Punto Guajiro Highlighted as Humankind's Heritage

The holding of peasant clubs in different scenarios of this central province on Tuesday highlighted Cuba''s Punto Guajiro as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, declared by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Controversies, tunes and improvisations delight every weekend the followers of that musical expression in Ciego de Avila, where the Punto Guajiro has great representation.

Considered an authentic sonorous genre of the nation's cultural identity, Cuba's Punto Guajiro has its origins in the years of Spanish colonization, and although it was always rooted in rural areas, it has spread to the cities today.

The poet Gualberto Dominguez, from Ciego de Avila, told Prensa Latina that every other Saturday in that territory, peasant parties are held at which groups and improvisers from the community and guests from surrounding provinces perform.

One of the most dynamic peasant music clubs is 'Maria, la Matancera', which in recent days celebrated its 10th anniversary with the participation of representatives of the genre from the provinces of Ciego de Avila and Sancti Spiritus.

Different types of Punto Cubano, tunes, son, boleros, guarachas, sucu sucu and controversies, among other expressions of popular art, enliven every peasant party in the province of Ciego de Avila.

As essential instruments, they use the guitar, the tres, the lute, the claves, the bongos and guiro, which together with the interpretation of a poet achieve high poetic level in ten-line-stanza songs.

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Cuban President in China, Continuity to Bilateral Ties (+ Photos)

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel on Wednesday stated that his current visit to China gives continuity and strengthens the bilateral relations uninterruptedly developed for 58 years between the two countries.

During a meeting with Wang Yang, chairman of the Standing Committee of the 13th Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the Cuban president stressed that the significance of the trip is additional because it occurs amid a process led by the First Secretary of the Cuban Communist Party (PCC), Raul Castro.

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Cuban President Miguel Diaz Canel met Wang Yang

Diaz-Canel explained that under the guidance of the party leader, a new generation is being placed in the main responsibilities of the PCC and the government.

Therefore, he considered this visit another favorable occasion to strengthen the friendship and desire to always work with China in favor of fostering ties between both states and their peoples.

The Cuban statesman thanked the facilities and attentions given by the Chinese authorities to receive it.

Wang welcomed Diaz-Canel and his accompanying delegation and expressed satisfaction for traveling to China some few months after taking office, which he considered as an evidence of the enormous importance granted by the Cuban side to the Havana-Beijing ties.

He described the Cuban leader as an old friend who always promoted friendship and cooperation in different areas with active contributions to the bilateral agenda.

Wang expressed confidence that the meetings with President Xi Jinping and other Chinese leaders will help raise to historic levels the bonds forged on the basis of fraternity, mutual respect and collaboration with benefits for both nations.

Diaz-Canel talked with the leader of China's top political advisory body after arriving in Beijing on Wednesday to continue his official visit, opened on Tuesday in Shanghai (east).

According to the agenda scheduled for Thursday, Diaz-Canel expects to meet with Xi Jinping; Prime Minister Li Keqiang; and the President of the National People's Congress and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, Li Zhanshu, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

The signing of bilateral agreements and tours to sites of historical importance in Beijing is also underway.

China is the fourth stop of the first tour of the Cuban president by European and Asian countries after taking office in April.

The trip took him to France, Russia and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. The tour will continue in coming days in Vietnam, Laos and the United Kingdom.

Diaz-Canel previously visited in China in 2013 and 2015.




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American farmers need the Cuban market

Farmers across the country are worried. Net farm income this year has hit a 12-year low and is expected to drop nearly 20 percent overall. With falling domestic demand, higher production prices, and competition from foreign producers already hurting our farmers, retaliatory tariffs on U.S. farm exports by China, the EU, Canada, Mexico and Turkey are an added weight on the shoulders of our growers and producers. American farmers are tough patriots, but they need strong export revenues to stay in business. Building new export outlets for American farmers and allied industries has become an imperative, and Cuba should be part of that mix.

The list of farm sectors reeling from punitive foreign tariffs is long and getting longer. In soybeans, for example, nearly $14 billion worth of exports to China -- or roughly one third of total US soybean production in 2017 -- will be impacted by China’s new tariffs. In dairy, retaliatory tariffs will cost our farmers $1.5 billion this year and another $3 billion in 2019. In pork, almost half of all U.S. exports are being impacted by tariffs. This is not just a near-term concern. Once foreign market share is lost, reclaiming those sales is an uphill fight.

The positive reactions out of American agriculture to the new North American trade deal is testament to the urgent need for U.S. agribusiness outlets. In the case of Cuba, however, which offers an important growth opportunity just 90 miles away and an overnight voyage for shipping containers from U.S. Gulf and East Coast ports, a different solution is needed.

Cuba is one of only a very few foreign markets where the potential for U.S. agricultural growth is quantifiable and achievable. That island spends $2 billion a year on agricultural imports to feed its 11 million people and 3 million annual tourists. Most of its imports are from Vietnam, China, the European Union, and other faraway locations, where freight rates are many times higher than ours.

