Cecilia Crespo

Cecilia Crespo

Cecilia habla sin parar, aunque también escucha, pregunta y responde gran parte del día. Su arista silente solo se vislumbra cuando se aferra a su teclado o cuando lee. Le apasiona su familia y desde hace rato, la cultura cubana y un delicioso libro que escribe para distribuirlo gratuitamente entre sus amigos(as): Manual de cocina práctica y exótica.

Photo: Izuky Pérez.

Bodegas Torres: the brand’s great commitment to Cuba

With the participation of 13 companies and 40 wineries, the International Wine Festival celebrated its 20th edition last October 2-4 at the Hotel Nacional de Cuba. The importance of the wine industry in Cuba was confirmed by the Festival’s program of talks, tastings, visits to tourist attractions, among other activities. Like every year, wineries from Europe and Latin America attended, including D'Italia, Cata Chile, Bodegas Joan Sardá, Desarmar Panamá S.A., UCSA Freixenet S.A., Duprasa, Camax Chile, EuroCuba-Italia, Havana Club International S.A., Melgarejo, Brisan Exportaciones Internacional S.A., and Artesanías Modas Panamá S.A. and Bodegas Miguel Torres S.A. The latter is the founder of the event in which it has participated continuously during these two decades. Photo: Izuky Pérez. We talked with its representative in Cuba, Carlos Acosta Baquero, about the novelty of that commemorative Festival where they presented an extension of the famous Sangre de Toro line in its different ranges. As part of the strategy aimed at consolidating its presence in Cuba, the renowned Spanish company has expanded the range of this wine’s line that until now has been only red, but this time included the Sangre de Toro Blanco, Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cava Reserva,...

Karina Valero. Photo: Izuky Pérez.

Karina Valero, the Cuban Miss Spain

The sensuality of the Caribbean, the exuberance of the tropics and the taste of its mixtures is in her smile. Her gaze transpires warmth and a kind of angelic glamor. She is 23 years old, measures 1.73, is a model, DJ, clarinetist and, with her expressive and refined projection, she conquered the directors of the video clip Súbeme la radio by Enrique Iglesias with which he jumped to popularity a few years ago. Her name is Karina Valero Tieles, she is half Cuban and half Spanish and in a few days she will participate in the famous Miss Universe Spain beauty pageant. How do you get to the pageant? It was all a bit by chance, because honestly I have never been linked to the world of beauty pageants, basically because not existing in Cuba, it never formed part of my expectations. But recently I was offered to participate in Miss Tourism Balearic Islands, and I liked the idea. Then I had to quit because I had previous work commitments that coincided with the pageant. That was it until a friend of my sister (Pascu) got it into her head that I should present myself to Miss Universe Spain. It...

Photo: Courtesy of Accor.

First SO/ hotel in the Americas will be in Havana

Exactly where the iconic Paseo del Prado merges with Havana’s Malecón, the French Accor chain’s first hotel in the Americas of the SO/ brand is being built. It will open the doors to its first customers in September of this year. The Paseo del Prado Hotel will be a five-star plus installation, at 36 meters above ground level. The majestic building has a tower designed like a ship’s prow. From the hotel's tower you can see the Malecón seaside promenade, the Tres Reyes del Morro Castle, the San Salvador de la Punta Fortress and the Historic Center of Havana, some of the city’s most impressive places. The pool will face the Malecón, and the semi-underground parking lot will have capacity for about 60 light vehicles and 10 motorcycles, secured by a hermetic gate that will prevent the entry of water in case of heavy rains or sea penetrations; the hotel's basement will feature a corridor with shops. Photo: Courtesy of Accor. The SO/ hotels are exciting and coveted places for modern and daring travelers. This brand is so vivid, so expressive and so full of local energy that even the most adventurous travelers are fascinated by...

Graph: R10.

