwriting movement of the 1960s.

About 10,000 people gathered in Puerto Rico's Jose Miguel Agrelot Coliseum Saturday to welcome back Cuban folk singer and songwriter Silvio Rodriguez, who dedicated a song to Ana Belen Montes, sentenced by a U.S. court to 25 years in prison in 2004 accused of conspiracy to commit espionage for the government of Cuba.

RELATED: Fidel Castro and Silvio Rodriguez: A Revolutionary Friendship

The singer dedicated his "Song of the Chosen One" to the leading figures of the Puerto Rican independence movement including Pedro Albizu Campos, Juan Antonio Corretjer, Lolita Lebron, Filiberto Ojeda Rios and Oscar Lopez Rivera, citing the line, "This is not a story of a common man but of a human being from another world."

Rodriguez was actually able to meet with and hug Lopez Rivera on Friday in a historic visit after receiving permission to do so as the political prisoner serves out his 35-year U.S. sentence in San Juan under house arrest. Lopez Rivera is the longest-held political prisoner from Latin America in the U.S.

Rodriguez was accompanied on stage by Jorge Aragon (piano), Jorge Reyes (double bass), Oliver Valdes (drums), Emilio Vega (vibraphone and drums) and Trio Trovarroco, with musicians Rachid Lopez, Maykel Elizarde and Cesar Bacaro, as well as the only woman on stage, flutist Niurka Gonzalez.

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The prolific musician, who has released more than 20 albums, has always supported Fidel and the Cuban Revolution and he recently condemned the blockade imposed by the United States.

Rodriguez was one of the guests of the Cuban government at the opening of the Cuban embassy in Washington, D.C. in July 2015, the day of the formal reestablishment of diplomatic relations.

In 2010, the 68-year-old played his first concert in the U.S. since 1980, to a rapturous reception.

  • Published in Culture

Jam Session Closes Havana World Music Festival

With a jam session that summoned guest artists, Havana World Music Festival came to an end on Sunday at the Factory of Cuban Art (FAC), in this capital.

From Thursday, March 23rd, the FAC and the Metropolitan Park of Havana were the stages for bands of a wide rande of musical trends from around the world, like Norwegian bands Lady Moscow and Madcon, to show their art.

Also local artists captivated the public: singer Dayme Arocena with her Afro-Cuban mix, the members of La Trovuntivitis with their guitar blows and Cuban 100 percent rock band La Flota (The Fleet), X Alfonso, Yissy García, David and Ernesto Blanco.

Cuban singer-songwriter David Torrens and dance popular music band Havana D'Primera were among those who put rhythm to the nights of the Metropolitan Park of Havana.

On Sunday French group Lindigo is joining the closing jam session.

According to Eme Alfonso, the Festival's artistic director, this fourth edition of the event has consolidated the Festival.

Alfonso aspires to turn the event into a reference for Cuba and other countries of Latin America, where there are very few festivals dedicated to musical diversity.

In addition to the concerts, the event included exhibitions, art performances, workshops and conferences on the current tendencies of the music on a global scale.

Some 100 musicians from 15 countries, including Haiti, Mexico, Colombia, Norway, Algeria, Bulgaria, Romania and France, attended the Havana World Musical Festival.

  • Published in Culture

Cuban and Puerto Rican Musicians Mix Their Rhythms

Havana, Mar 24 (Prensa Latina) Cuban rap music group ORISHAS expects that soon everyone sings and has fun, with the music of new song ''Pegadito al Piso'' (Right Close to the Floor), recorded in collaboration with Puerto Rican band ''La Tribu de Abrante.''

'The song is mixing the Afro-Cuban and Afro Puerto Rican cultures, and I am sure this song can go round the world, because it is a very joyful song, with a spectacular video clip filmed in Cuba,' said one of the members of Orishas, Yotuel Romero, to reporters of Prensa Latina

'The sound of the drums, make those who don't know how to dance move', stated Puerto Rican band's director, singer and composer Hiram Abrante.

Abrante sees this kind of collaboration as a chance to let know the Puerto Rican cultural roots, and is a great admirer of the music by Orishas.

For his part, Yotuel Romero was invited to a party in Miami, and there was some attractive music, that called his attention, he asked who was playing the music, and it was the Puerto Rican group 'la Tribu de Abrante'.

'I saw what they did, and I saw a very fresh and current musical proposal, I saw young people trying to rescue the essence of Afro Puerto Rican rhythms and as Orishas does the same thing with the Afro-Cuban music, blended with the rap, I said: it is necessary to make a song with these guys,' the singer told the reporters.

After eight years of absence in their native Cuba, Romero decided to revive Orishas, the best band of hip hop in the Cuban music's history that had been founded at the end of the decade of the 1990's, together with Hiram Riverí (Ruzzo), Roldán González and Liván Núñez.

For the reunification, they recorded the video clip 'Cuba Beautiful Island', in collaboration with popular local musicians as the duet Buena Fe, Leoni Torres, Laritza Bacallao, Isaac Delgado, Descemer Bueno, Gente de Zona and Waldo Mendoza.

Rosemary assumed the visual part, with a friend photographer with the intention of reflecting in a very subtle and natural way of the Cuban idiosyncracy.

'I wanted to make a non nostalgic song, a song that stands,' he underlined and exposed satisfaction to direct audiovisuals for their group and other artists, as he made it recently in this capital for Spanish Beatriz Luengo and the vocalist of the Mexican band Reik.

