Cuban documentary on Chernobyl children screened in Kiev

Diplomatic sources revealed that the Kiev House of Cinema screened this Thursday the Cuban documentary 'Chernobyl in Us' by journalist Daisy Gomez, produced by the production house of the Cuban Institute of Radio and Television.

The material was made on the 20th anniversary of the nuclear accident, which occurred on April 26, 1986, and the 16th anniversary of the Cuban program to treat the children affected by the disaster.

The presentation was chaired by Lilia Piltiay, vice president of the International Chernobyl Fund, a Ukrainian institution that was in charge of sending affected children to be treated at Cuba's Tarara health center.

Piltiay, initiator for the Ukrainian side of the Cuban program for the care of children affected by Chernobyl, explained that the leader of the Revolution, Fidel Castro, accepted the request for international aid from the then Soviet Union's government.

She noted that a group of patients was selected and on March 29, 1987, the first 139 children with different oncohematological disorders arrived in Cuba. Cuba financed and developed this humanitarian program for over 20 years, even in the most difficult years of the Special Period, including the accomodation of both the children and their families.

In addition, Cuba was the only country that arranged a comprehensive, massive and free health program for the care of children affected by the Chernobyl disaster, Piltiay stressed.

Cuban head of Consular Affairs at the Cuban mission to Ukraine, Michel Alquizar Morales, announced that the 30th anniversary of the program will be celebrated next year, and revealed that several journalists are in Ukraine, engaged in the preparation of a documentary to commemorate the date.

'Chernobyl in Us' was presented as part of the Spanish-language film cycle in Kiev. At the end of the documentary, the audience offered applause for the Cuban people and the doctors who treated over 24,000 Ukrainian children.

  • Published in Culture

Narrating Continuity…

Three years ago today, I knew about Fidel Castro’s death. It was early in the morning and I was alone in Rio de Janeiro. Obviously, I read the news on the Internet. Social networks are somehow the geography of our nation, but I cannot weigh them up quite well.

Recently, a friend of mine shared with me a viewpoint that certainly makes sense. Certain groups of the Cuban socio-class are governing the social networks. And even though I have increasingly seen more ordinary Cuban citizens playing a very important role on the Internet against postmodern, liberal, social democratic narrative and all its variations — the goal is to attack the political system in Cuba, aiming at turning it into another thing, quite different indeed —, the truth is that in some groups, made up essentially of intellectuals and artists who claim to wish the best to our country and made noble causes their flagship, join forces with those who work for the international far right in the U.S. But they do not say a word about it while their visibility and influence grow bigger.

In the early hours of that November 25th, away from home, I knew about Fidel’s passing on the Internet. Then I found the typical, aesthetically correct speech but weak in terms of principles of the Cuban “progressive” forces. They barely admitted Fidel’s positive features and legacy — they granted at least that concession to him — but they later crucified him by alluding Republican formulas in liberal democracies with which they weigh up the world in their own image and likeness. I promptly run across bursts of hate from Cubans residing in Miami, euphoric and fired up, as nature had finally conceded them a shred of questionable fortune that an infinite amount of money and their government strategies had failed to achieve, as they would have wanted. I also saw with great satisfaction other colleagues who had never been involved in political debates before, honoring Fidel. I also saw excessive idol worshippers who hurt no less. I saw ferocious fights full of insults as if there was no tomorrow. Then, I understood the real extent of what was being brewed in Internet — the perfect scene for a political struggle on Cuba. I distanced myself from all of these. I chose to imagine with growing nostalgia I was one of the seven million Cuban citizens who mourned in every square. My friends from the University chatted with me and described me in awe how students were gathering, surprised about their reaction. My family wrote me and it was another source of information.

When my Brazilian colleagues asked me about how I felt, with a very special curiosity, I confirmed that it was not another President’s death for many people outside Cuba. Fidel had been, in fact, one of the most influential human beings of his time. A man who was annoying for the colonial, capitalist, global hegemonic order due to his imperative order of rationality, which meant transgression and subversion.

In days when the concept of continuity — while thinking of Fidel — is in the spotlight of Cuban official media, we would be fortunate if we can maintain the anti-hegemonic logic of Fidel’s ideas in order to defend the conditions for the continuity of a social, anti-colonialist project in a world where colonial dominance is pretty sophisticated and frightening. It would be the continuity of change, the alternative, and the struggle for transforming the world; the continuity of hope. And this continuity must be championed, built, and narrated. As for Cuba, there are some who disguise themselves with a sort of aesthetic that introduces itself as avant-garde, when in fact, is quite the opposite. With the support of the most important economic powers of the world, although they labeled themselves as independent, all of them take profit of social networks to continue repeating again and again hackneyed formulas of liberal democracies as the only possible alternative, betting on another kind of continuity: the continuity of disaster.

