Julio Batista

Julio Batista

Ante todo cubano, luego periodista. Inquieto, polémico y sin medias tintas. Consecuente con sus ideas hasta el final. Vive para contar historias, al fin y al cabo, la vida —o eso que llamamos vida— no es más que una historia que escribimos cada día.

Mention Environment with model / Photo: Manuel P. Martínez Carmenate

Cuban underwater world in photo competition

Between June 8 and 13, 2015 the V edition of the Meeting of Underwater Photography IMASUB will take place, contest that returns to its usual venue of the International Diving Center (IBC) María la Gorda in Guanahacabibes Peninsula in the westernmost Cuba's point During the call launched on Wednesday February 18 by the travel agency Gaviota Tours, event organizer, it was possible to know that the current version is expected to impose record number of participants, with close to fifty registered photographers, explained Frank Pais Oltuski, vice president of marketing of the tourist group. José A. Cañibano Hercilla, 3rd prize Enviroment with Model For 2015 there are planned four categories of competition: wildlife, environment, environment with model and macro. First three places will be awarded in each of the specialties and a Grand Prix for the highest accumulator artist, who besides the trophy will get a stay of three nights for two in Maria la Gorda at half price with five dives. With regard to housing conditions and existing infrastructure, Diosmides Garcia, Commercial Specialist and Public Relations CIB, said that "today it is conducting a process of capital restauration of some facilities to have about 103...

Cuba-US: Financial Sector breaks the ice

Following statements on December 17 and the entry into force of the new US measures towards Cuba, a new path was opened for Americans who visit the island and companies that could benefit from that. Of these, the first to break the ice was MasterCard to allow use of debit cards issued in US territory. To the announcement by MasterCard last week that sets on March 1 the start of its operations in Cuba, now joins the American Express Co. (AmEx), financial institution headquartered in New York and is considered one of the largest in the world with over 1,700 offices in over 130 countries. Reuters news agency reported that Marina Norville, spokesperson from the financial group confirmed via email the intentions of the company to start business activity on the island, but offered no specifics on what would be these. For now, it appears that they will take advantage of the flexibility of financial siege imposed on Cuba to allow use of debit cards from its customers. Among the services provided by the AmEx include credit cards, checks, travel insurance, brokerage services and online banking, the latter two supervised by American Express Bank. Decisions like these will greatly increase...

No Hiring of Boxers for Foreign Squads in 2015

As expected the V World Series of Boxing brought no surprises for the Cuba Domadores. They achieved a stunning sweep over the Moroccan Atlas Lions in their turf at the Havana´s Sports City, until today impregnable bastion of our representatives at this event that is a mixture of amateur and professional boxing. The Cuban franchise, current champion of the world contest, captured the attention of fans of this sport worldwide after its debut at the fourth edition in 2014. Immediately, its boxers were the center of attention for other teams once entered into force the (then) New Remuneration Policy for Athletes, Coaches and Sports Specialists, announced on September 27, 2013. However, although for months people had speculated on the future presence of Cuban fighters in different teams at the WSB, the truth is that 2015 still doesn’t bring the long awaited announcement for athletes. Actually, no Cuban boxer in 2015 can be hired by a foreign franchise. But still, neither can be either from a country that is already represented by a team in the WSB. The reason is simple, this is a year of Olympic rankings, and WSB will be one of the places where there will be fighting...

Orestes Miñoso

No Cuban Indicted to Cooperstown in 2015

Despite arriving with three strong candidates, the number of Cuban players inducted to the Hall of Fame MLB will not grow in 2015, as in a little expected play the Committee of the Golden Age announced Monday December 8 that none of the candidates had obtained the minimum of votes needed to enter the respected institution. Many bet for what seemed logical: out of three exceptional athletes as Orestes "Minnie" Minoso, Luis Tiant Jr and Tony Oliva, one had to be included among the immortals of Cooperstown to swell Cuban history in the most powerful baseball league in the world. But the incredible thing happened, and the three Cubans, along with the other candidates (Jim Kaat, Ken Boyer, Gil Hodges, Dick Allen, Billy Pierce, Bob Howsam and Maury Wills), did not get their ticket to the MLB heaven. The Committee of the Golden Age is in charge of selecting players who saw their best years in the MLB between 1947 and 1972, and consists of 16 members including journalists, former players (and inducted) and historians. The aspiring players to be included within the ranks of Cooperstown require 12 coincident votes, and this year nobody got as many. For this occasion...

