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Abel Gonzalez Alayon

Abel Gonzalez Alayon

French perfumes in new spaces in Cuba

Renovated perfume stores will be selling perfumes such as Christian Dior, Kenzo, Fendi, Givenchy, Hermès and Swarovski in Cuba. The French company Saint Rémy Trading S.A., in charge of representing these brands in Cuba, is carrying out a restoration process for some important specialized boutiques, in accordance with national commercial chains. This process, which will begin with Aqua Viva, located in the Central Park Hotel, and recently in the perfume store La Fragancia in the Palacio de la Artesanía, is the result of an international trend in this sector which allows buyers to interact with the articles they would potentially buy. In this regard, salesclerk and specialist Sussel Ferran Pantoja stated: “The current strategy of the company is addressed to remodeling and redecorating perfume shops in order to join modern commercialization trends for this kind of goods. Nowadays, perfume stores in the world allow consumers to get to the project and interact with it, to check their format, amount, prices, and even to know its components in order to be able to choose better the scent of their preference, whether with a wood, floral or fruit essence”. According to the representative, this intervention by Saint Rémy Trading S.A. allows customers...

Who is behind Qva Libre’s image?

Within the broad range of Cuban video clip, Cuban Jose Rojas stands out as one of the youngest producers that are already distinguished by its own aesthetics. OnCuba talked to this young producer,who recently graduated from the Cuban Higher Institute for the Arts (ISA, by its acronym in Spanish) andis already recognized bymany behind Qva Libre´s image. How was your initiation in audiovisuals, specifically in video clips? I began as editor and post producer. I developed my first works by sitting in front of a computer, they got to me already made and I enriched them by means of graphic design. Then, at school I began to do some works for the class, Amateur Festivals, but always within the university context, until I made some others that spread a bit more as for instance my work for the Caribbean Games for the Higher Design Institute (ISDI by its acronym in Spanish), which didn’t stay within the university and many people saw it. At that moment it was extraordinary because it was shot with an IPhone and no one could believe that, our work was quite newand I did it with a couple of friends from school. The Cuban reggaeton group...

Jazz event in Havana

Cuba is inserted in the celebrations for the International Jazz Day with a number of events that culminates this weekend in the traditional spaces dedicated to this genre in the capital city. At the National Hotel, site of the meeting, musicians like Bobby Carcasses, Alejandro Falcon, Roberto Fonseca, the drummer Yissy García, the saxophonist Emir Santacruz and the singer Luna Manzanares, among others, showed vitality, creativity and virtuosity gathering along with their compositions and improvisations to a large audience of Cuban, foreigners, graduated or students that avidly of knowledge attended the presentation. As the event organizer, Loreta Zerquera,declared to OnCuba "the main activity was scheduled for Osaka, Japan, and we wanted to be involved in the festivities around the world. We did not want to overlook this date therefore we organized the third edition of this event. Among the participants is Bobby Carcasses considered as the master of all the musicians that attended the event. Roberto Fonseca also participated, an icon for all jazz musicians. Young performers who are contributing a lot to the genre such as Emir Santacruz, YissyGarcia, and even completely new projects were also involved in the event. Cuba has brought and still brings a lot to...

Eternal debt to Fernando Alonso

The genius by Maestro Fernando Alonso still lightens the Cuban ballet scenario he founded. It wouldn’t be fair to say he founded it alone because that would be a delirious lie and would be disrespectful to him when he used to name with admiration all those people with which he shared this never-ending process. “Dad was a lord, a prince. He was incredibly intelligent, he could talk about anything, he knew a bit about everything and he used to study the unknown”, pointed out his daughter Laura Alonso, prestigious ballet maître and director of Prodanza Center. The former soloist of the Cuban National Ballet (BNC by its acronym in Spanish) recalls that once during a matinée performance they staged The Sylphs and it didn’t suited the director. The evening show began with that same piece so the maestro had them rehearse with their dance shoes on, dressed and with the make up on the whole afternoon until the show was about to begin. “When I took my dancing shoes off, my feet were bleeding, however no one dared to complain, everyone respected him a lot. Dad was very demanding but that’s what teachers do and he would never settle, he...

