Friday, September 01, 2006

Cuba in Viznar

By: Pedro de la Hoz
September 01, 2006

Havana, (Granma).- To the many tributes who brought Federico to us, alive, essential and necessary, there was another one added which because of its importance, even after days have gone by that mark a distance from the immediacy of the news, it is not possible to overlook: the voice of Cuba, of our poetry, was felt in Granada, on the same Viznar ravine, the site of the crime, after exactly seventy years of the felony being committed.
This is seen on a message sent to the female poet, essayist and promoter Aitiana Alberti, the daughter of Don Rafael and Doña Teresa, Cuban in her second nature, from Juan Francisco Delgado, the direcor of Social Welfare and Citizenship from the Provincial Council of Málaga, in which it says: “You were present on the tribute. It was to name Cuba and the more than 2 500 participants to the event began an immense applause to your adhesion. It was a memorable night, in which silence, cypress and black poplars from the site gave more life, if possible, to Federico and everybody else.”
There was read the text sent to the organizers of the event by the Organizing Committee from the International Poetry Festival of Havana, in which Pablo Armando Fernández, César López, Nancy Morejón, Miguel Barnet, Francisco López Sacha, Alex Pausides, Edel Morales, Virgilio López Lemus, Pierre Bernet, Andrés Mir, José Oriol, Vicente Feliz, Antonio Armenteros, Ángel Zuazo, Rito Ramón Aroche, and Aitiana herself, left their proof of the fervent loyalty to the memory of the murdered poet and dedicated “out cry and our anger, and an immortal wreath, to every martyr of that terrible war, symbolized by their passion and death.”
That text found, also, an echo on poets from other latitudes who have made a cultural resistance and humanist irradiation niche out of the Havana forum. Such are the cases of the Serb Svetlana Kalezic, International Nosside Award, the Canadian with a Chilean origin Tito Alvarado, the director of the International South Project, the Venezuelan Edmundo Aray and the Puerto Rican Etnairis Rivera.
As the Spanish writer Luis García Montero has remembered, who is also, by the way, one of the signers of the declaration Cuban sovereignty should be respected, “the poet was one of the more than 5 000 people fro Granada who were executed, by virtue of the war councils or the walks of the Black Squad. Among others, there were executed the general Miguel Campins, the chief of the Military Comandancy and loyal to the Republic, the mayor, the president of the Council, the rector of the University, the director of the most important newspaper in the city, El Defensor de Granada (The Defender of Granada) and many representatives, councilmen, professors, syndicalists. How could they not execute a republican poet, follower of the Popular Front and an example of pure freedom on the most sordid environments of a provincialism which he had characterized himself as the worst middle class in Spain”?

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Net Users Honor Cuban Music Star

Havana, Aug 29 (Prensa Latina) Internet users on the Mixed Jazz website have called to give attention to the remains of outstanding musician Arsenio Rodriguez, whose 95th birth anniversary is being celebrated now in Cuba.
One of the messages stated that, although he was a great composer and many of his themes were recorded by Cuban and foreign groups, ó the Wonderful Blindman ó did not accumulate riches and died poor in Los Angles where he was living with his brother.
His body was taken to New York with the financial support of Rene Lopez-father, Max Salazar, Larry Harlow and some others, and buried in the famous Bronx St Raymond s Cemetery.
One admirer of the musician called to erect a monument in his honor in his hometown, Guira de Macurijes, Matanzas Province, and to collect money to build at least a tombstone instead of returning his remains to Cuba, as was suggested, which would cost a fortune.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Alicia Alonso in An Exclusive

