Cuba hosts workshop on unique musical instrument

Dutch musician Thorwald Jørgensen is today proposing an approach to and experimentation with the unique instrument known as the Theremin, during a musical workshop at the Arte Continua gallery.

Considered one of the world's best Theremin players, Jørgensen has dedicated his career to the instrument, performing alongside soloists and chamber orchestras.

Also participating in the workshop is Mexican musician Ernesto Mendoza, the only Theremin player in his country, who has taken part in several live concerts accompanying the National Symphony Orchestra and currently teaches several courses on the origin and esthetic of the etherphone, as it is also known.

Created a century ago by Russian physicist Leon Theremin, it is one of the first electronic musical instruments that resembles the human voice and is used in classical and experimental music and other genres such as rock.

The workshop is part of the Havana Moderna project which promotes contemporary and electroacoustic music in Cuba.

  • Published in Culture

Cuba to launch new portfolio of opportunities in Fihav trade fair

Cuba will launch its 2019-2020 Foreign Investment Opportunities Portfolio in the framework of the Havana International Fair (Fihav), to be held from November 4 to 8, according to an official source.

In Twitter, Cuba's Minister of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment Rodrigo Malmierca explained that the third edition of the Commercial Directory will also be presented during the forum.

The Portfolio of Opportunities is part of the strategy of Cuban authorities to continue boosting foreign investment in the country.

Fihav, which has been developing since 1983, is the most important multi-sector trade and investment fair in Cuba and one of the most representative in Latin America and the Caribbean.

During this edition, the 4th Investment Forum will be held to boost bilateral meetings between Cuban entrepreneurs and potential foreign investors.

The event is attended by not only Cuban and foreign entrepreneurs, but also by official delegations from other nations, chambers of commerce and organizations of the like.

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Swiss cruise firm bets on Cuba

Cuba's ambassador to Switzerland Manuel Aguilera visited the headquarters of the MSC Cruises company in this city to exchange links between both parties and their growth prospects.

Aguilera was received by the Executive Director of that firm Gianni Onorato who explained the company's business in different markets and general plans for expansion and short-term development, a statement from the Cuban diplomatic mission revealed.

He also spoke with the Executive President of MSC Cruises Pierfrancesco Vago who ratified the will to preserve and foster relations with Cuba despite the difficulties created by the US new sanctions against the island.

In that sense, the ambassador addressed the Cuban news and denounced the White House's aggressive policy against his country, which includes the tightening of the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed almost 60 years ago.

In this regard, he condemned the activation of Title III of the Helms-Burton Act, which allows US citizens to sue individuals and entities, including third countries, to the US justice, for investing in Cuban territory in nationalized properties after the victory of the Revolution on January 1, 1959.

The diplomat stressed that the true purpose of this measure is to affect the economic and commercial relations of his country, as well as the investment flows.

He also criticized Washington's sanctions and pressures on shipping companies and ships that transport fuel to Cuba, financial persecution and the closure of payment channels by banking institutions for fear of reprisals.

MSC Cruises is one of the Swiss companies most affected by the US attack against Cuba. Their losses were millionaires as a result of the measures adopted by Washington, the text highlights.

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US sanctions bite into Cuban healthcare

US sanctions bite into Cuban healthcare – despite claims they only affect leadership US sanctions are making ordinary Cubans sick, literally. Despite Washington’s insistence that its sanctions hurt only the banks and government officials they target, the entire population is being deprived of lifesaving drugs.

Cuba, already under a US trade embargo since 1962, was hit with even stricter sanctions earlier this year in what the Trump administration calls an effort to pressure the country into dropping its support for the Venezuelan government of Nicolas Maduro. But the economic restrictions Washington claims are meant to punish Cuba’s government are actually intensifying the suffering of its people, who are denied crucial medicines because of the blockade.

Swiss NGO MediCuba, which provides HIV, cancer and pediatric care to Cubans, found itself unable to work last month after its bank, PostFinance, halted all transfers to Cuba because of US sanctions. It was one of the last banks that processed such transactions, and foreign groups trying to operate in Cuba are left to search for another route – private institutions that charge exorbitant fees, Western Union money transfers, or even asking travelers to bring cash into the country.