Cuba eliminates sports licenses for baseball players and national sports teams

The National Institute of Sports, Physical Education and Recreation (INDER ) eliminated the granting of licenses to national sports team members; participants in the National Baseball and reserves of both in correspondence with the implementation of the policy of income for athletes, coaches and sports specialists . Decree No. 134 "On the sporting licenses " of May 6, 1986 , provided that these athletes keep their wages in the job they occupied during the period of training and competition , for which they were granted a license, adopted by the workplaces of the athletes . This caused many athletes to occupy dissimilar positions in workplaces, from social workers, or communal services, and exercising, on paper only, work for which they were not qualified, or did not require any special skills. What mattered was that they appeared linked to an entity in order to focus exclusively to the practice of sport. Of course, this entailed bloated payrolls, the budget increase for salaries to certain entities, and in some cases, illegal activities. Furthermore, athletes were also affected, due to the failure to exercise a decent job, his income was minimal, a situation that had to be addressed at some point. In September...

Pilar Fernández, a Spanish entrepreneur betting on investments in Cuba

Pilar Fernández is a Spanish entrepreneur living in Cuba for 16 years now. She fell in love with this country with her first visiton the occasion of Havana’s International Fair in 1995, the same year in which the government passed the Foreign Investment Law. At present, she is a permanent resident in the island, where she works as private entrepreneur, but she prefers to be called a freelancer. She is the owner of Bikos, an exclusive restaurant in Vedado, in Havana. We paid her a visit to talk to this woman that has become so Cuban that she doesn’t want to return to her country of origin. “Before settling once and for all in Cuba I used to come here a lot. I used to have a hospital furniture factory in Austria. I sold furniture for the Frank País, Cira García and Hermanos Amejeiras hospitals. Then, my personal situation in Spain changed, I divorced and decided to take sometime to reflect on what I wanted to do with my life. I had really good friends here so I decided to settle. Living in this city I was hired to set in motion a powder milk factory with Havana’s Dairy Complex....

Cuban volleyball talent is present in world courts

While the Cuban Volleyball Federation keeps, as its president Ariel Sainz weeks expressed ago, its irrational refusal to dialogue with players who play professionally outside the island, volleyball fans continue enjoying the relevant performances of these stars in courts of several nations. This weekend two regional club tournaments wrapped up, and in both the Cuban talent was present. In Brazil the South American Club Championship took place, won by the local team Sada Cruzeiro , where Cuban Yoandy Leal plays. Parallel in time, Tunisia hosted the Arab Volleyball Cup. There eight athletes from Cuba saw action, among them Raydel Corrales, included in the All Stars of the event. A great game for the discussion of the title was the epilogue of the South American tournament, held at the Arena LIVE in Belo Horizonte. In the final match the Sada Cruzeiro , current World Club champion, faced the Argentinean franchise UPCN , the regional defending champions. The latter won the two first sets with identical 25-23. Then a legendary Brazilian comeback began, in which the support of the public was a key factor. They garnered the three next sets with score of 25-20, 25-19, 18-16 . This was the second time...

Marti Theater Returns to Havana’s Cultural Life

Havana's Teatro Martí will be reopened on Monday night, after being subjected to a complex renovation work by the Office of the City Historian. The neoclassical building, which hosted the Cuban Bufo theater and zarzuela, has been adjusted with the times and will feature a woodwork of two faces: the exterior, wooden, will preserve the original look of the theater while the interior, aluminum and glass ensure tightness demanded by today's HVAC and sound. The timing of its revival does not become casual: on February 24, 1899 the El Grito de Baire zarzuela was released to celebrate the anniversary of the War of Independence, and was attended by Generalissimo Maximo Gomez and other chiefs and officers of the Liberation Army. The opening show is called Back to Marti and will consist of fragments of masterpieces of Cuban scene as Cecilia Valdés , Amalia Batista and a potpourri composed all the songs that made the soundtrack of the Belle of the Alhambra film. A suggestive version of Mesié Julián is also expected, and some scenes from The Merry Widow, a moment that will serve to pay homage to the great Cuban vedette Rosita Fornes, who performed many times in the iconic...