Havana, (Tribuna).- An intense creative work is doing the prima ballerina assoluta Alicia Alonso, one of the top figures of the world dance and director of the Cuban National Ballet (BNC, after its initials in Spanish), who gives first news to the readers of this web page in a dialogue with secrets not yet revealed.
How would you characterize the tour that the National Ballet will effect from September 1st until the next October 14th?
It is about three countries that have different references of our work, from there the differences in the repertoires that we will present. At the Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London will be two programs: The magic of dance, a display of styles and languages from representative scenes of emblematic titles of our repertoire and Don Quijote, a very know ballet with great expressive force, starting from Spanish airs.
“We will also present The magic of Egypt, at the Opera Theatre in Cairo as well as at the Opera in Alexandria, at the Palau de las Artes Altas in Barcelona and at the Villa Marta, in Jerez de la Frontera”.
“But at the Albéniz in Madrid, where we have a public that knows our aesthetic we will perform two great classics: Giselle and Swam Lake, in both cases in choreographies that I have created from the original versions and a concert program, made by myself, with Verbum, the bedroom scene from Romeo and Juliette, Umbral and The magic flute”.
World premieres at the 20th Festival.
Which will be your world premiere at the 20th International Ballet Festival in Havana?
I would like to clarify that there will be many world premieres, not only created by myself, but also by other creators, both Cuban and from Spain, France, Canada and Germany. Regarding my staging, I can tell you that the first one will be with music from Mozart and will be part of the opening gala, dedicated to the 250 anniversary of the birth day of the great musician.
“Another of my works that will be presented at the Festival is Desnuda luz (Naked light), dedicated to the first dancer Carla Fraccie, performed by Carla and first figures of the National Ballet of Cuba, with the designs of Ricardo Reymena”.
“A very complex piece to create it on stage has been Cuadros de una exposición (Paintings of an exhibition) inspired in the work of Modest Mussorgsky, with twelve paintings of the same number of, very famous painters, who offers an idea of the Cuban plastic arts”.
“It was a necessary, very strict selection, in order to catch the differences in the languiages, styles, lines and colors, in pieces especially conceivable for this exhibition by Roberto Fabelo, Nelson Domínguez, Zaida del Río, Alfredo Sosabravo, Cosme Proenza, Arturo Montoto, Iliana Mulet, Alicia Leal, Angel Ramírez, William Hernández and Gólgota”.
“The curtain has been created by Alfredo Sosa Bravo and the wardrobe it is an original idea of the painter and designer Ricardo Reymena. Together with the premiere of this work will be opened an exhibition at the La Acacia gallery with the originals created by the artists for this choreography”.
“To every one of them corresponds the twelve scenes that conform the ballet, whose stories start form the images painted in the walls that get alive in the stage through the steps and gestures born from the music of Mussorgsky. I hope that together with this complicity of the different arts; raise that wonderful magic between the artists and the public”.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Cuban Visual Arts and Films in Brasilia

BRASILIA (SE).— An exposition of 100 years of Cuban visual arts and cinematography is currently being held in the Brazilian capital of Brasilia at the Banco do Brazil Cultural Center in conjunction with Havana’s National Fine Arts Museum. The art show, featuring 120 works from 61 artists, is accompanied by a series of 50 Cuban films that began screening on Tuesday, the majority of which are from the Cuban Film Institute (ICAIC) catalog. Previously, the exhibition was presented in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.
Brazilian art lovers have shown a marked interest in the different stages and evolution of Cuban art trends from the first vanguard of artists —Victor Manuel, Amelia, Abela and Pogolotti— to the latest conceptual experimentation. Among the works receiving lots of interest are a sampling of the Cuban version of abstract painting from the mid 20th Century and a collection of pieces —highlighted by the pop art of Raul Martinez— that reveal the creative explosion brought on by the new emphasis on arts and culture in government policy after the 1959 triumph of the Revolution.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Dreaming of Annexing Cuba

The Cuban revolution will not end simply because this charismatic leader ceases to serve as the standing political leader.
In fact, the theory that Cuba will succumb to capitalism simply because Castro no longer is leading the state assumes that the past few decades were merely the success of a powerful personality cult. This assumption denies the objective factors that led to Cuba's revolution.
The fact that Cuba was able to move past the collapse of the Soviet Union, as well as the harsh moment in history known as the Special Period, conveys that revolutionary sentiment is alive and strong. If Cubans were able to survive those times, they can certainly go on if they lose Castro.
The U.S. government has other plans. The July report reflects the ignorance within the state department regarding politics in other countries. The document assumes Castro is the crux of this movement. The Cuban revolution did not belong to Castro; it belongs to the Cuban people, and where they take the country is up to the citizens of that state. Cuban politics should not be the state of affairs of the U.S. government, especially given the track of failure this country has had in transporting "democracy."
The report expresses the desires of the U.S. government to "assist" and "facilitate" this transition period.
It includes measures to block succession, and oddly, a secret annexed portion that perhaps discusses how this succession shall be carried out. The reality stands that given the exhaustion
of resources in various other wars, the United States can only plot and dream about invading Cuba. But to put things into perspective, how would Americans feel if one of its leaders fell ill and another country sat plotting for regime change?
(Taken from the Minnesota Daily)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Cuban Writers and Artists Renew Commitment to Justice

Message to Fidel Castro on the 45th anniversary of the founding of the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba
A renewed commitment with dignity and justice was the center of a message from Cuban authors and artists as they celebrated the 45th anniversary of the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC) Tuesday in Havana.
The message addressed to President Fidel Castro was read by UNEAC president, poet Carlos Marti.
"Your dreams of humanity and social justice and the opening that embodied the idea of founding the UNEAC gave our work the dignity it deserved, as we joined together to use art and literature to defend our traditional ethical and esthetic values and to create a Cuban and international culture supported by our profoundly radical and humanist revolution."
The highpoint of the anniversary celebration was when a diploma, especially designed by national award winning artist Jose Gomez Fresquet, that recognizes Fidel as the founder of the revolutionary organization of writers and artists, was handed to Parliament President Ricardo Alarcon de Quesada for delivery to the commander.