While Cuba has tens of thousands of skilled physicians, even the best doctor cannot work with no resources, and the US has done its best to ensure that Cubans have as few resources as possible. Medical devices like x-ray machines are as “vintage” as the 1950s cars that have become a visual icon for visitors and parts to repair them are extremely difficult to acquire. Cuba imports 37 percent of its medicines and 85 percent of the ingredients it uses to produce medicines locally, and shortages of even common drugs like antihistamines, painkillers, contraceptives, and hypertension medications are frequent.

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Global artists travel to Cuba for Colloquium on Latinos in the US

Artists from nine countries will participate in the fifth International Colloquium on Latinos in the United States, which will be held in the Cuban capital from Tuesday to Thursday, as announced at a press conference.

Promoted by the Casa de las Americas, the event will bring together some 48 intellectuals from Argentina, Mexico, Chile, Puerto Rico, Salvador, Brazil, Spain, the United States and Cuba.

Among the participants is Alicia Arrizon, a professor of Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of California (United States), and Maria Jose Buchanan, a scholar of the Upper Middle Division at the University of Monterrey (Mexico).

The program includes 15 papers focused on the management of Latino cultural industries in the United States and their transnational spaces.

The event will also feature a musical space, this time with special guest American pianist Arturo O'Farrill, who will perform at the close of the Colloquium on the 17th.

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Busy agenda for Cuba within the UNESCO Executive Board

Cuba will this month undertake an extensive agenda within the UNESCO Executive Board, which is focusing its efforts on the follow-up to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the permanent delegation of the island reported.

According to Cuban representatives, activities at UNESCO headquarters in this capital include the work of the Committee on Conventions and Recommendations of the 207th session of the Executive Board, a body of 58 countries of which Cuba is a member.

This forum examined reports on the application of UNESCO's normative instruments, related to its competence, the preservation of documentary heritage, the protection and promotion of museums and their collections and the right to education, science and culture, as well as transparency and cooperation.

Cuba's delegation was headed by Oscar León, representative before this body and president of the National Commission for UNESCO, accompanied by the permanent delegate of the island, Dulce María Buergo, and other officials.

The Executive Board's Special Committee and the Committee on Non-Governmental Partners also convened to discuss governance.

The Board's work will be extended until October 23, with an agenda in which the Draft Program and Budget for the biennium 2020-2021, the strategic transformation process promoted by the Director General, and the structured dialogue on financing and the monitoring of SDGs stand out, particularly focused on education.

The activities at UNESCO headquarters precede the 40th Session of the General Conference, scheduled from November 12 to 27, with the participation of Heads of State and Government.

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Cuban president receives credentials of new ambassadors

President of Cuba Miguel Diaz-Canel, accompanied by Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez, received this Friday the credentials of new ambassadors to the island.

Ambassadors Perry John Calderwood (Canada), Heidrun Tempel, (Federal Republic of Germany), Ariana Campero Nava (Plurinational State of Bolivia), and Alain Thierry Jean Baptiste Ouattara (Burkina Faso) attended the solemn ceremony.

Likewise, Harisoa Lalatiana Accouche (Seychelles), Evelyn Patricia Sanchez Granados (Costa Rica), Tomas Wiklund (Kingdom of Sweden), and Miguel Ignacio Diaz Reynoso (United Mexican States) were accredited. 
  • Published in Cuba

Singer Roi Casal to play concert merging Cuban and Galician music

Havana, Oct 11 (Prensa Latina) A combination of music, video and history will reach Havana stages in a concert by Galician singer Roi Casal, currently one of the main promoters of cultural relations between Galicia and Cuba.

With special performances of the show 'Son galego, Son cubano,' scheduled for October 12 and 16, Casal joins a delegation from his country participating in tributes to mark the 500th anniversary of the founding of Havana.

'Son galego, Son cubano,' an album that secured Casal the 2014 Cubadisco International Award, brings together traditional Galician and Cuban sounds, with the musicalization of nine texts by writer Xose Neira Vilas (1928-2015).

Music and poetry merge in the album that highlights the relations between the two territories on noting that several symbols of the Galician identity emerged precisely in Havana, such as its anthem, flag and the Academy of Language.

The performances, which will take place in the Cafe Miramar and the Alicia Alonso Grand Theater of Havana, will form part of the homonymous documentary by journalist and director Natasha Vasquez, who since 2015 has been collecting images and sound of the different stagings of this show.

The documentary, which deals with the migration of a group of women from Galicia to Havana in the early 20th century, reveals little-known history and also represents a tribute to prominent Galician writers such as Concepcion Arenal, Rosalia de Castro and Emilia Pardo.

  • Published in Culture
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