R10, a change of protagonists

Jorge Rodríguez Diez (R10), one of the most representative contemporary Cuban creators, demonstrates artistic diversity while escaping clichés and common and recurrent topics in our visualization. The work of this graphic artist finds inspiration in the posters from different epochs and parts of the world. He drinks from these sources but maintains his vintage style, supported by typographies. His refined, firm lines and contrasting colors are one of his distinctive signs. R10 often resorts to the past to talk about the present. The female figure ―another of his constant features― perhaps a tribute to the pin ups or to the protagonists of the 1950s advertisement, served as the center of his aesthetic proposal for years along with other reference icons of international culture and politics. Signs, intertextualities, symbols and other allegories always accompany him. Graph: R10. For some time now he has been moving in other creative directions, changing protagonists, themes and for the moment abandoning the texts with which he reinforced the message of his pieces. A rupture, both formal and conceptual, is evident in the series he exhibited in his studio at the last Havana Biennial. "In the context of the event I was...

"El héroe," from the series "Navegantes," bronze sculpture by Pedro Pablo Oliva. Photo: Courtesy of the artist.

Pedro Pablo Oliva and art as a weapon

Pedro Pablo Oliva is a magician of color and shapes. His oneiric and symbolic universe reaches the viewer directly from his soul, from his spirit, in sculptures, fabrics and cardboard. From Pinar del Río and faithful to his roots, winner of the National Prize for Plastic Arts in 2006, he leaves a piece of himself in each of his works. In the concluded Havana Biennial it was possible to observe it in several places visited by OnCuba to converse with him. "I participated, thanks to the Office of the City Historian and to Eusebio Leal, with bronze sculptures in the public space. Three of the sculptures: Clementina, la siesta y el gato, from the series ‘Sillones de mimbre’; El beso, from the series ‘Alegrías y tristezas del Malecón’; and El tierno amor de Bustelo, were located in the Plaza de Armas on the corner of Obispo and Oficios. "I’ve been told that people have passed by and embraced the sculptures, there are those who have asked themselves if it is a tradition to clean them or touch them, as at some point it became a tradition, because it gave good luck to touch the beard of the sculpture of the...

"Catalejo," acrylic, 125 x 92cm, 2016

Flora Fong and love of nature on canvas

The work of Flora Fong transpires the warmth and good energy of the place where it was conceived. She is one of the essential names of Cuban art in recent decades and one of our painters with the greatest international projection. Flora says she can’t conceive creation far from her studio, gallery and home. She affirms that the vegetation of her home inspires her and her garden motivates her to create while she is driven once and again by the thread of her work: nature. The piece she is exhibiting as part of the HB Exhibit in the Grand Theater of Havana in this Biennial also demonstrates her passion for nature, for her garden and the elements that comprise it. "Cucú, baja Cucú, baja," 80 x 65 cm, mixed acrylic technique, 2019 It's about Cucú, baja, Cucú, an immense and colorful canvas. This work made under the concepts of ancient Chinese calligraphy, is part of a new series Flora has been developing with the title "Imagen, caligrafía y verso" (Image, calligraphy and verse), since 2018. To lean on something is the meaning of the character that can be seen and she conceived the piece based on...

Photo Claudio Peláez Sordo

Two in El Vedado

Café Laurent   With the city at your feet, you can enjoy one of the most recommended author cuisines in Cuba. This restaurant, located on a high floor of a building from the 1950s, is like a homage to vintage Havana, from the elevator to every detail of its meticulous interior design. It stands out for its elegance, good taste and exotic flavors. Sitting at its terrace as the sun goes down, tasting one of its sophisticated cocktails and taking pleasure with the view of El Vedado, will be a matchless sensorial experience for you.     Mediterráneo Havana   Located in the very center of El Vedado and a pioneer in the platform From Farm to Table. The Vista Hermosa farm supplies the products of its healthy and nutritious table. Out of the restaurants that provide this service, Mediterráneo Havana is one of the few that invites you to discover the experience in a genuine, integrating, complete way. It offers organic and very fresh products, all made under the Sardinian expertise of Luigi Fiori, exquisite recipes in which this chef fuses flavors and smells from the Mediterranean and from Havana.  