Friday, August 18, 2006

No enemy can defeat us.

Affirms Raúl in a statement to Granma. He affirmed that Fidel continues to improve and thanked people for the thousands of messages of solidarity and support from our country and abroad. Measures have been taken to prevent any attempt at aggression. The people are giving a conclusive demonstration of confidence in themselvesBY LAZARO BARREDO MEDINA
The General of the Army Raúl Castro Ruz has offered an interview to Granma daily. The conversation took place in his office at the Ministry of the Revolutionary Armed Forces (MINFAR) and focused on the principal events of recent days.Comrade Raúl, our people joyfully received the message and photographs of the Comandante en Jefe published in the press and the subsequent television report of the encounter with president Chávez. Nevertheless, taking advantage of this opportunity, it would be greatly appreciated by millions of people who have attentively followed information on the state of health of compañero Fidel, to hear your personal assessment, as someone always so united to him.
Without any doubt, what most interests all of us at this time is the Jefe’s health.
On behalf of all the people, I will begin by congratulating and thanking the doctors and the other compañeros and compañeras who have attended to him in an excellent manner, with an unsurpassable professionalism and, above all, with much love and dedication. This has been a very important factor in Fidel’s progressive recovery.
Moreover, I think that his exceptional physical and mental nature has also been essential to his satisfactory and gradual recovery.We Cubans, even when we don’t see you for a while on television or in the written press, know that you are there, at your combat post as always. But I think that these words of yours will also disarm the speculation and lies present in some of the foreign media.
If you are referring to those in other countries who entertain themselves by speculating about if I am going to appear on television or in the papers or not; well, I appeared with Fidel on Sunday (August 13) and when I received President Chávez , although really those comments don’t bother me in the slightest.
What does interest me greatly is what our people are thinking, although, fortunately, we live in this geographically small island, where everything that we are doing is known. I can confirm that when I talk with the population or other local leaders in my tours of the country.
As a point of fact, I am not used to making frequent appearances in public, except at times when it is required. Many tasks related to defense should not be made public and have to be handled with maximum care, and that has been one of my fundamental responsibilities as FAR minister. Moreover, I have always been discreet, that is my way, and in passing I will clarify that I am thinking of continuing in that way. But that has not been the fundamental reason why I don’t appear very often in the mass media; simply, it has not been necessary.No essential orientation has been overlooked…
Effectively, the Comandante en Jefe’s Proclamation gave the information that could be given at that time and moreover, proposed specific tasks for everyone. The main thing is to dedicate oneself in body and soul to fulfilling them. That is what all the leaders at different levels have been doing, together with our people who have known how to maintain an exemplary discipline, vigilance and working spirit.
On behalf of the Comandante en Jefe and the Party leadership, I will take the opportunity of thanking everyone for the innumerable displays of support for the Revolution and for the content of his Proclamation, as well as the demonstrations of affection that have been expressed by figures from the cultural sector; professionals and workers in all sectors; campesinos, soldiers, housewives, students, pioneers; among them numerous believers, public figures and religious institutions from the overwhelming majority of denominations; finally, the people of Cuba. It has been a conclusive demonstration of their unbreakable unity and their revolutionary consciousness, essential pillars of the fortitude of our country.The breadth of support coming from all over the world has also been impressive.
Yes, really heartening. That is why I should also like to express thanks for the numerous messages of solidarity and respect from all over the world, from people of the most diverse social categories, from simple workers to intellectual and political figures, as well as a significant and representative number of religious institutions and figures. All of them have done so without any conditions whatsoever. Messages from the few who did not act in that way were not accepted or acknowledged.
Also, they have been joined to date (August 17) by some 12,000 signatories supporting the call made 10 days ago by prominent cultural personalities from more than 100 countries, among them various Nobel Prize winners, condemning the interfering and aggressive statements of the government of the United States, and which also exposes the openly interventionist nature of the Bush Plan, as we are calling that monster that would seem to be dusted off from the times when – as at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th – they frustrated the independence of Cuba and imposed their administrators on us.
Now they have also designed one for the supposed "transition." One McCarry, who recently stated that the United States does not accept the continuity of the Cuban Revolution, although he didn’t say how they are thinking of averting that.One gets the impression that the enemies of the Revolution have been left speechless by the conclusive reaction of the Cuban population, immune to their giant and disgraceful campaign of offenses and lies. They are talking with surprise at the calm reigning in Cuba, as if it was something unusual and not exactly normal, and which all of us here knew would happen in a situation such as this.
