University 2018: Cuba is the Reference

Environment, renewable energy sources, sustainable and local development, the use of new technologies, tourism, industry, studies of Medicine, curricula, didactics, the role of university in different contexts, all of these subjects were discussed in the 11th International Congress of Higher Education Universidad 2018 — event that marked the 100th anniversary of the Argentine University Reform.

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University 2018 gathered more than 2,000 delegated from 60 nations.

Few hours before the closing ceremony, Cuba’s Minister of Higher Education Jose Ramon Saborido Loidi was asked by a colleague about the most interesting thing of the Congress and he highlighted that Cuba “is today a reference in the educative field.”

Without ignoring handicaps and obstacles, the truth is that our country can boast realities that are still yearnings for other countries of the world.

In this regard, following the 2030 Agenda and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN, 2015), the Minister pointed out: “we are in a better position to fulfill them” and noted that Cuba is working hard to meet these goals as soon as possible.

As he stressed in the opening ceremony speech: “The advance of the 2030 Agenda of Sustainable Development is imperative for the world as nations are trying to counteract the current unsustainable model of development—discriminatory, hegemonic, and predatory.

Today’s University in Cuba

There have been many changes in Cuba’s Higher Education from the Triumph of the Revolution to the present days, always aiming at improving the quality and access to Universities in Cuba.

In this regard, almost 1.5 million professionals have graduated from 1959 to present days. Therefore, 12% of the population and 22% of workers in Cuba has university level.

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Cuba’s Higher Education has graduated almost 1.5 million professionals

The remarkable growth of its institutions is another achievement. Cuba boasts today 50 universities all around the country compared to the 3 universities that existed back then (in Havana, Las Villas, and the Eastern side of Cuba). The system also includes 126 university centers in municipalities.

Destined to experience a continuous development process, the Higher Education in Cuba advances on the basis of an inclusive process, which has certainly brought positive results concerning material resources and financial savings as well as a better use of the workforce in universities, especially in the field of teaching.

The process that has been implemented since 2011 to updating Cuba’s economic and social model has demanded the accompaniment of the Higher Education as well. Thus, new policies have been approved.

A very good example of this is “the graduate and postgraduate teaching process improvement, short-and-medium term, so human potential stands behind the necessary technical, integral, and civic training, which allows working for the strategic goals for development.”

Likewise, as the Minister himself highlighted in the opening speech of Universidad 2018, “Cuba advances in the implementation of a new generation of curricula that sets the length of majors to four years and proposes a better interaction with the system of master’s degrees and postgraduate specialization through continuous training programs.”

The World and Higher Education

The critical nature and dissatisfaction of Cuban citizens lead us to believe we are the only nation in the world suffering from a certain ill.

However, this Congress allowed us not only to reflect on extremely serious problems affecting many countries in the region, but also to become aware of the right path of the policies undertaken by the Cuban State in order to overcome obstacles and certain quality index.

The testimonies of several foreign participants showed Higher Education is not going well and therefore, there is no positive sign in General Education (263 million students were not enrolled in schools as of 2014).

Uruguayan professor Fernando Rodal Mc Lean —President of the American Federation of Teachers— spoke in one of the panels about the need to “fight” against universities that limit enrollment. He also criticized that students, in order to access higher education, have to go into great debts.


“The university struggle —he pointed out— is the struggle for the quality of life of our people for the purpose of modifying the structure and functioning of capitalist society. It is to fight for a free university.”

Daniel Ricci, President of the Federation of University Teachers’ Union in South America, noted that Latin America is showing a regressive trend as the right has regained power in some of the nations. “Imperialism dislikes justice, equity, and free education and health care.”

Hence, it is important to reach that free, inclusive education and teachers can enjoy a decent job.

A moving situation was narrated by Salvadorians Monica Fernandez Rubio (Spanish woman naturalized citizen of El Salvador) and Sabas Clavel Fuentes, who showed the situations of young people in that country where just the 8% of the population have access to universities. In rural areas, this number barely represents 2%.

The International Congress of Higher Education Universidad 2018, in the words of the Minister Jose Ramon Saborido, was successful. “We have showed our truth and we have felt the appreciation of other nations for Cuba’s actions.”

The next Congress will take place on February 10-14, 2020. A lot will happen from now on. Nonetheless, Cuba will surely present new experiences, contributions, and impacts.

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Diaz/CubaSi Translation Staff

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Punta del Este Film Festival Opens in Uruguay

The Brazilian film "João, O Maestro,'' by Mauro Lima, inaugurates today the 21st edition of Punta del Este International Film Festival, in Uruguay, where over 50 national and foreign films will be screened.

With the award for the career of filmmaker Silvio Caiozzi in the Sala Cantegril, this film festival will begin, which will run until February 25.

The festival, considered the most important of its kind in the country and among the best in South America, will show productions from the region and Spain, as well as proposals from Japan, South Korea, Palestine and the independent cinema of the United States, among other nations.

In addition to the world cinema productions, 12 films will be in the Ibero-American Competition and for the first time 'Maldonado Filma' will be presented, according to the schedule announced by the organizing committee.

This initiative will show a dozen audiovisuals made in the homonymous department of the southeast of the country that were chosen by the Audiovisual Incentive Fund of the Municipality and were finalists in the 48th Film Festival.

The Filmusic Fest, in its third edition, will display productions about the lives of music personalities, which include films such as Vinicius, Yo Sandro y Chavela this year.

As in previous days, the Festival of Punta del Este will deliver the 'Mauricio Litman' awards in the categories of Best Film, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Actor and Audience Award.