Cuban troubadour Santiago Feliu dies in Havana

At dawn on Wednesday, February 12, Cuban singer Santiago Feliu, one of the great voices of the Cuban trova, died in Havana. His death was caused by a heart attack. According to sources, Feliu, 51, suffered a severe pain in the chest, was taken to hospital, but arrived lifeless. By express will of his family his body will be cremated. Read here the latest article in OnCuba about the author of "Planeta Cuba."

Cuban Yunier Perez leads world rankings 60 meters indoors

This week, in Moscow, Cuban sprinter Yunier Perez established the world best time in the 60 meter dash indoors when the clocks stopped at 6.49 seconds, equaling the national record set in 2000 by Freddy Mayola. Perez, who runs in the colors of the Spanish team Playas del Castellón, easily defeated the well-known Kim Collins of Saint Kitts and Nevis, to win the Russian Winter event, one of the stops on the indoor circuit prior to Poland’s IAAF World Championships to be held in the coming March. The Cuban was invited late to the event, backed by his impressive results this season, where he registered four of the top ten times, including his 6.50 on January 30 in Dusseldorf, Germany. Yunier Pérez Romero was born on February 16, 1985 in San Jose de las Lajas, in the present province of Mayabeque. He was part of the Cuban 4x400 relay team that won the Central American Games in Cali, Colombia, in 2008, and ended eighth in the final of the Olympic Games in Beijing the same year. His performances in outdoor races differ greatly from the indoor ones; he has very discrete personal bests in the 100, 200 and 400 meter...

Rochy Ameneiro: a Contracorriente woman

Cuban singer Rochy Ameneiro talks Oncuba on her Project “[email protected] contracorriente”, which is in favour of non violence against women and girls. Maybe if we ask a man which is the role of women in current society, he did not draw the old image of women using an apron in the kitchen. However, changing mentalities entirely is very complicated when dealing with something taken as natural; conferred to socio-economical context, hidden after patriarchal concepts, or permeated by assignation of gender roles; violence against women and girls continues affecting the world today. Cuban singer Rochy Ameneiro was inspired by this reality, and was also motivated by Dr. Julio César González Pagés, coordinator of the Iberoamerican and African Masculinity Network (RIAM by its Spanish acronym), develops the project " [email protected] contracorriente", which claims for gender equality. Next to serve three years of created, the space stands in favor of a culture of peace and dresses in purple, as it is the color of feminism, "although on day 25th of each month we change to orange to show that we are fighting for no violence against women and girls, which was stimulated by the Secretary General of the United Nations, with ¨Unete" (Join...

Domadores versus Hussars: Chronicle of an announced sweep

The five boxers who came out the ring of Ciudad Deportiva on Friday won their respective fights, as part of the IV World Series organized by AIBA. The quintet of fighters presented by the Polish Hussars franchise barely offered resistance to the obvious superiority of Cuban Domadores . This result confirmed the Cuban team in the first place in Group B , now with 21 points and balance of 31 wins with just 4 losses. In the first fight Yosbany Veitía (49kg ) won with ease over Sebastian Jagodzinski . Veitia boxed all the time from the outside with repeated entries and exits. He combined exquisitely , sometimes accelerated the pace and the rest of the time he let the clock tick. The decision of the judges was an unanimously 3-0 ( 50-42 , 50-44 , 50-44 ) . This was the fourth consecutive success of Veitia, who was consolidated at the top of the ranking of the division in the WSB. Then Marcos Forestal (56kg) defeated Sylwester Koslowsky . The verdict was 3-0 (50-45, 50-45, and 50-44). The Polish placed his right at times on Forestal’s face, but always attacking disorderly and tawdry. Beyond those few punches that he...

Cuba allows foreign investment in coffee cultivation

For the first time a foreign company may invest in coffee cultivation in Cuba, in another attempt by Cuban government to revitalize the depressed industry, which production decreased ninety percent in recent decades. According to Cuba Standard digital site, the former Treasury Secretary of the United Kingdom, Phillip Oppenheim, created the company Cuba Mountain Coffee Co. Ltd, dedicated to the commercialization of Cuban coffee in his country, and now it will invest about $ 4 million for purchasing Arabica coffee and promote its cultivation in the southeastern region of the Caribbean island. Coffee production in Cuba has immensely decreased for years, going from around 60 000 tons per year, to just 6000 in 2007, transforming the once exporting nation in importing one to meet domestic consumption needs. In recent years it has managed to reverse the downward trend, albeit very slowly, with a greater emphasis on the use of new organic varieties , highly demanded abroad. The Cuban government has developed a number of initiatives to boost the recovery in productivity, including better payments for coffee workers, but these are still insufficient. The British investment will be made in nurseries, mills and dryers to improve yields and increase quality, Oppenheim...