Yes, it would seem that they have come to believe their own lies. The most probable is that their "think tanks" and many of their analysts are now drawing other conclusions.
As you were saying, absolute tranquility is reigning in the country. And something even more important, the serene, disciplined and decisive attitude that can be felt in every workplace, in every city, in every neighborhood. The same one that our people always assume in moments of difficulty. If we were to be guided solely by the internal situation, I am not exaggerating in affirming that it would not have been necessary to mobilize even one pioneer from among those who guard the ballot boxes in the elections.
But we have never ignored a threat from the enemy. It would be irresponsible to do so when faced with a government like that of the United States, which has is declaring with the greatest audacity that it does not accept what is established in the Cuban Constitution. From over there, as if they were the rulers of the planet, they are saying that there must be a transition to a social regime of their liking and that they "would take note of those who oppose that." Although it seems incredible, this boorish and at the same time stupid attitude was assumed by President Bush a few days ago. They’ll have to waste a lot of paper and ink...
A lot. For that reason I would advise them to do the opposite. To "take note," as they say, of the annexationists on the payroll of the U.S. Interest Section here in Havana, those who are going to receive the crumbs of the announced $80 million earmarked for subversion, because the bulk of it will be distributed in Miami, as is usually the case.
On the contrary, the list is going to be interminable. They would have to list the names of millions and millions of Cuban men and women, the same ones who are ready to receive their designated administrator with rifles in hand.
At this juncture, they should be very clear that it is not possible to achieve anything in Cuba with impositions and threats. On the contrary, we have always been disposed to normalize relations on an equal plane. What we do not accept is the arrogant and interventionist policy frequently assumed by the current administration of that country.
Recently rereading Party Congress documents, I found ideas that seemed to have been written today. For example, this excerpt from the Central Report presented by Fidel to the Third Congress in February 1986:
"As we have demonstrated many times, Cuba is not remiss to discussing its prolonged differences with the United States and to go out in search of peace and better relations between our people."
And he continued:
"But that would have to be on the basis of the most unrestricted respect for our condition as a country that does not tolerate shadows on its independence, for whose dignity and sovereignty entire generations of Cubans have fought and sacrificed themselves. This would be possible only when the United States decides to negotiate with seriousness and is willing to treat us with a spirit of equality, reciprocity and the fullest mutual respect."
Similar formulations are contained in the documents from the other Party Congresses and have also been reaffirmed by its first secretary on diverse occasions. Nevertheless they are continuing with the same aggressive and arrogant policy as always.
That is the reality. More than 20 years have passed since Fidel pronounced the words that I have just cited; they have that 485-page interventionist plan that I already mentioned, approved in 2004, in which they detail how they propose to dismantle the achievements of the Revolution in health, education, social security; agrarian reform and urban reform; in other words, to kick the people off their land, out of their homes so as to hand them back to their former owners, etc. etc. etc.
To cap it all, just a few days ago, on July 10, President Bush officially approved a document complementing the former one, and which they had posted with a very low profile on the Internet in June. They have openly stated that it includes a secret appendix that is not being published "for reasons of national security" and "to ensure its effective implementation;" those are literally the terms that they used, and which constitute a flagrant violation of international law.
For a while now we have been adopting measures to confront those plans. These were reinforced particularly when the current U.S. government initiated the unbridled warmongering policy that it has maintained to date, including the announced intention to attack without previous warning any of those places that they call the "sixty or more dark corners of the world."A notable escalation of aggression…
Effectively, and in 2003 the plans became more explicit. On December 5 of that year, Mr. Roger Noriega, then assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere Affairs, declared – I don’t know if it was intentional or a slip – that "the transition in Cuba – in other words – the death of Fidel – could happen at any moment and we have to be prepared to be agile and decisive." That "the United States wanted to be sure that the regime’s cronies have no hope of holding onto power" and, so as to leave no doubt, he added that they were working "to ensure that there was no succession to the Castro regime." Subsequently he and other senior U.S. officials have returned to the theme insistently.
What other form exists for obtaining these goals that is not military aggression? Thus, the country adopted the pertinent measures for counteracting that real danger.