Rum Museum. Photo: Gabriel Guerra Bianchini.

A Great Museum for a Great Rum

Havana Club rum is undoubtedly one of the best worldwide. Its origins and the universe of its barrels, tastings, combination, aromas, mixtures and essences make up a very attractive philosophy of drinking linked to enjoyment. Many are the persons who come to Cuba looking for it, avid to get to know its history, its elaboration process, its secrets.To reveal those mysteries and approach the history of the elixir, the Havana Club Rum Museum was created (March 31, 2000), a marketing tool to complement the Havana Club International S.A. company’s sales strategy and to promote the good taste for a product linked to Cuban culture, a tie that is part of the brand’s image in the world. Rum Museum. Photo: Gabriel Guerra Bianchini. Established in an elegant 18th century colonial mansion in the heart of Old Havana, the installation tells (and documents) the origins of Cuban run from when Christopher Columbus arrived in 1492, something very few people know. Through a guided tour, and different languages, in this institution visitors are shown each step of the production process of the prized beverage – from an original distillery and its aging section, to the tasting of the “Cuban...

Photo: Courtesy of Bar Pazillo.

A Different PaZillo

The hamburger and tapas bar, PaZillo, is the only private site in vogue in Havana where you can enjoy a varied live music program. Around these days, when it is celebrating its first anniversary, it already classifies as a space won over from the capital’s nightlife, although starting noon its bar and its stoves offer interesting proposals in a relaxing chill out atmosphere. Photo: Courtesy of Bar Pazillo.                         As the name suggests, its principal area is a corridor, of the typical lateral spaces of El Vedado mansions (5ta, between 4 and 6), a few meters from the Malecón. The name, according to what its owner, Maikel Paz, said to OnCuba, is a spelling mistake which he detected among the proposals for names. And he saw that it worked better that way because in addition it had the z from his surname. Open, warn and illuminated, this innovative site is sensual and attractive beyond its environment’s view and atmosphere. Its variety and value for money turns it into an indispensable place to meet with friends, socialize and chat, accompanied by mild melodies as well as...

Emmanuel Servais Agboton,creator of Arte Próceres. Photo by Gabriel Guerra Bianchini

Arte Próceres: the Place Cuban Floor Tiles Deserve

  Although he was born in Benin, Western Africa, creator Emmanuel Servais Agboton likes to be called Cuban. He arrived in 1982 to study electric engineering thanks to a Cuban government scholarship. Here he discovered the work that is his passion: making floor tiles. More than two decades ago, this entrepreneur turned artist created Arte Próceres, a family business that was born of his curiosity about “that invaluable wealth I saw at my feet, deteriorated in multiple mansions in Havana.” Almost all the workers of Arte Próceres are members of the Cuban Association of Artisan Artists (ACAA). In 2013 they won the Award of the Havana International Crafts Fair (FIART). Places like the Ambos Mundos Hotel, the National Council of Visual Arts, the Formas Gallery, the Casa de Patrimonio, the homes of dancer Carlos Acosta and of singer Cucú Diamantes, exhibit his beautiful floor tiles, lasting and of optimum quality. At present he is restoring the floors of the famous Hotel Nacional de Cuba. “Perfection does not exist, but we much get as close as possible to it. The better things come out for us the more effort we must make, those who really work are never satisfied,” says Emmanuel...