Cuban Yoel Romero remained unbeaten in UFC after winning by TKO

Yoel Romero ( 7-1-0) remained undefeated in the UFC circuit after beating Derek Brunson ( 11-3-0), a duel that was considered the fight of the night. The decision came in the final round (TKO by punches and elbows) and represented the third victory of the Cuban in the most demanding scenario in the world of Mixed Martial Arts. With this success, Romero was confirmed as one of the biggest prospects among middleweights, and advanced a step on the way to achieve his dream: the universal title in this division. The bout was the ninth of the UFC Night 35, evening that happened at Gwinnett Center Arena, in Georgia. The two initial rounds favored his opponent in voting cards, and were marked by an intensity that few expected from Brunson. Romero even spent most of the second round against the floor of the octagon. But in the third, Yoel demonstrated the strength of his punch and hit two uppercuts to Brunson’s chin, advancement of a succession of accurate and heavy blows, valid for the referee Blake Grice to decreed technical knockout (TKO), something delayed I believe. This was an excellent performance for the Cuban, who was born in Pinar del Río...

Filmamaker Chijona returns to the set with a comedy about cultivated criminals

This story is about how to become a writer in the most unexpected way, its director Gerardo Chijona told OnCuba. The human thing is the name of the latest film by Chijona. It marks his return to comedy after two dramas, Ticket to Paradise and Esther somewhere, but this time, he says he will experiment a more sophisticated humor than in previous installments of the genre. This is a film about the criminal underworld in Havana, but not on the usual ways, but on a new subject, where literature converges with marginality. The argument stems from a novella by Francisco Rodriguez who is currently writing the script and also co-wrote the one for Ticket ... As he told us they are on the eighteenth version, and they are almost ready to conclude it, for every day they think of something new to enrich it. Chijona tells that this film tells the story of a petty criminal finds out from a burglary of a home, which he broke in to steal electrical appliances and in a bag he finds a manuscript, that he can become a writer. Then life changes for this wanna-be criminal who discovers, through hard work and taking...

Monsignor Carlos Manuel de Céspedes died in Havana

Yesterday, at 76, Monsignor Carlos Manuel de Céspedes y García-Menocal, Vicar of Havana and one of the leading figures of the Catholic Church in Cuba, passed away. A descendant of two of the most important Cuban families, Carlos Manuel de Céspedes was noted for his humanistic work throughout his career, after being ordained a priest in Rome in 1961. It was not necessary to be Catholic, even taking leaps of faith, to recognize the value of this man, who dedicated his life to serving his brothers and build bridges of dialogue between generations and ideologies. Neighborhoods like Santa Fé, Punta Brava and Guatao, all in Havana, were lucky to have him here. There surely, he will be remembered in a special way. For it was in those places where he poured all his love for others. It is also clear that classrooms in the Havana Seminar will feel his absence, since he left his mark there in a special way. Cuba, in general, loses a high carat humanistic man convinced that dialogue and respect for otherness are an unavoidable way, one of those indispensable men to build a country to the extent of its people. Slightly less than two years...

“A Cuban fight against underdevelopment”: Interview with Juan Triana

The recently completed session of the Cuban Parliament gave the economy a privileged space. They released the financial results in 2013 and the proposal for the coming year, in addition to the State Budget Law for 2014 and an assessment by the Committee on Economic Affairs. In the context of the desire for an economic model to update and create: what are we talking about when addressing economic growth and especially in relation to what development is? What is the path towards development in Cuba? What sectors of the economy need to be boosted? What is pending and what is at risk? These and other questions led OnCuba to an exchange with the Doctor in Economics Juan Triana Cordoví. Monica Rivero (MR): What is growth and what is development? Juan Triana (JT): This is an old story in economic thinking. I would say that the development is one of the newest in Economics matters, it is from the first decades of the last century, then converted into a separate issue from the forties and fifties and has been expanding and enriching to the present, where it is very difficult to speak of development alone. Generally there are economic, social development...