Foto tomada de Granma

Cuban women’s basketball: 10 crowns and 44 years later

The fact that Cuba beat Puerto Rico 81-67 reaching thus the title in women’s basketball was not a surprise to anyone, because the Caribbean players have woven for four decades a string of consecutive wins that has led them to achieve in Veracruz 2014 their tenth Central American and Caribbean crown. In all this time, since 1970, the Cuban women have not just won the throne in this find of contests twice, 2002 and 2010, when the country did not attend the events. But eight years after the last win in Cartagena de Indias, they have regained the crown. It was actually one of the most certain scepters for the Cuban delegation, a safe bet backed by the quality of a team that has dominated in its geographical area and won the FIBA Americas 2015 competition ahead of powers such as Brazil and Canada. Before you ask, the United States did not attend its status as a world champion exempted it from such presentations. But back to Veracruz , and to the Cuban medal, we just have to applaud the performance by those coached by Alberto Zabala, who unceremoniously asserted their status as favorites to defeat in the group stage...

Gas stations sell thousands of liters of fuel in the black market / Photo: Raquel Perez.

Underground fuel channels

Legal fuel business in Cuba is controlled by the state, whose institutions trade internationally, fixes retail prices within the country, distributes in points of sale and supply. But then, that's the legal business because the real deal, perhaps the most efficient, is led by managers, truck drivers, gas station staff and state drivers. To understand this business, illegal as it is, we know that fuel prices in Cuba are not negotiable, do not fluctuate and it increases are never previously reported to consumers. Therefore, the profits of those living out of trafficking hydrocarbons will never come out of the pockets of regular buyer. Alberto was a pistero (gas station staff) for over ten years, during which he did what all his coworkers: buy fuel on the side and sell it in the Cupet (gas station chain owned by Cuban Petroleum company), only that the money did not go to the collection box, but to the pockets of an Alberto who lived then times of economic slack and disregard for the fuel his motorcycle consumed. "The stealing was really complex, but after a while it became routine. Indeed, it included many people because a full oil tank is not sold in...

The state vehicles sell in the black market part of gasoline they are assigned / Photo: Raquel Perez.

Saving tank-tank: the closed cycle

Joaquín gets up every morning at 4:15 am to get transportation to go to work and then return to his home past 8:00 pm. Attention, Joaquin is a state bus driver, one of the many Girón still rolling through the streets of Cuba; but he and other drivers share the same bus to and from home. That has not been an institutional decision. All buses are assigned the fuel needed for them to reach their homes, but saving more than 50 liters of petrol daily has become for Joaquin and his companions a lucrative tax-free business and that let them sleep peacefully every night. Of course, the bus chosen for their transportation doesn’t have a gasoline engine, if so they would have to rotate the responsibility among all. None of them considered what they do stealing, none of them stop doing their jobs daily and do not harm anyone with this; They are men who have sacrificed some comfort to increase their income and, if necessary, keep their buses running. "Ultimately, we are who take care to keep the buses running when broken, and we pay out of our pocket almost all expenses," said Joaquín while the bus we travel...

Veracruz 2014 handball in a gold showcase

Cuban women handball did not disappoint pre-competition forecasts and grabbed the gold medal at the XXII Central American and Caribbean Games 2014 Veracruz, defeating Puerto Rico 32-18 in the final, predictable outcome for a team that all along the tournament proved unstoppable. Directed by Lorenzo Maturell, they dominated undefeated the qualifying stage in the key A with three wins and overall 144 goals scored by 35 allowed, figures that instantly placed them as top favorites for the crown. Computing the five games held by each team throughout the tournament, Cuban collectively showed greater effectiveness in attack, averaging 73 percent efficiency at 280 shots on goal (they scored 204 goals, averaging 40 goals per game), besides being lethal in the counterattacks by completing 29 of 31 turnovers and making 186 assists. As if having a highly tune-up offensive machine were not enough, also Cuba was the best team in the qualifying in turnovers, one of the strengths of this team able to grab 162 balls and block 18 times their opponents . In defending the goal the responsibility fell mainly on Eneleidy Guevara, although Marinés Rojas also saw action and made it at a high level. Our goalkeepers had the best...

Currently the capital repairs of El Recodo are fully assumed by the partners through a bank loan; same variant was used by El Carmelo for some constructive improvements in its premises / Photo: Julio Batista.