Faced with similar situations, Martí taught us what to do: "Plan against plan. Without a plan of resistance, a plan of attack cannot be defeated," he wrote in the newspaper Patria on June 11, 1892.
The United States government is not revealing the contents of that appendix because it is illegal. Its publication must be demanded, above all now that they have spoken about its existence in order to threaten Cuba.
On the contrary, our defense plans are transparent and legal, simply because they do not threaten anybody; their sole objective is to guarantee the sovereignty and independence of the homeland; they do not violate any national or international law whatsoever.
The country’s media has informed about the seriousness and reach of the measures that we have been adopting recently to steadily strengthen our defense. Just over a month ago, on July 1, the issue was analyzed extensively by the Fifth Plenum of the Central Committee of the Party. Some of the empire’s war hawks thought that the moment had come to destroy the Revolution this past July 31.
We could not rule out the risk of somebody going crazy, or even crazier, within the U.S. government.
Consequently, at 3 a.m. on August 1, in fulfillment of the plans approved and signed on January 13, 2005 by compañero Fidel, and after having made the established consultations, I decided to substantially raise our combative capacity and readiness via the implementation of the projected measures, including the mobilization of several tens of thousands of reservists and militia members, and the proposal to our principal units of regular troops, including the Special Troops, of missions demanded by the political/military situation that has been created.
All of the mobilized personnel has completed or is currently completing an important cycle of combat training and cohesion, part of that under campaign conditions.
These troops will rotate, in approximately equal numbers, as the proposed objectives are attained. All of the reservists and militia members who are to participate in these activities will be informed, with the necessary anticipation, of the date of incorporation into their units and the time that they will remain in these to fulfill their guard duty to the homeland.
To date, the mobilization that we began on August 1 has developed satisfactorily, thanks to the magnificent response by our reservists and militia members, as well as the commendable labor undertaken by the military commands and especially by the Defense Councils, under the leadership of the Party, at every level.
It is not my intention to exaggerate the danger. I never have done so. Up until now, the attacks during these days have not gone further than rhetorical ones, except for the substantial increase in subversive anti-Cuba broadcasts over radio and television. They have announced the use of a new airplane...
Previously, they were using, at varying intervals, a military airplane known as Comando Solo. From this past August 5, they began using another type of aircraft that has effected daily transmissions. On August 11, it did so in conjunction with the aforementioned Comando Solo.
In fact, on the 5th and 6th, our radars detected that transmissions were being made from international waters, in outright violation of the agreements of the International Telecommunications Union, to which the United States is a signatory, which once again we are condemning via the corresponding channels and agencies, given that moreover these transmissions are affecting broadcasting in our country.
In reality, we are totally unconcerned at the hypothetical influence of this crude and abysmally-made propaganda, very much below the cultural and political levels of the Cuban population and which moreover our people reject, just as they reject the little signs on the U.S. Interests Section. That is not what this is about; it is above all a matter of sovereignty and of dignity. We would never passively allow the consummation of that aggressive act, and that is why we interfere with it.
All things considered, they are spending millions in U.S. taxpayers’ money to achieve the same result as ever: a TV that is not seen.
I add to these reflections on the country’s defense an idea expressed by Fidel in 1975, in his Central Report to the First Party Congress, which I have quoted so much that I know it by heart:
"As long as imperialism exists, the Party, the State and the people will give their utmost attention to the services of defense. The revolutionary guard will never be neglected. History shows with too much eloquence that those who forget this principle do not survive the error."
That has been our guide throughout many years, and continues to be today for more than enough reasons. I think that we Cubans have shown during these days that we all share that conviction.
I agree with you, and that is why I conclude by ratifying my congratulations to the Cuban people for their overwhelming demonstration of confidence in themselves; a demonstration of maturity, serenity, monolithic unity, discipline, revolutionary consciousness and — put this in capital letters — FIRMNESS, which reminded me of the conduct of the Cuban people during the heroic days of the so-called Missile Crisis in October 1962.
They are the fruits of a Revolution whose concept Fidel summed up in his speech of May 1, 2000, in 20 basic ideas that constitute the quintessence of ideological political work. They are the results of many years of combat that, under his leadership, we have waged. Let nobody doubt, as long as we remain like that, no enemy will be able to defeat us.
Fuente:Periodico Granma

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