Arkansas for instance is the No. 1 U.S. rice exporter, and Cuba has the highest per capita rice consumption in the Western Hemisphere. However, since FY2009, Cuba has not imported any significant quantity of rice from the U.S. The U.S. held nearly 40 percent of market share in FY2004, but it has been lost to Vietnam and Brazil, who offer credit to Cuba.

Likewise, soybeans are also a top export item for states like Arkansas and others and with recent trade disputes, it is important to diversify our trading partners. Of Cuba’s nearly $2 billion in agricultural imports, 13 percent are soybean products. In Minnesota, U.S. soy exports could mean combined sales of up to $14 million, corn sales could reach up to $16 million; dairy has potential of $4.3 million. Similarly, many of Kansas’ top agricultural products are staple imports for Cuba. Kansas exports over $800 million annually in wheat, but there is virtually no wheat trade between Kansas and Cuba.

Cuba would readily buy our high-quality agricultural products were it not for our outdated financing rules on U.S. farm sales to Cuba. While the farm bill amendment allowing market promotion monies to be spent in Cuba is a step in the right direction, to position American farmers as the No. 1 agricultural supplier to Cuba, we need legislation allowing private credit and financing in agricultural sales to that market.

Now more than ever, when simple fixes like this could help our farmers make export strides in our own backyard over Vietnam, China, and other distant locations that compete with our farm community, we should quickly make them happen. The savings represented by this fix -- $690 million over 10 years according to the Congressional Budget Office -- is all the more reason to get this done now.

For lasting export growth for American farmers, we should also advance efforts to provide reciprocal bilateral trade improvements that help foster a more stable, mutually beneficial US-Cuba trading relationship.

As China and other U.S. export markets are redefined, our country no longer has the luxury of shunning meaningful agribusiness markets located right under our nose. Expanded access for U.S. agriculture into Cuba and other new outlets has become nothing less than a matter of economic health, if not survival, for rural America.

Crawford represents Arkansas’s 1st District and is chairman of the Agriculture Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management. Marshall represents Kansas’ 1st District and is a member of the Agriculture Committee. Emmer represents Minnesota’s 6th District. All three are members of the Congressional Cuba Working Group.

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Miguel Mario Diaz-Canel Bermudez Visits Kumsusan Palace of Sun

Miguel Mario Diaz-Canel Bermudez, president of the Council of State and president of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Cuba, visited the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun on Monday.

The members of the Cuban delegation were accompanied by Choe Ryong Hae, member of the Presidium of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, vice-chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the DPRK and vice-chairman of the WPK Central Committee, Ri Yong Ho, member of the Political Bureau of the WPK Central Committee and foreign minister, accompanied the Cuban president and his entourage.

A floral basket in name of the Republic of Cuba was laid before the statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il.

Miguel Mario Diaz-Canel Bermudez paid respects to the statues of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il.

At the halls of immortality where the great leaders lie in state, he paid homage to them.

He and the members of the delegation were guided to the halls where the orders the great leaders received are on display and the halls that house cars, electric car, boat and train coaches used by them during their field guidance and foreign tours till the last moments of their lives.

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Cuban, North Korean Leaders Agreed to Strengthen Bilateral Links

Pyongyang, Nov 4 (Prensa Latina) Cuban president Miguel Diaz-Canel and the North Korean President of the Workers'' Party (KWP), Kim Jong-Un held talks on Sunday in which they committed to continue strengthening bilateral relations.

During a dinner offered to the Cuban head of State by his host, Diaz-Canel transmitted a warm salute to him and the North Korean people, from Army General Raul Castro and the Cuban people.

He went on to explain that this visit takes place at a moment when Cuba, under the guidance of Raul Castro, sees a new generation begin to access the main posts of the Party and the Government.

He underlined that it is a continuity process and thus, his visit is of continuity, ratification and commitments.

Referring to the official talks held this afternoon with Kim Jong-Un, Diaz-Canel said both leaders committed to keep strengthening and expanding their relations.

He advanced that Cuba and the PDRK agreed during the private talks, to carry out cooperation projects in the sectors of tourism, education and public health.

Diaz-Canel recalled that Cuba and the PDRK's relations are historical and are based on mutual respect and admiration. He said the links were founded by the friendship between Fidel Castro and who he called, the Great Leader, Kim Il Sung.

Relations were further strengthened by the work of Raul Castro and Kim Jon-il.

The Cuban president revealed that both he and Kim Jong-Un committed this Sunday to continue strengthening relations between both their countries.

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FIHAV 2018, Constant Renewal of Cuban Trade

The successes of the recently concluded 36th Havana International Fair (FIHAV 2018) capture the attention of many markets that have been closely following the commercial boom of this island for some time now.

Europe is one of the most relevant points in this context of a one-week meeting that concluded on Friday in the halls of the Expocuba capital fairgrounds.