Alvaro Torres, also on Sunday …

Álvaro Torres heard the comment that the tickets for his concert were for sale at 15 CUC in Cuban Craiglist ¨Revolico, ¨ that some institutions would grant seats to their workers, or simply that tickets were sold out and people were upset. His solution was immediate: giving a third concert on Sunday 15, at Lázaro Peña Theater. Sources close to the artist release OnCuba on h is determination to perform for an audience that he has described as "the most fallen in love of the world", but the availability of the theater and the opinion of the authorities still had to checked. But a recent email from the Cuban Institute of Music has just confirmed the implementation of the third concert. According to the note , tickets for this concert will begin to be sold next Friday 13, starting at 10:00 am at the theater itself. The move prevented a riot, because Álvaro Torres draws large audience in Cuba, who did not want to miss this unique opportunity. The night before a crowd gathered in front of the theater near Belascoaín Street was demanding an explanation on the impossibility of purchasing tickets. "My parents conceived me hearing Alvaro Torres, I...

Giraffes: a true love story

Giraffes, Kiki Álvarez´s last film, is already generating buzz in Havana. The slender animals are struggling for the prizes (C orals) of the 35th International Festival of New Latin American Cinema together with ¨Bocaccerías Habaneras¨, by Arturo Sotto, a very-in-the-Cuban-way film. Maybe that's the most reprehensible of Kiki’s proposal, because for some the film abandons the guidelines of Cuban current cinema, and I think that’s a wise idea. Álvarez, known for his intimacy in previous proposals as ¨ La ola¨, ¨Miradas¨ and ¨Marina¨, retakes this point to give us again a story marked by creative freedom and reflection at any cost of a reality that in no way is far from ours. In an almost complete confinement, as most of the film was shot inside the director’s house, the three protagonists seem harassed by an intrusive camera, a very sensible proposal that portrays and reveals the peculiarities of each character. Giraffes, made in cooperative regime, gathered a group of actors and technical staff who worked totally free, something that the director does not get tired of saying. Thus we see in the film to Claudia Muñiz, who was in charge of the script, and plays Lia, a seemingly strong and...

PV -2, successful formula for health

By 1945 the Cuban scientist Juan Tomás Roig reported in his research that the roots of Morinda L. royoc had healing properties in gastrointestinal and liver diseases. Currently the plant is the main ingredient of the PV -2, a dietary supplement created by Isidoro Scull , homeopathic medicine specialist and director of the Laboratory of Natural Products , belonging to the of the Villena - Revolucion Agricultural Polytechnic Institute. Because of its stimulating effects, the supplement is prescribed in cases of loss of appetite, constipation, stress, depression, weakness, fatigue, and decreased libido. Its antioxidant and nutritious action is based in its containing tannins, flavonoids , sugars , as well as phosphorus , calcium, copper , iron, magnesium , zinc and sodium. The PV- 2 also positively influences the immune system and sexual relations, and helps reduce manifestations of menopause. Given the symptoms and ailments that it combats is always prescribed to adults, mainly elderly people. Given the high rates of aging among the Cuban population, the supplement could play an important role in maintaining the quality of life in older adults. Those who perform heavy physical exertion, such as high performance athletes, are other potential consumers, as they need to...

UK Royal Fleet Auxiliary Ship will Call at Havana Port on Friday

The British Royal Fleet Auxiliary Ship Wave Knight will visit Havana December 13-20 on a routine stay related to disaster training activities in the Caribbean area, the British embassy in Havana announced. High-level officials from Cuba and other institutions involved in dissaster response will attend a series of meetings with the crew of the Wave Knight to exchange views and experience on rescue operations and the fight against drug trafficking. The agenda of the British crew includes a visit to the Cuban Naval Academy and other activities, the announcement explains. British ambassador to Cuba, Tim Cole, said that the visit by the Royal Fleet Auxilliary to Havana is an excellent opportunity for the United Kingdom to share its experiences and viewpoints with the Cuban government in the field of disaster response. These issues are crucial for both countries given the large number of British tourists visiting Cuba every year. The Royal Fleet Auxiliary or RFA is a civilian-manned fleet, owned by the British Ministry of Defense, which supports Royal Navy ships around the world, supplying warships with fuel, ammunition and supplies. The RFA fleet is fully integrated into the Royal Navy’s command and control system and forms a vital part...