Cooperatives, a year later

Just over a year ago the first non agricultural cooperatives saw the light, a form to which clung to September 2014 a figure of 498 groups with the aspiration of economic improvements and direct participation in company profits. After this time, the vast majority is still committed to this adventure. In the case of gastronomy, many have been the premises where workers took the risk of starting a new path, now as investment partners. For years El Recodo was a hot spot for college students from the Lazaro Cuevas residence (F and 3rd) and recurrent oasis of national gastronomy –synonym of less expensive. However, from October 2013 the cafeteria went to the no state management model. Since then the management of the premises-and all expenses-was taken over four partners who are committed to maintaining alive this narrow bar just steps from the Malecon. Lazaro Preval is one of them and says that all tasks are distributed: management, food processing and sale of products. About his experience he says that, so far, the results are favorable "for both entities that advise us that for us as partners." But he equally acknowledges that the main problems have been related to the supply...

IV Campeonato Panamericano de Cheerleading and Dance

Cheerleaders in Havana!

In just one week cheerleaders will take by assault the Cuban capital to turn it between October 30 and November 1, into the venue of the IV Pan American Cheerleading and Dance Championships. Just familiar with these practices through cinema, Cubans will enjoy cheerleader from six countries of the continent and at least two guests (Germany and Japan) perform,  although certainly the great absentees will be the Americans, recognized worldwide for their tradition and exquisite executions in the discipline. Dania Garcia, methodologist of the National Physical Culture and Health Promotion, explained that the possibility of organizing the event came up with a proposal by Peruvian teachers, who in 2013 taught a course in this area for Cuban specialists; and in recognition of the Cuban experience in hosting major sporting events. The scenario for this fourth continental competitions edition will be the Sports City Coliseum, which has hosted for more than five decades the most varied sports and cultural events. Event´s organizers already confirmed the presence of teams representing Ecuador (current defending champion), Venezuela, Peru, Guatemala, Colombia and Cuba; meanwhile, the athletes from Japan and Germany will participate in the convened categories for the Open. Garcia explained that the preparation for...

Foto tomada de Cubasí

Cuba: Gold and certainty in Pan American Volleyball Cup

The fact that the Cuban team won undefeated the 2nd U23 Pan American Cup held last week in Havana was no surprise to anyone; especially since only six teams attended the event, none of them belonging to the continental volleyball elite . But, although there were notable absentees in the Cuban capital, it is no less true that the local players, under the tutelage of Rodolfo Sanchez, had an outstanding performance and were far above the rest of their opponents. All matches were won with the score (3-0) and this is the best argument to confirm this statement. The young Cuban players totaled insurmountable stats: 18 sets for and none against; six wins in a row that secured the gold medal and the direct pass to the world cup of the category to be held in 2015. This is appetizing loot even for a lackluster contest which also had a poor public attendance; and that joins to the tickets obtained by the U-19 and U-21 categories in recent months. Long before of going out on the court all bets pointed to the hosts as safest choice, backed by a roster full of talent which included several volleyball players who in...

Selección cubana de voleibol femenino

Cuba descends to 22nd spot in Women’s World Volleyball Championship

The Cuban worst performance in the history of women’s world volleyball championships has been materialized: in the event taking place on Italian soil, the Caribbean girls were eliminated in the first round and could only win one set in five matches; they did not accumulate points and finished last in Group D, and 22nd in the tournament. This outcome did not surprise anyone, only a few blind or infinitely gullible people expected the unexpected. But not because of that, the World Cup adventure of Juan Carlos Gala’s pupils is less disappointing. After the results achieved in our geographic area, some bet for decent losses to rivals of much higher level, but the reality showed no mercy with the Cuban squad which was buried alive over and over again. Cuba ’s four first games showed the same result, quick 0-3 defeats against Belgium, Puerto Rico, Japan and China . But in the fifth match the girls managed to win the second set (27-25) over Azerbaijan, but that did not change the finalscore. In the Italian city of Bari , the largest audience to see the Cuban team never exceeded 800 people at the Palaflorio Arena. Nothing left from the secured show provided by the spectacular dark-skinned Caribbean women in past decades, not even Melissa Vargas-a prodigy child who at the age of 14 carries the offensive burden of the squad -manages to erase the bad taste of a generation that has been obliged to play with not ace player s due to the absence of a stellarrelief. When that cosmic side of 1990s and the beginning of the 21st century ended its active life, it was still possible to envision a future; but that same future embodied in the talent of several Cuban volleyball players decided to make their way in other lands while the island remained static. Maybe that's why it is somewhat unfair to blame these young players for the disastrous performance in this World Cup. Yes, this is a generation with few real talent, technically and physically diminished, who do what they can and are really far from the first level of the sport in the world. It...