Photos by Tony Hernández y Ramsés Batista

Alain Pérez: Everything that Comes from the Heart Inspires Me

Twenty years of living and working in Spain with many of the world’s great musicians weren’t able to modify the accent, or make Alain Pérez lose his simplicity and Cubanness. His essence has remained intact to return and share with the public he loves the most: the Cuban. Alain, who has a vigorous style, rhythmic and full of symbols and allegories, defines himself as a contemporary Cuban popular musician and, in addition to the multiple instruments he dominates, singing is his greatest passion. He soon learned to not cling to an instrument or a single interpretative line. The double bass, the guitar and percussion are the ingredients that, together with “coconut water” and his voice, have made his melodies an explosive mixture of sounds in which he merges the rumba, Cuban salsa, bolero, jazz, trova, flamenco, samba, guaracha, son, and the punto guajiro. Alain is heir to the azuca and tumbao of Celia Cruz - with whom he worked for many years -, and the cadence of Paco de Lucía – whom he accompanied with his double bass throughout many countries. The also arranger, orchestrator and musical producer has played together with several greats like Joan Manuel Serrat, Ana Belén,...

Dorian at the center. Photo by Izuky Pérez

Dorian, Style, Color, Art

Dorian is an artist who works miracles with the color and the scissors. Known by many as the hairdresser of the artists, he is the creator of the image that quite a few famous persons currently presume of (their hairstyles). Photo by Izuky PérezDorian Carbonel is only 33 years old, he studied Social Communication and was a model. Six years ago he founded his Donde Dorian beauty parlor. He makes live demonstrations showing his haircut skills, teaches the future generations of hairdressers, presents several collections a year, and his eyes shine when he speaks of his three-year-old son who, according to him, is who inspires him and gives him the strength to be better each day.  Creative, talented, a transgressor and very daring, that is the Dorian who spoke to OnCuba about his story of entrepreneurship and perseverance. I always wanted to have a trade. Ever since I was very young I worked as a model in La Maison, the style, fashion and tendencies attracted me a great deal. When I finished the Provincial Barber’s School I continued having a thirst for knowledge and, at the same time, I felt there was a great shortage of male hairstylists in Cuba....

Photo by Orlando Pujols

Melao’s, rediscovering Cuban cuisine

Among the Cuban capital’s diverse gastronomic spaces stands Melao’s, an adventurous and elegant restaurant in unison with a very defined culinary line. This space emerged from a family dream, its greatest objective being to please those who visit it in terms of its wine cellars and its ovens. In the neighborhood of Santo Suárez, on Goicuría Street between Milagros and Libertad, stands an attractive and different place. Sensual and appealing, beyond its decoration and atmosphere, the place’s variety and value for money turn it into one of the indispensable sites to connect with friends, to socialize and talk accompanied by good music. Photo: Courtesy of Melaos Melao’s stands out for the tribute it pays to the great Celia Cruz, who was born very nearby and is a referent of Cuban culture, in and outside the country. From two hyper-realistic paintings, Celia looks down on us in the establishment. Situated in a beautiful and modern mansion from the 1950s, it has a singular cuisine and excellent service. Live performances by musicians and comedians complement the nighttime experience this place provides, designed for enjoyment, relaxation, recreation and eating good food. With a select...

Rox. Photo by Antonio Hernández

Rosana Vargas: “Each one of our pieces has something to tell”

Passionate, forceful, intense, artisan Rosana Vargas seems to leave a bit of her life in every piece and project into which she puts her energy. I remember her beginnings, more than a decade ago, and since then she has not stopped. Her ascent has been vertiginous, especially in the last five years, ever since she registered her brand ROX 950. Rosana is temperamental, perfectionist, obstinate, on occasions harder than the metals she bends, very demanding, especially with herself, but exceptionally humane and sensitive, which is translated into her creations. Her strength is contagious like her faith. She has “dragged” quite a few people with her undeniable leadership, a quality that, like her pieces, she has provided with passion. Rox. Photo by Antonio Hernández An explosive woman has renovated the pulse of Cuban silversmithing. She has changed the rules of a centuries-old hermetic and sexist business. Her weapons are the design and the beauty of the simple and the exclusive. We find original designs turned into genuine “handmade” jewels that lead us to question, once more, if silversmithing is an art or a trade. The original, transgressive, diverse and imposing ROX 950 gets here, and many already...