The festival of celluloid will reach other cities in the territory such as Piriapolis and Aigua, among others, the organizing authorities said.

Argentine actor Miguel Angel Sola will be one of the guests of a week film event and will present the film "El último traje."

This event has the support of the Ministry of Tourism and is linked to other festivals such as Rio de Janeiro, Florianopolis, Rosario, Gramado, and is part of the strategy for the development of the audiovisual industry in Uruguay.

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Legendary Uruguayan Singer Daniel Viglietti Has Died

Viglietti died October 30 in Montevideo at age 78 due to complications from surgery. 

Uruguayan singer Daniel Viglietti died on Monday in Montevideo, due to complications from surgery.

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The renowned artist's death came as a surprise for everyone, including his sister, according to composer Ruben Olivera said. 

He was 78 years old. 

A beloved singer-songwriter, Viglietti led a generation of great Uruguayan musicians and performers who emerged in the 1960s in creating a unique sound for the era. 

Along with musicians such as Alfredo Zitarrosa and Los Olimarenos, he introduced what became known as the "Popular Uruguayan Song" which was itself linked to the widely popular "Nueva Cancion" - both a genre and a movement. 

Throughout his life, Viglietti remained committed to several notable causes and was favored among thousands of Latin Americans and European alike. Among his admirers was famous intellectual Jean-Paul Sartre.

In 1972 the singer was jailed for opposing military rule in Uruguay.

Among his best-known compositions are "A Desalambrar", "Cancion Para Mi America", "Milonga de Andar Lejos" and "Gurisito."

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Former Uruguayan President Mujica Warns of Trade Wars

Mujica was called "the world's poorest president" by his followers.

Former President Jose "Pepe" Mujica, who governed Uruguay from 2010 to 2015, warned Monday of the possibility of global trade wars erupting.

"The Uruguayan government must deal with an international situation full of uncertainties, and we don't know whether this situation will lead to a trade war. Hopefully not, but it's a latent danger," Mujica said after a meeting of his Broad Front coalition.

The 81-year-old former president of Uruguay, who has been involved in politics his whole life, has previously said he thinks U.S. President Donald Trump has “powerful enemies” and won't be around for long.

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Writer Leonardo Padura to Be Declared Illustrious Visitor of Uruguay

Montevideo, Nov 3 (Prensa Latina) Cuban writer and journalist, Leonardo Padura, will be declared an Illustrious Visitor, during an event organized by the Uruguayan Ministry of Education and Culture and the Municipality of Montevideo.

The ceremony will be held in the Ceremonial Hall of the city government. Acting Minister of Education and Culture Edith Moraes; Mayor, Daniel Martinez and National Culture Director, Sergio Mautone, among others, will participate.

The author of 'Hombre que Amaba a los Perros' (2009) will talk tomorrow at the 'Julio Castro' Hall in the National Library, where he will be accompanied by Uruguayan writer Mario Delgado Aparain and journalist and writer Jaime Clara.

The researcher, Mario Conde, features as the hero of some of his most successful novels such as 'Herejes', 'Adios Hemingway', 'Paisaje de Otoño' or 'La Cola de la Serpiente'.

He is also the author of several short stories such as 'Segun Pasan los Años', 'El Cazador' and 'El Submarino Amarillo', as well as essays on the Cuban literature and the detective genre, as well as countless newspaper articles and stories later collected in books.

Padura was born in Havana, Cuba, in 1955. His fiction and essays have transcended borders, allowing him to become one of the most widely read Spanish language authors.

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Uruguay's Pepe Mujica: 'Inequality Is the Enemy of Democracy'

"The biggest threat to democracy is the concentration of wealth in the hands of the few," said the former Uruguayan president.

Former President of Uruguay Jose Mujica said Latin America was the richest and at the same time the most unjust region in the world, and that all democracies should seek to end economic injustice, remarks that came during the third annual Latin American Summit of Progressive Movements Wednesday in Ecuador on Wednesday.

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"The biggest threat to democracy is the concentration of wealth in the hands of the few, and therefore the concentration of power," Mujica told an audience in the coastal city of Guayaquil.

Lenin Moreno, former vice president of Ecuador and the U.N.’s Special Envoy on Disability and Accessibility, greeted Mujica and recalled one of his most important sayings: "If you like money, don't go into politics. Keep making money, for that is not the fruit of politics."

According to “Pepe” Mujica, to achieve a socialist vision of an ideal society, governments need to fight for equality, not charity.

"We live in the most unequal and unjust continent in the world," said Mujica, now an Uruguayan senator. "We have so many debts to our people."

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Mujica said that people can’t live in an idealistic world, since there is a deep economic inequality in the region, and cited the example of the Mexican billionaire businessman Carlos Slim.

"The richest man in the world is from this continent. He would have to live 250 years, spending US$1 million a day, to spend it all," said Mujica.

Mujica said leftist parties and governments should not let the right-wing destroy everything for which they have fought.

“Inequality is the enemy of democracy,” said Mujica. Mujica called on progressive movements to find unity, since “without unity, we lose our strength.”

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Uruguayan Film Competes for Oscar Award

The Uruguayan film ''Una noche sin luna'' (A Moonless Night), which tells three parallel stories, is competing for the next Oscars, today confirmed the film producer Raindogs Cine. German Tejeira's film, starring Uruguayan actors Marcel Keroglian and Roberto Suarez and Argentine musician Daniel Melingo, is among several works competing for Best Foreign Film.

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