Cricket

Cricket Ambassadors in Havana

There will be cricket in Havana, anachronistic as this practice may seem outside the former British colonies since in October 26 and 28 this year Ambassadors of Cricket Tournament will be held on the fields of Eduardo Saborit sports complex, located west of Havana. Such announcement was made days ago by Mrs. Jennifer Jones-Kernahan, Trinidad and Tobago ambassador to Cuba, who participated in a press conference to promote the event. She explained that "the intention is that the event lasts over time, and interest is part of solidarity, cooperation, twinning, strengthening and development of cricket in Cuba," according to broadcast the digital site Jit, Cuban publication specializing in sports and attached to the National Institute of Sport and Recreation (INDER). The first data linking this sports discipline with Cuba are collected in the 20s of last century, when the sugar workers of the eastern provinces came into contact with the game through the customs of the workers from Jamaica and Barbados. Later they organized leagues and cups settled especially in Santiago de Cuba, Guantanamo and Baraguá. The first international presentation of a Cuban team in 1952 took place against a Jamaican squad. Regarding the Cuban tradition in cricket, Tim Cole,...

Osmany Uriarte

Cuba Volleyball: eleventh place

With the defeat against China (2-3) ended the Cuban performance at the XVIII World Volleyball Championship, underway in Poland since August 30th and in which the men´s team led by Rodolfo Sanchez fell from the second place achieved in the last edition, to the 11th in the final standings of the tournament. Beyond considerations of the hypothetical performance of a team made up by experienced and talented Cuban players who shine today in foreign leagues in Russia and Turkey, to cite just two examples, it is essential to recognize the efforts made by these boys and understand, first of all, that I did not see anything other than their real competitive level, the ceiling of a generation that entered the Mondoflex long before having completed the necessary warming-up. A month ago this same team had managed to raise the ruined ambitions of its audience with the awards received in the regional area (gold at the Pan American Cup) and victory in the third level of the World League, but always remained latent the expectation of what could happen when this group of volleyball players faced the highest level. Now we can safely say that the forecasts were not wrong. Cuba...

Gallos finos

Fighting cocks, the fine limits of a tradition

The breeding and fight of cocks in Cuba is much more than a sport or fertile land for gamblers: is essentially a lifestyle and the strongest tradition in the Cuban countryside, so entrenched that in the country cock fighting is completely legal. What is illegal is the world gathered around the fence. Chino already turned 48 years old and has been in this hustle over 40 of them, so he proudly admits that are a fundamental part of his life. After so long in the village everyone respects his views on the subject, without being a professional raiser, he is one of the most knowledgeable men of the business and one of the luckiest in the pens. "This is about a lot of detail, as they are very delicate animals in their upbringing and preparation. So we need someone dedicated to it full time, "he explains. There are now three main breeds in Cuba: the Gaucho Oriental (also called Argentino), the Corner and the Criollo, which is the most traditional and comes from the nineteenth century with the mambises. By the time the cock is seven or eight months old is sent to a place where it is prepared for...

Apenas cinco unidades consiguieron las discípulas de Gala, a costa de vencer a Canadá (3-0) y dos derrotas en cinco parciales / Foto: Cortesía del autor.

Cuba and the women´s volleyball: can we ask them for more?

Some years ago , unfortunately too long ago, Cuba women´s was among the best volleyball teams in the world, a squad that commanded respect on the court and always kept its audience euphoric. That was years ago, not enough to forget it, but necessary to understand that we cannot live on such memories, no matter how beautiful they might be. When that generation of unremitting legionaries disappeared, and the next and the next ... the second, third and even fourth figures stayed in Cuba, sprayed by the talent of some girls that took the burden of maintaining, or tried, some decorum in their international presentations. Then the setbacks, the deep dive, the dismissal and renovations in override came. Also came the worst moments of volleyball in the country: having hit the top we went back to the floor, clothed only by the sound of our impact. So nobody was amazed that in the second level of the Grand Prix Volleyball 2014 the Cuban girls, with one win in nine presentations, finalized in the basement, away from those positions that kept alive the passion for the sport and rose from their seats millions of their countrymen. Just five points the disciples...

Javier Justiz podría convertirse en pieza fundamental del equipo si mejora sus deficiencias técnicas / Foto: Cortesía del autor.