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Alicia Alonso to Receive Honorary Degree in Costa Rica

San Jose, Mar 22 (Prensa Latina) Cuban Prima Ballerina Assoluta Alicia Alonso received here today the Doctor Honoris Causa degree from the University of Costa Rica (UCR), for her important work and legacy to the world classical dance.

The University Council of the UCR, the highest entity of that high educational center, agreed on Thursday, March 16th, to grant the honorary degree to the famous 96-year-old dancer, who danced until the age of 70. She founded and directed the Cuban National Ballet, one of the most prestigious companies in the world.

At the proposal of the Faculty of Fine Arts, the University Council stated that Alicia Alonso's contribution to Cuban and world dance has allowed us to rethink this art from its cultural importance and its influence in the construction of the Latin American identity. This has generated an extraordinary impact and unique contributions that have been widely recognized worldwide.

The famous Cuban dancer also 'boosted and inspired the Cuban Ballet School, which is characterized by a new style and a new methodology within the classical dance. Thanks to her extraordinary pedagogical work, several generations of excellent dancers have arisen'.

Alicia arrived in San Jose on Monday, March 20th, and will be here until Sunday, March 26th, along with fifty members of the Cuban company. They will perform at the 'Melico Salazar' Popular Theater in San Jose on March 25th and 26th (double show).

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Cuban Institutions and IAEA Review Bilateral Cooperation

Dazhu Yang, Deputy Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), will visit the Agency of Nuclear Energy and Advanced Technologies (AENTA), as part of his official visit to Cuba.

Yang will meet with AENTA president, Daniel Lopez, to exchange on the state of technical cooperation. Directors of the National Nuclear Safety Center, as well as from the Ministries of Public Health, Food Industry and Agriculture, will also participate.

During his stay on the island, to be run until Friday, March 24th, the head of the IAEA Technical Cooperation Department will visit institutions, which carry out projects with the international entity.

Yang took office on July 1st, 2015 and prior to his current appointment at the Agency, he was a Director of the Africa Division (February 2012-June 2015) and Asia-Pacific Division (February 2009-January 2012).

Prior to joining the IAEA, he held several posts in China, among them that of Director General for International Cooperation, the Atomic Energy Authority of his country and was a Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Chinese Permanent Mission at the IAEA.

Although Cuba has been a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency since its establishment in 1957, it begins to receive benefits for technical cooperation from that entity as of 1977.

  • Published in Now

Cuban Youth Pays Homage to Heroes of March 13th

The Cuban youth will pay homage on March 13 to the president of honor of FEU and his fallen partners 60 years ago.

In the 60th anniversary of the brave action carried out by José Antonio Echeverría and the Revolutionary Directory, Cuban university students and the whole people pay them tribute.

Those who gave up their lives seeking a new homeland is the homage of today’s current generations of Cubans, particularly its youth that commemorates the 60th anniversary on the Assault to the Presidential Palace and the seizing of Radio Reloj Radio Station on March 13.

A marathon from the steps of Havana University to the park named after this historical date, and a pilgrimage from the Museum of the House where José Antonio Echeverría was born in Cardenas, to the local cemetery, where rest the remains of the President of Honor of FEU. These are some of the activities to remember those who participated in those events.

On March 13th, 1957 a group of young revolutionaries, guided by José Antonio Echeverría, planned the elimination of the tyrant Fulgencio Batista in "his own burrow of the Presidential Palace". At the same time, they would storm Radio Reloj Station, from where a public address would be made to the Cuban people to join the fight.

The execution of what was planned, however, was unsuccessful, and brave comrades were killed in the attempt. Among them José Antonio who was gunned down by the police very close to the university.

On March 13th the students of FEU remember the deed.

  • Published in Now

Cuba qualifies for second round

A grand slam by Alfredo Despaigne in a decisive game against Australia sends Cuba to the second round of the international competition.

TOKYO. – Alfredo Despaigne sent a 91mph pitch from left hander Lachlan Wells into the stands behind left field in the Tokyo Dome, catapulting Cuba into the second round of the World Baseball Classic, batting in four runs to ensure the 4-3 victory.

If Despaigne made the big play, pitcher Miguel Lahera certified the win delivering two strike-outs in the ninth inning, getting the last out with a 93mph pitch to retire Australia's Brad Harmann.

The second round begins March 12 in the Japanese capital, with Cuba facing off against Israel.

  • Published in Sports

Cuba Advocates for Development to Balance Migration Flow

Cuba has advocated today at the United Nations Office at Geneva to guarantee the full realization of the right to development in the world, which is a way to balance global migration flow.

Cuba representative, Luis Alberto Amoros, stated that analyzing the issue in depth is crucial to analyze the causes for which millions of people emigrate each year, even risking their lives.

'The many problems associated to migration, as its exponential increase to the industrialized world, theft of talent from developing countries and the exacerbation of the shameful discrimination and violation against migrants could only attack the structural causes of migration,' he said.

During an interactive dialogue on the human rights of migrants in the context of great movements, Amoroso defended the need for a substantial modification of the unjust and exclusive international economic order, to act on the origin of migration.

'It also requires a genuine responsibility of the main industrialized countries with international peace and security, and the abandonment of their hegemonic interests that generate situations of instability.'

An international cooperation that guarantees genuine dialogue and collaboration is vital, the shared responsibility of all States in migration matters is recognized, as the respect to the sovereignty and equality of all countries, the Cuban representative stated.

'Of course, this cooperation should ensure the integrity, dignity and welfare of migrants,' he said.

  • Published in Cuba
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