Taken from Karima Oliva Bello’s Facebook profile

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Díaz/CubaSí Translation Staff

Cuba holds political-cultural evening to honor Fidel Castro

Cuban university students held a political-cultural evening in tribute to the historical leader of the Revolution, Fidel Castro, on the 3rd anniversary of his physical disappearance.

At the grand staircase of the University of Havana, Susely Morfa, first secretary of the Cuban Young Communist League (UJC)'s national committee, highlighted the important role Cuban youth have currently played as a defender of Fidel's legacy.

In that sense, the UJC first secretary meant the relevance of unity to preserve forever the conquests of the Cuban Revolution around the socialist project.

Morfa referred to the influence of his thinking on current generations, his capacity as a military strategist, as well as the faithful conception of politics and the validity of the conditions of the contemporary world.

The youth leader confirmed that although the scenarios are transformed, the new generations are aware of their role in the preservation of the island's sovereignty.

The higher education center, place where Fidel Castro became a revolutionary man, brought together thousands of Cuban university students and young people who demonstrated the validity of their revolutionary legacy and expressed support to the historical continuity.

  • Published in Cuba

Fidel: Planting and Sun

Fidel is giant, infinite, he lives in a thousand ways among us. Fidel remains in the present of Cuba, which is essentially his work and, absolutely, his legacy.


We spoke with some Cuban creators from several generations, about the validity and imprint of the eternal leader of the Cuban Revolution in Cuba’s art and culture.



From the native core of our culture comes the image of Fidel to the troubadour who has sung so much to him, Raúl Torres repeats out aloud in bold letters: «I am looking at a poet in Palmas y Cañas, (a show I have watched since I was a child) and while he seeks inspiration and sings his tune images of Fidel pop in the screen, Fidel smiling, Fidel thinking, listening, speaking ... and the poet's verses are mixed with others that I murmur trying to make them rhyme and I am surprised inspiring myself in our numen, our genuine bearer of dignities, our soul savior, our maker of brilliant beings that keep him in their hearts and in the end I could not finish the verse, without finding a decent rhyme for the word , THANKS ... Commander THANKS ».



The young instrumentalist and singer Maylín Quintana, said: «One of the legacies of the historical leader of the Cuban Revolution, is the access to culture as a human right over elites and excluding views. In fact, the first revolutionary law in the field of culture was signed by Fidel. At the triumph of the Revolution, he established the foundation of the Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Art and Industry (ICAIC), an institution whose main event remains as one of the most prestigious in the continent: the International New Latin American Film Festival».




For Arnaldo Rodríguez, bassist, singer and Director of Talisman Band: «one of Fidel's most important concepts about Culture was the massification of Art. To have the vision-intention that masses could have access to culture as a right and not as the exclusive privilege of those who have money, the creation of a national system of artistic education for professional training in all art manifestations.

"And I wonder. Is there anything more revolutionary, in the renovating sense of the word, than creating and shaping the concept of Art Instructor? In every neighborhood, every community, every mountain or city, a professional who contributes to appreciate art, to revitalize the collective life, to guide future artists, is a phenomenal idea!



«On the other hand, Fidel always promoted the formation of a society with individuals who will reach a basic level of culture in their integral perception, beyond the artistic fact. That anyone regardless being a worker, intellectual, housewife, student, learn to discern, assess, even make a criticism... is really impressive. And there you see it in the popular debates that people do when contests and artistic competitions are held ... they speak very accurate criteria.



«Cuba had a political and social revolution in 1959, but there was also a cultural revolution with all this I tell you, and much more... another example: The easy access of masses to great shows, concerts, cultural fairs, large artistic events, and this is very important, because although Cubans pay little to enter a theater, keeping and sustaining the infrastructure of Culture is highly expensive. And Fidel always insisted on the need to sustain the economy of culture, as an effort by the State not to lose the essence that it’s a public benefit ».



Amanda Sofía Perelló, a student at the Manuel Saumel music school, has very clear her heritage: «Fidel's greatest legacy is that thanks to him we have our art schools for free. Which makes it easier for us to have access to the art world since we don't have the concern of whether our parents can afford our studies. And also the love and fidelity to the country, feelings that we can express through our easiest means: art, in our case music ».