Centrobasket: No medals again

After losing to the Dominican Republic on Thursday (66-75) on the match for the bronze medal, Cuba finished fourth in the 2014 Centrobasket, away from the podium and unable to qualify for the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto. This was the seventh consecutive time that the Cuban players go without medals in this kind of events, adverse streak extending from 2001 after the national team dominated the 1995, 1997 and 1999 editions. The team coached by Daniel Scott accumulated three wins in Mexico and as many losses, two of them against the Dominicans; it is a fourth place, seen closely, that deserves more praise than criticism, even though criticism will be essential for the growth of a team that showed potential to dream. Before making any assessment is worth remembering some peculiarities. First, we are talking of a team whose members have had their competitive ceiling in the battered Cuban Superior Basketball League, a competition that dazzled by its quality in the last decade of the last century, and today is just the memory of crowded and brilliant plays games. Moreover, the team fails to recover from the constant desertions, in Mexico it lost another two, something that forced...

Feria de artesanía cubana Arte en la Rampa.

Arte en la Rampa, a summer bazaar

In one of the 120 stands that make the XV edition of Art at La Rampa the Santander family, heiress of six generations of potters who, since 1892, have been converting the old craft of pottery into beautiful pieces of art, have set shop. There, in the cubicle 15 within the patio of the Cuba Pavilion, the nerve center of the Vedado neighborhood, the Santanders present their work. Arrived from Trinidad, they are founders of the Cuban Fund of Cultural Assets and continuously participate in this fair since 2011. Siblings, children, grandparents, sons ... one way or another, almost all family members are linked to their work in the five major workshops where traditional manufacturing technique directly impregnate the pigment into the clay is used. According to Jesus Casas, one of the in-laws this family has taken as their own the Santander participation is not limited to Arte en la Rampa, "we have exhibited at Art for Mom, FIART; but this is the most extensive exhibition. The rest of the year we take root in a small shop here in Vedado, in 21 between 2 and 4; but also maintain the presence in Trinidad, where the whole story began. "...

Eric Schmidt, presidente ejecutivo de Google

Google executives visit Cuba

Eric Schmidt, Jared Cohen, Brett Perlmutter and Dan Keyserling are visiting Cuba and the Computer Science University (UCI by its acronym in Spanish). The heads of the multimillionaire company were welcomed in total discretion at the said university. Since June 28, several international press media had talked about their presence in Havana, though the Cuban press had not released any information about it. The presence of Schmidt —Google’s CEO–, Cohen, Perlmutter and Keyserlin in Cuba aims at “promoting free and open internet access”, for which they visited polytechnic centers and the UCI. They also paid a visit to Yoani Sánchez at her apartment, according to Yoani herself. Last year, in an interview for The Wall Street Journal, Schmidt had expressed hisinterest in travelling to Cuba. The Caribbean island was “at the top of the list”of the nations he wanted to visit: “We will go to Cuba, I hope”, he said then to journalist Deborah Kan. So far, it is impossible to know if their presence in Cuba only answers to the purpose of promoting Internet’s potential and advantages. There are a few interesting elements about this visit. First, it has been dealt with extreme discretion, regardless of the consent by...

The carrier and his truths

Osvaldo assures us that selling cheap people can make good profits Osvaldo Pérez Rojas is 48 and shows two titles of completed studies: one on veterinary and other on cuisine. But Osvaldo is a peasant, and lives on and for the soil; and with his truck he carries the products to El Trigal, wholesaling market located on the outskirts of Havana. On the so-called “intermediaries” the major questions loom today in the sale of food, being considered critical in the rise of prices. Osvaldo is one of them and tells us his truth. “The merchandise I take belong to the farmers in my CCS (Cooperative of Credit and Services) and of course my farm. Each small farmer has surplus production after fulfilling his contract with Acopio and is free to be sold on supply and demand markets. That surplus I buy from any peasant, although I must prioritize my cooperative partners, and in those cases I give 50 % of profit to the CCS. " Valdito, as he is knows, explains that once the truck is loaded, he drives it to El Trigal, where a there is a line to download in order of arrival. The arrival time is always...

