J. J. Miranda

J. J. Miranda

Foto: Jorge Luis Borges.

Brief Tour of Havana

In Havana solutions have been sought so that the oldest things continue functioning. From beautiful patrimonial constructions to cars from the 1950s imported from the United States. It is, as many opine: a city that has stopped in time and, at the same time, is advancing. Each day it looks more beautiful. With a climate that averages almost 30 ºC throughout the year, the Cuban capital is grateful to its embrace with the sea. It is not strange for a group of young friends to dive into the water from that Malecón seafront wall, that “sofa” where so many lovers have declared themselves, where innumerable old songs have been heard. The city has so many faces that at least a week would be needed to have an idea of its immensity. Hidden in Old Havana there are small bars, each one with a very personal style, where it’s worthwhile having a good shot of rum, that beverage invented in Cuba. Walking along Obispo Street looking for a souvenir is too classical, better images are waiting for you along the parallel streets. It will always be moving to enter the Plaza Vieja, listen to that traditional sound of music and of...

Cuban and U.S. scientists to plant corals in the Caribbean

The scientific cooperation between researchers from the Florida Aquarium in the United States and the National Aquarium of Cuba has had results at the close of 2016 with a program for the restoration of coral reefs that would help to increase the populations of these organisms in the common region. In 2017 the Tampa and Havana installations are seeking to strengthen this relationship as another step forward in the reestablishment of relations between the two countries. They are already designing a coral greenhouse and a nursery will be built, both in Cuban waters. A year after the start of the association last August, the scientists from the aquariums met in Key Largo and collected samples of the staghorn coral for their investigation and subsequent replacement of the declining reefs. One of the objectives was to discover if the coral semen of the staghorn coral did not lose the capacity to fertilize an egg after being cryogenically frozen, with which the aquariums could use coral spermatozoids to repopulate the Caribbean. The result was positive: in mid-December it was thawed and achieved reproduction in the water. Linda Penfold, director of the South-East Zoo Alliance for Reproduction & Conservation in Jacksonville, who participated...

Dear Sardà

If lovers of wine and love are bound for hell, heaven would be quite empty. RUBÁIYÁT OF OMAR The history of man and wine is lost in the origins of humanity. A legend tells that a king’s lover tried to commit suicide with the liqueur that emanated from the amphora where the grapes were kept in the palace and that he, on seeing her so euphoric and happy, decided to try the liquid. They ended up reconciling themselves. Thus the world inherited the privilege of wine. It reached Cuba on the caravels that Columbus involuntarily diverted to America in search of a new spice route. The mariner celebrated with wine the arrival to the most beautiful land…. Enologist Joan Sardá “fell in love with Cuba” during a tourism visit from Havana to Caimanera. The owner of a family enterprise that emerged in 1927 in the Central Penedés close to Barcelona, he brought light to Cuba. “Sardá was a friend of Cuba, daring, extremely humane. He was one of the few foreign entrepreneurs who withstood the difficult times; he did not hesitate to give a lecture on wines by the light of a lantern,” that’s how his friend Elsa Lavastida Rodríguez,...

Photo courtesy of Havana Club International.

Havana Club 7 years: a Cuban bottle

Havana Club 7 years (HC7) is a part of Cuba that can be taken anyplace. It conserves the flavor and the original traditions of rum making. A change in the image of this product that starts with the very bottle has been taking place since a few months ago. To find out about this work, OnCuba talked with Sergio Valdés Dorta, market development manager of Havana Club International. The firm intervenes in the entire process: from the rum’s production to its distribution. Subsidiaries of the French Pernod Ricard group, which is a 50 percent partner of Havana Club and the second world distributor of spirits, are used outside Cuba. What is the reason for this new image of Havana Club 7 years? We can say that HC7 is the flagship product in the Havana Club gamut. It had had the same presentation for many years and we understood it was time for a change. According to rum master Navarro, the new product does justice to what it really must comprise. We are presenting a bottle that is near to the traditional rum bottles that were used and transmits the exceptional high-quality character of the drink. And when we speak of...

Photo: Sergei Montalvo

Icebreakers in the Air

Direct flights between the United States and Cuba are already a reality. An Airbus A320 coming from the United States broke more than half a century of silence in the sky. It did it on the Fort Lauderdale-Santa Clara commercial route. Some 150 persons came down from the aircraft in the center of Cuba on August 31 of this year. JetBlue, a consortium already established in the history of relations between both countries, was in charge of the first trip. Ever since the memorable 17D, the prohibitions have been gradually thawing. Regarding the event, Barack Obama recognized that important steps had been taken with the reestablishment of diplomatic relations and opening of embassies, facilitating the increase of trips and commerce, connecting more U.S. and Cuban people, as well as promoting the free flow of information to, from and inside Cuba. He concluded by saying that advances have been made regarding common interests and joint work in complex issues that for years defined and divided the two countries. A year later, the president added that the normalization would be a long trip, but that the last 12 months were an example of the progress that can be achieved when outlining the...

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