Photo by Izuky

The Cuban Art of Capturing the Yes I Do

A wedding picture must resemble the bride and groom. Capturing what they feel, the atmosphere of the bridal veil, the sensuality, the spell of the moment. The unique look of the couple during the “yes, I do” must be immortalized thanks to the magic of photography. In Cuba, after the triumph of the Revolution, fashion and publicity photos started disappearing. The great artists of the lens registered the urban landscape and the revolutionary epic. While Korda dressed his muse Norka in the uniform of the militias, young people emerged as photographers, formed in an aesthetics alien to the glamour and sophistication, qualities considered then as bourgeois declinations from the past. Photo: Desiree Barredo The wedding pictures lacked an artistic intention. Only the ceremony was testified: guests, the cake and sparkling wine. In recent times, with the advent of private work, some entrepreneurs have assumed the planning of festivities and among their multiple products and services they offer photos. Aire de fiesta and Devento are the leaders of this market in Cuba. Several photographers have been demonstrating that they can leave aside the clichés and achieve photos in which they combine the demands of the clients with...

Fernando Velázquez and His Utilitarian Ceramics Throughout the City

Fernando Velázquez’ peculiar creations are increasingly being known and tangible for those walking through the streets of the capital city of Havana. On 23rd, the most centric city street, it is possible to sit down in numerous sites where his lasting and decorative wooden, iron and ceramic furnisher, of optimum make and undeniable artistic value, are located. These creations can be found in several points of the famous corner of 23 and 12, in the popular establishment La Pelota, in the Casa del Perro Caliente on 21 and 14 and in the Buona Sera Restaurant. The renowned artist’s benches and pergolas can also be appreciated in the park on 23 and Paseo. Heirs to a strong family tradition and with a great utilitarian sense, they are works that, in the forms, recurrent motifs and gamut of colors that decorate them, exude Cubanness. Fernando Velázquez is a tireless creator. Son of outstanding ceramist Fernando Velázquez Vigil, he inherited from his father the passion for ceramics. A member of the Cuban Fund of Cultural Goods, he displays his work in diverse supports and formats. His work has become consolidated and has become a referent for ceramics in Cuba. For more than a...

Leonel Oliva and the Art of Light

Leonel Oliva story’s is one of entrepreneurship and perseverance. With more than three decades of experience in the trade of restoration and creation of lights, this lord of the lamps, as many people know him, has carried out an important artistic and heritage work that today has become an economically sustainable small private enterprise. With a suggestive and well-thought-out identity and image, in 2010 he developed Mi Doble L, Lámparas Leonel (My Double L, Leonel Lamps), his project of construction and general repair of lamps and decorative accessories. The initiative, part of his Art and Light work, is linked to several of his personal exhibitions, where he uses lamps and other implements in modeling performances.   Leonel doesn’t remember how, when and which was the first of the wonderful lights that got to him. He can create a genuine work of art from a piece of junk, an old piece of metal waste. His personal exhibitions are the result of his ingenuity and talent. He creates his works based on a criterion of evaluation of diverse metal, glass and textile elements. Each piece is the result of a prior study that entails a composition, functional and aesthetically valid to embellish...

Photo: Alain L. Gutiérrez Almeida

La Marca, A Second Skin

Under the direction of renowned artist Leo Canosa, and based in the Historic Center of Old Havana, La Marca, the first professional studio-gallery of corporal art, has been functioning since January 30, 2015 to legally position on the island the millenary art of tattoos. At La Marca, compared to other tattooing studios, they don’t work by catalogue or imitation. Each person can have engraved on their skin a unique work, according to their interests, personality and formal and conceptual concerns, previously appreciating the style of the artist who will carry out the work. Corporal decoration, from the identity and love for the so-called dermic art, are reasons that inspire going to the place for one of these creations. Leo, with more than two decades of experience in the sweet pain of ink on the dermis, now heads another four tattoo artists, a graphic designer and a social communicator. Guest artists from Cuba and abroad at times display their creations at La Marca. Photo: Alain L. Gutiérrez Almeida “We don’t want to be seen as private workers but rather as artists: that’s what we are. Tattooing is no longer considered a representation of ancient cultures, or a...