And Rubén Darío Salazar Taquechel, Director of the National Guiñol and the Las Estaciones Theater Company, also begins to thank for the planting: «The first thing that Cuban art and culture will have to thank Fidel and the Revolution forever is the creation of Art schools A quarry for the future. Many of those who shine today with their work on the island and the world, were trained there, for free and with the most prestigious teachers. Books, artistic groups, museums, culture houses, are part of the national confirmation project, without chauvinism, but in dialogue with the art and thoughts of the planet. I feel proud of my homeland, my cultured and popular people. Fidel, as faithful as his own name, helped to make this real and I could walk everywhere with the name of Cuba on my chest like a sun ».

  • Published in Specials

Cuba and China highlight Fidel Castro's role in increasing friendship between both countries

On the occasion of the third anniversary of Fidel Castro's death, authorities from China and Cuba recognized the contribution of the leader of the Revolution to the permanent increase of ties between both countries, Prensa Latina reported.

Carlos Miguel Pereira, Cuban ambassador to the Asian country, described Fidel as " an unquestionable inspirer and supporter of our common friendship".

He also stated that the ties "between Cuba and China are an example of transparency and collaboration between two nations that defend the cause of socialism in the most difficult conditions that mankind has ever lived".

For his part, Qin Gang, deputy foreign minister of the Asian state, highlighted Castro's historic and indelible contribution to the continuous fostering of bilateral ties.

Fidel Castro died in Havana in 2016, aged 90, and is considered a symbol of contemporary world history.

  • Published in Cuba

Fidel Castro’s Historical Legacy highlighted by Nicolas Maduro

Nicolas Maduro, President of Venezuela, highlighted today in Twitter the struggle of Fidel Castro to cement Cuba’s equality, unity, and self-determination.

“Three years ago we mourned our Master and Eternal Commander, Fidel Castro Ruz. We recall his everlasting light of teachings and dignity, which we embrace in our daily struggle,” he tweeted while celebrating the third anniversary of the passing of the leader of the Cuban Revolution.

The Venezuelan President ratified in his personal profile that “Fidel will be always a living symbol of greatness and revolutionary principles serving mankind.”

The Cuban revolutionary man is proudly remembered in Venezuela due to his unbreakable friendship with Commander Hugo Chavez and the support he always provided to the Bolivarian Revolution.

Cubans residing in Venezuela, collaborators in different social missions, and the authorized diplomatic corps, along with the people in Venezuela, have paid tribute these days to the legendary guerrilla man. Fidel’s life and legacy, as well as his anti-imperialist ideology, were highlighted.

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Díaz/CubaSí Translation Staff

  • Published in Culture

Fidel Castro honored by Chernobyl program beneficiaries

Children and family members who benefitted from the Cuba-sponsored Chernobyl program paid tribute to the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz, at a meeting held at Havana´s Embassy in Ukraine, diplomatic sources reported Monday.

The Cuban Ambassador to Ukraine, Natacha Díaz Aguilera, welcomed those who, in many cases, came from other cities to express their gratitude to the Cuban doctors, the people, and Fidel for their dedication and tenacity in treating more than 23,000 Ukrainian children.

Testimonies from those present highlighted the professionalism and humanism of Cuban doctors who, as one mother expressed, not only physically cured their children but also gave them moral support to face their sufferings and becoming good men and women.

Those present told their experiences at the program´s venue—the Tarará Resort, east of Havana-- to Cuban documentary filmmaker and photographer Roberto Chile, who is in Ukraine heading of a group of journalists.

Many told of their impressions and anecdotes about Fidel's visits to Tarará and his interest in every detail of the lives of the young patients that Cuba welcomed as its children.

  • Published in Cuba

Pacific Islands Remember Fidel Castro

The General Director of Bilateral Affairs of the Cuban Foreign Ministry, Emilio Lozada, recalled Friday at the 50 Pacific Islands Forum the internationalist vocation of the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro.

Castro (1926-2016) was the forefather of Cuba's health collaboration with the small island states of the Pacific, a tweet by the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs noted.

Lozada heads the Cuban delegation participating in the event inaugurated on August 13. In the context of the Forum, the official met with the Prime Minister of Fiji, Josaia V Bainimarama.

In addition, he spoke with the President of Kiribati, Teneti Maamao, with whom he reviewed the work of the Cuban Medical Brigade in that country.

The 50th edition of the Pacific Islands Forum offers a key space for dialogue and political exchange in the Pacific region, bringing together 14 small island states.

  • Published in Cuba
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