Russia writes off 90 percent of Cuba’s Soviet debt

For years it was said as a rumor of dubious origin. But it turned out to be true. Cuba owed Russia 32 billion dollars for products purchased before 1991. And it was made public during the visit to Cuba of Prime Minister and former President Dmitry Medvedev, in January 2013. But from October this year, the debt is forgiven and forgotten, but it was not known until the Reuters news agency published it exclusively, with great fanfare. The agreement workout was signed in Moscow during the visit vice president of the Council of Ministers, Ricardo Cabrisas and Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment, Rodrigo Malmierca made to that city. To understand the dimensions of what happened, you have to understand that for the Kremlin accountants, every Cuban owed his country with U.S. $ 2,909. Now the island only owes 290 per capita. Havana will have to pay around 10% of the original debt (3.2 billion) and have ten years to find a way to settle the account of what was spent on goods or credits used over 20 years ago. The 32 billion dollars are a reminder of the time when the Cuban economy had a strong relationship with the...

Cuban Domadores Third Straight Sweep in WSB

The Cuban Domadores swept the Russian squad in a match that marked the debut of the Ciudad Deportiva Coliseum as a venue at the Fourth World Series of Boxing. This result kept the unbeaten Cuban team as leader of group B and extended to fifteen the number of consecutive wins of its boxers. The stands of the Coliseum were crowded and the audience fully enjoyed a special night. Its supporting to his boxers was felt throughout the evening and included some trumpets that did not want to miss the event. Thousands of whistles were everlasting companions to the passage of models that heralded the beginning of the rounds. On Thursday, during the press conference at the Melia Habana Hotel, the European head coach Lebziak Alexander, Olympic champion in Sydney 2000, had noted that they brought a third-rate team that came in search of development. What happened in the ring of the Coliseum confirmed the validity of his words. In the fight that started the match Yosbani Veitía Spiritus (49kg) easily defeated Sagaluev Bator. After an explosive first assault that highlighted the significant inferiority of the Russian boxer, Veitia focused on boxing from the outside, in addition of giving the public...

Hauser: A festival to think our cinema

Just a few hours before the start of the 35th Havana Film Festival of New Latin American Cinema, and, from the morning of Wednesday, December 4th the National Hotel corridors have witnessed a parade of some of the jury members and guests to the party of the Cuban audiovisual. Among the first to arrive was the young Brazilian filmmaker Murilo Hauser, who will serve as a juror in the fields of animation and posters in this 2013 event. To the courtyard of the iconic building OnCuba moved to talk with him. Four years ago you were here in competition with your work Sombra y Silencios, how different is now your position as a judge? “It’s a great change of perspective, since it allows you to view short or feature films from a certain distance. It is not the same seeing the works as production colleague to do it as a judge. I'm sure it will be a very rich experience. "Besides, I like the idea of getting to know other works that, possibly I never would if I were not here." In 2009, when he competed at the film festival, Murilo was not present in the Cuban capital. This is...

Cuban New Labor Code to Include Self-employed

The Labor Code is the law ruling labor relations between employers and employees. The one, to date, that is in force in Cuba dates back to 1985 and, of course, is no longer in tune with current times, as it does not include, among other things, the modality of self-employment. However, during the last two decades the legislation has changed or substituted 14 chapters currently in force. For this reason it was necessary to develop a new law that would protect workers. That's when, in December 2012, the Cuban Council of Ministers presented to the National Assembly of People's Power the Labor Code Preliminary Draft Law. There it was approved subsection (b) of Article 75 of Cuban Constitution and it was also advised that Article 72 of its Regulations to be in consultation by workers in all workplaces of the country in a participatory way. This proposal already included non-state workers organized in trade union, a fact that adds and joins them as protagonists in the updating of the economic model, which is intended to organize and perfect in all its structures. This new document, essentially normative, which keeps the rank of Law and its regulations as Decree, contains 12...

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