Americans win silver medals in Giraldilla badminton Tournament

The XV International Badminton Tournament Giraldilla de la Habana, event held at the Havana’s Sports City’s Coliseum wrapped this Sunday and in it Americans Bjorn Seguin and Mathew Fogarty won two silver medals in the categories of single and double. Seguin, who was defeated in the semifinals fought three sets (21-16, 19-21, 21-18) Cuban Osleni Guerrero, seemed to be in a state of grace and many saw the possibility to become the new champion of the contest . However, during his confrontation with Czech Jan Frölich, Seguin was well below the level demonstrated and further away from the excellent player who had beaten Guerrero few hours earlier. So, in just 30 minutes, the U.S. lost the gold medal and the opportunity to garner the 2500 points the Giraldilla offers winners in each category, now that the contest holds the International Series level. Straight sets, with comfortable scores of 21-6 and 21-9, do not require much explanation. Bjorn, an excellent player with feline agility in his movements, came to the court in the Cuban capital lacking concentration, whereupon Frölich took advantage of his repeated inaccuracies in the response and attack when he left the volley several times hitting the top band...

Pietro Resta: an Italian footballer who plays in Havana

Just two months ago Pietro Resta, a young Italian, 21, came to Cuba. Today, with the skin so dark due to the Caribbean hard sun, he is playing as left back in Havana team that participates on the 99th edition of Cuban National Soccer League. He debuted in the Cuban classics on January 25, against Ciego de Avila, and although he was a little tired in the second half, Pietro left the field with a smile. In the stands of Havana´s Pedro Marrero stadium his "Cuban family" was waiting for him and among them the most proud of his fans, his father. It is not a novelty that European players to be involved in these contests. Pietro Resta joins the long list of players from that continent who during the 30s and 40s of last century plagued the Cuban tournament playing for Spanish root clubs based in Havana . After 1959, and mainly in the last decade, some foreign students have also participated in the competition. Sat on the balcony of the family flat in Miramar, we had the opportunity to talk to this young man, who claims to have found in Cuba an unparalleled joy on the field. Pietro...

3.85: Seeking the impossible

Recently graduated from the National School of Art in 2013, a group of young people have chosen the unlikely path of jazz in Cuba, to develop their musical career. 3.85, the group’s name, made its first album, Seeking the impossible, in February 2013 under the guidance of arranger Germán Velazco , which turned out to be an excellent introduction letter, impossible to ignore because of its multiplicity of sounds and great making . With an unusual name, but yes, with various readings, they begin their walk and finding their own space in Cuban music. “Almost everyone asks why 3.85. Some associate it with the cheapest price of Havana Club, and could be, but actually the name arises because there are 385 kilometers from Havana to Sancti Spiritus, my hometown and because it is a combination of the months of birth some of the founders of the group, " its director Juan Armando Diaz says, sitting in the backyard after completing the rehearsal. Now, after auditioning before a jury made up of Julito Padrón, Yissi, William Roblejo and led by Jorge Reyes, these novice jazz players are waiting for documents to be issued by the National Music Center, which will credit...

Dutch Feyenoord football club sets its eyes on Cuba

“It would be great to see Cuban players in Dutch football," the Chancellor of the Netherlands, Frans Timmermmans said on Monday, after leaving inaugurated in Havana a football clinic that for about five days will be taught by specialist from the Feyenoord club from Rotterdam. This project, which is attached to the former presence of foreign coaches and national teams in recent years, will be led by five technical and former players of the club, who will run until January 10 a program specially designed for young talents in Cuba, taking advantage of the experience of the franchise in working with this age group. Feyenoord currently has one of the most respected schools in the Netherlands and almost every team in the league of the Netherlands has players who have developed their skills in this institution. In 2010 the Academy club received the Rinus Michel Award for being the best of its kind in the Netherlands. Out of Europe Feyenoord has schools of the same cut in many countries, most notably Brazil and Ghana. To make matters more interesting, Feyenoord in Holland was one of the forerunners in the entry of football into professionalism, and it looks like the Europeans...

Omara and the oblivion Festival

Omara came out through the side door to the terrace and the whole atmosphere of the courtyard of the Hotel Nacional was revolutionized. She did not have to speak, a knowing smile and the time needed for photos with those who love her enough to make her the center of attention, and even in the movie environment we live these days. Three questions Omara, just that. And her arm, trembling now, over my shoulder, I notice that time has passed. It's impossible not to imagine her on stage, radiant with fullness in her voice that has marked us as a country, showing the true tones of feeling. She opens the conversation, "what do you want, a picture?" Her smile disarms me. Some questions Omara, just a few questions, and a photo, of course. Who does not want a photo with Lady Feeling, the Diva of the Buena Vista Social Club? Will you sing in the Festival, Omara? "No, not this year they didn’t even invite me to sing, I felt rejected." But yesterday at the opening they recalled you, I say to try to mediate the bad times and reproach. "So they told me," she responds and changes the course...

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