Photo by Alain L. Gutiérrez Almeida

Idalmis García: Acting is Knowing How to Listen

Actress Idalmis García has been living and working for three years between New York and Havana. “I haven’t left, I just moved away a little and I always return,” she said to OnCuba. From Cuba she has the joy, character and extroversion. The notes of our musical heritage make her days enjoyable, perhaps a bit cold in the Big Apple. “I like acting. I studied History of Art and at the same time attended workshops, and I became a professional actress,” she affirms, very sure of herself. In Cuba she worked in teleplays and TV series; she also worked with the Buendía group and children’s theater groups. In films, we were able to see her in Páginas del diario de Mauricio, Larga distancia, Los dioses rotos and Conducta, the latter directed by Ernesto Daranas, with whom she will soon return to the set. But that is not what brought her back to the island. Together with British filmmaker Stephen Bayly she gave an acting workshop in the San Antonio de los Baños Film and Television School (EICTV). “I have been working for several years with Stephen, I was his student. He gives courses in Cuba on the Meisner Technique, a...

Photo, Club Ecuestre cortesy

An Equestrian Club for an Auction of Excellence

The Havana Equestrian Club, located in Lenin Park, 12 kilometers from the capital and adjacent to the Horseback Riding School, is an installation equipped to show visitors the skills of the horses trained there, as well as holding the usual International Elite Auction of Show Jumping Horses. The center has capacity for more than 115 stabled horses, a trained staff and Cuba’s best riders. It also has a comfortable country motel, a shop of equestrian goods and a gastronomic complex featuring typical Cuban food. Since 2009 the center has been hosting and organizing every year the famous auction, the company’s star event. Its 8th edition will take place February 12-15 next year, during which some 30 specimens will be auctioned, between mounted horses and in freedom, of the Dutch Warmblood  Horse breed. The participants, who arrive from diverse parts of the world, will appreciate during the first two days the skills and physical conditions of the specimens being auctioned. This next edition will allow for showing the results and strengths in the development of the equestrian sport in Cuba in recent years. Thanks to the specialists’ great effort and dedication, 17 breeds are already being reproduced in Cuba, among them...

Photo: Rolando Pujols

Unforgettable Moraleja

La Moraleja, a daring and traditional restaurant at the same time, with a well-defined culinary line, stands among the diverse gastronomic spots of the Cuban capital of Havana. This space emerged from a family dream. Its most important objective is to please those visiting it in terms of winery and ovens. With an unusual decoration, baroque touches and melodies that attract good vibe, friendship and pleasures find here unlimited shelter.  Just a few steps from the centric 23 and L streets we see this restaurant that opened its doors on January 25, 2010, after months of arduous work. Located in the patio of a beautiful 1940s mansion of El Vedado, it has a special magnetism that can be perceived from its spacious and cool entrance, its rooms (in open air, air conditioned and cellar), its singular cuisine and the excellence of the service. Photo: Rolando Pujols With a select menu, the chef pleases the tastes of all patrons. The variety is extensive and ranges from our traditional and stylized cuisine to unique and innovative recipes of the gourmet tendency; the common factor is the careful selection of the ingredients and the audacious presentations that enhance the...