Apart from the data, and the presence of more than 3,000 businesspersons from 65 countries, perhaps the most interesting element was the wide range of opportunities that appeared in that meeting, to which all look with intentions to negotiate.

For many experts, FIHAV is not only the most important Cuban commercial exchange but also that of the Caribbean and Latin America, as many attendees at the fair evaluated.

This happens, precisely at a time when Cuba embraces a renewed economic model that covers the entire society and the island as a whole.

Hence, the Cuban Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment, Rodrigo Malmierca, recognized during those days that the success of the meeting reaffirms the interest of other markets to trade with the Island.

The minister considered that this occurs despite the desire of the United States government to hinder the business of Cuba and its efforts to strengthen its economic, financial and commercial obstacles against this nation.

FIHAV is a consolidated space for meetings between companies from Cuba, Latin America and the Caribbean and other parts of the world, the minister said.

Malmierca, also stressed that this year the fair had the particularity of being dedicated to Havana, close to its 500 years (November 16, 2019).

Cuba was the country with the highest number of distinctions, although countries like Germany, China, South Korea, Italy, and Spain also excelled in the categories with Gold Medal for the quality of the products exhibited and in the field of design.

During FIHAV, authorities announced that the eastern city of Santiago de Cuba will resume the Expocaribe Fair, scheduled for its 16th edition next year.

And as indispensable elements, which are now repeated by specialized media in commerce and economy, at the fair the Deputy Director of ProCuba, Dayli Martinez, presented the new portfolio of 340 Cuban exportable goods and services.

The document, in Spanish and English, shows data of 70 insular companies, of food, chemical, mineral, medicine, and tourism branches, among others.

This chain of events, presentations, and approaches of foreign companies, make a favorable scenario for Cuba.

Exports, foreign investment, and favorable development measures complete a panorama that should pay off in the immediate future, as many of those present at FIHAV 2018 appreciated.

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Cruise for Peace Will Visit Cuba for Nineteenth Time

Havana, Nov 3 (Prensa Latina) Cruice for Peace will arrive on Saturday in Cuba on its nineteenth visit with the message of eradicating nuclear weapons, according to trip coordinator, Adrian Godinez.

He explained that 1,200 people representing 22 nations will fulfill several programs here in health centers, education, care for the elderly and tourism.

As part of the activities in Havana, this Saturday will be the 'Forum for Peace and the Revolution,' in which testimonies of the two survivors to the bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki will be presented.

In this regard, the president of the Cuban Association of the United Nations (ACNU), Fermin Quiñones, stressed the importance of the elimination of nuclear weapons as a violation of the rights of life, peace and sovereignty.

'The ship makes its trip from New York, with a stopover in Havana, and then departs for Montego Bay, Jamaica,' the youth messenger of La Paz, Mako Ando, ​​stressed during the meeting.

The initiative is convened by the Institute for Friendship with the Peoples, the non-governmental organization Peaceboat (Crucero por la Paz), the Cuban Movement for Peace and the Sovereignty of Peoples and the ACNU. The event will be dedicated to the 60th anniversaries of the triumph of the Cuban Revolution and its historic leader, Fidel Castro; to 73th of the bombings in Japanese cities and 70th of the Declaration of Human Rights.

Cruice for Peace made its 18th visit to Cuba on July 17 of this year, on which occasion the forum Youth, Nuclear Disarmament and Peace took place.

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Iraqi Artist Will Exhibit for First Time in Cuba (+Photos)

Havana, Nov 2 (Prensa Latina) The artist of Iraqi origin and Dutch nationality Athar Jaber will be exhibiting for the first time in Cuba, as part of the program of the 13th Belgian Week in Havana, the organizers announced at a press conference.

Offerings, title of the exhibition, will be open to the public on November 9 in the Flemish and Dutch painting collection room of the National Museum of Fine Arts, located in this city.

The exhibition is composed of 27 pieces that mark the artistic journey of the creator and his work with figurative sculptures and interactive pieces marked by the performance component.

As explained by the sculptor, his fundamental objective is to focus the attention of the spectator on the actions of offerings and ritual practices that are present in our daily life and, however, often go unnoticed.

In addition, he said, many of these pieces are made with all intention for Cuba, after a study he made on local culture and Afro-Cuban religion, which were interesting in his artistic practice.

According to the curator of the show, Oscar Antuña, the most frequent themes in his work are violence, identity, entropy and migrations, usually using nude, unfinished, ambiguous and distorted bodies that do not respond to a specific context.

In addition to this exhibition, Jaber will have the opportunity to exchange with plastic arts students in a creation workshop between Cubans and Belgians that will take place at the Higher Institute of Art.

He is currently professor of sculpture at the Antwerp Academy of Fine Arts and has participated in important exhibitions in European art centers such as the Medici-Riccardi Palace, in Florence, Italy (2015), and the Monchengladbach gallery in Germany (2016)




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