Ana de Armas in Cuba: between Chanel and Blade Runner

“I want to act in Cuba, my agents know that even though I have other plans, if they come to me with an interesting Cuban cinema project I’ll make it a priority. It would be very important to me.” So said Ana de Armas to OnCuba, during an interview at the Saratoga Hotel in Havana, where she stayed along with the other celebrities that Chanel invited to accompany the showcasing of the Cruise collection. Armas will very shortly begin her sixth feature-length Hollywood film: and no less than the coveted lead role for the sequel to Ridley Scott’s classic, Blade Runner. Photo: Izuky Pérez Although she acted in two feature-length films on the island before beginning her successful international career, she still wants to – as she confessed to me a little more than a year ago – form part of Cuban cinema. Risky, tireless, and a very fluid speaker, Ana de Armas looks younger than she is when she talks with her enormous green eyes. She’s perfected her English, ridding herself of the Cuban and Spanish accent that she acquired in the eight years in which she lived in the Spain. She admits that she...

Photo: Izuky Pérez

Fast… and furious old American cars

Centro Habana is one of the three locations in the Cuban capital that from April 20th are the scene for the first Hollywood super production that will be filmed on the island since the embargo was enacted in 1960, details the Hollywood Reporter. As it already the custom for the most well-known car saga in the world, it moves between four cardinal points: Los Angeles, Japan, London, Rio de Janeiro, Abu Dhabi… This time it has come to Cuba, in the context of ‘new politics that have opened up the possibility of more filming in the island’, the publication comments. From Wednesday 20th, passers-by in Old Havana, Centro Habana and Revolution Square have seen a giant deployment for casting. Caravans of imposing Hollywood Trucks move equipment, stage scenery…everything necessary for filming, which will begin on Friday 22nd and continue until 5th May. The spectacular fall of a car from the parking area of the Hermanos Ameijeiras Hospital, the usual repercussions, a race between ‘the good and the bad’ just where the busy street Galiano looks onto the El Curita Park, have been some of the most striking moments according to extras and members of the production team that OnCuba contacted....

Gibara: capital of Low Budget Cinema

A total of 366 films, short and feature films, documentaries, animations, video art and experimental films will participate in the 12th International Gibara Low Budget Film Festival, which will take place from April 20 to 24 in the city in Holguin, a province in eastern Cuba. This has been the chosen place for the celebration ever since the event was founded by the late filmmaker Humberto Solás. This year the Festival - supported by the Hugo Cancio Foundation, among others sponsors - will host various filmmakers and institutional representatives from all over the world. These attendees will participate with their works, in theoretical forums, workshops, and meetings scheduled to run in parallel with the event. Mexico is the guest country this year, and the nation will have a special exhibition that will begin with a screening of Amores Perros. The film’s producer, Monica Lozano, will be the subject of a special tribute. The event will be dedicated to the recently deceased Rogelio París, with the screening of some of his emblematic films like Kangamba. Other tributes will be paid to Solas’ medium-length film Manuela (1966), which celebrates its 50th year of creation and the feature film The Guest, by Eduardo...

Who made the Habano Man?

The most important honour that the tobacco world confers every year is, without a doubt, the Habano Man. The International Habanos Festival culminated its XVII festival with the awarding of the coveted prize which makes its way into the hands of the best of the cigar world every year. There are three categories. This year in Production, the deserving Manuel Tuero, in Business: Dominique Gyselinck, while in Communication the winner was Valerio Cornale. Created two decades ago by the recognised sculptor and metalsmith Raúl Valladares who was inspired by the winners’ personalities, this prize is considered the “Oscar” of this area. These sculptures, over 30cm high, made of sliver, are hand made without any mould, are unique and made using millennia-old metalsmithing techniques. They vary from one another, although they maintain the essence, and are treasured by diverse personalities. The first Cuban to hold one was Abel Expósito, from the Partágas Cigar House. Valladares has the heart of a tobacconist, he carries it in his blood, like his father and his grandfather. However, this artist, without being one, managed to follow the tradition in a certain way. Perhaps though these prizes, or via the exclusive humidors that he manufactures, this...

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