Laura Paz

Laura Paz

Jossette Pellé / Photo: Alain L. Gutiérrez.

Cuba, a country where borders fade

Jossette Pellé, Stanislav Verbov, Pilar Fernández and José Amoscótegui were born at different times and in different parts of the world. The first is French, the second Russian, and the other two are Spaniards. They are from different generations; and they could have gone through life without sharing any particularity to bring them together in a sentence. However, with the years, one aspect has united them: they all have made Cuba their home. Throughout Cuba’s development as a nation, and going back to its colonization by Spain, various waves of immigrants have made new beginnings here. Their reasons have been diverse, their stays on the island have varied in length, and motives have almost always included financial or romantic matters. Jossette Pellé came to Cuba in the 1960s, soon after the 1959 revolutionary victory, and she never went back. Her starting point was in Madrid—where she taught French—where she met a young Cuban doctor, an exile from the island’s Fulgencio Batista government, and crossed the Atlantic with him. Together, they arrived at Havana’s Boyeros airport,which was almost deserted at the time, without customs or immigration authorities, but with a welcoming embrace from the rebel forces as the most secure entry...

Congratulations Elena

Elena Burke will never die. Although she is not among us anymore, those who knew her, women and men who sang with her, or who accompanied her at the piano and the guitar, or who gave songs to her to make them worldwide famous using her voice and passion, still feel her by her side.

Liuba tell us of Havana in February

Liuba Maria always knew the weakness that Cubans feel for the days of February. A single day is enough, the 14th for us to go through the streets of cities looking for love and its expression. So she has sung so much to love didn’t want to miss the opportunity of this month to give us the charm of her art. Hence a lucky day she wrote a song that among many things says, “And Havana worn another dress, to receive on the road, two who loved each other in bed. Lights sprouted from her hair when lovers under walked the universe under a lantern. "

Spider-Man to Scale Habana Libre Hotel this Monday

Last November, OnCuba announced that the French Spider-Man, Alain Robert, was looking for a Havana building to conquer it and thus increase the list of his challenges against gravity. Two months later AP reports that the daredevil climber nicknamed “Spider-Man” will climb this Monday, February 4th, the emblematic Habana Libre Hotel in the very heart of Vedado neighbourhood with a permit by the Cuban authorities. The 50-year-old Frenchman plans to climb the 27-story 126 meter tall building through one side of it.

A film for Polo Montañez

When Polo Montañez wasn´t still famous, he was always following his father, who was a coalman, planting coal houses all around the bush whenever they found good wood to make charcoal. It was a transhumant time, hard, wild and happy in the fields of Pinar del Rio. In 1972 the pilgrimage of his family apparently stopped when they settled down in the community of Las Terrazas.

Leonardo Padura

Photo: Kaloian Santos The news that a few days ago was haunting the literary world of the island was confirmed at the end of this Tuesday afternoon. Cuban writer Leonardo Padura has won the National Literature Prize through which, each year, the Cuban Book Institute (ICL) recognizes authors whose works have made the best contribution to Cuban culture.

Cuban handicraft for the most demanding tastes

Every December the Cuban craftsmen overflow the exhibition spaces of Pabexpo fairgrounds in Havana to present and to commercialize their works during the days of the International Craft Fair (FIART) that this year turns 16. From this Friday December 7th through the 23rd, lovers of the craft can come to this fairground to appreciate the development of an art that increasingly manages to put together traditions with the demanding needs of modernity, while remaining part of the active national cultural heritage.

Zucchero came to sweeten Havana

For these days the chorus has been listened in television “Dance, dance, brown lady, down this full moon, under the moonlight”. Those who could have listened to it surely will recognize the lyrics of the song Baila Morena that the Italian musician Zucchero made popular some years ago.

Leonardo Padura revives Mario Conde in his new novel Herejes

Leonardo Padura announced in Havana the return of his most emblematic character: Mario Conde as part of the plot of his new novel Herejes, in which he is still working. The expected announcement exhilarated Padura's followers, who hadn´t recently been enjoying the adventures of a character the author recreated throughout his novels Pasado Perfecto, Vientos de cuaresma, La cola de la serpiente, Adiós Hemingway and La neblina del ayer.

Songs versus Hurricanes

Cuban musicians join the solidarity campaign towards the inhabitants of Cuban eastern provinces affected by Hurricane Sandy as they know that the songs are also useful to take pain away and give a little joy. This is the case of Ricardo Leyva, Cuban composer, arranger and record producer who runs the Sur Caribe orchestra. This renowned musician has composed the theme “No estoy solo” (“I am not alone") to the inhabitants of Santiago as a way to send them a message of love and hope.

The family that unveiled the mystery of clay

If you are in Cuba, and mention the Santander last name, people will immediately think of four things: Trinidad, clay, handicraft and family tradition. Undoubtedly, this Trinidad family knows better than anybody the secrets of clay and thanks to a tradition that has been passed from one generation to the next in this family since the end of the XIX century. Today, they are considered maestros in a beautiful and hard trade which is molding clay to turn it into a masterpiece.

Cuban art goes to auction

On November first the Subasta Habana fine arts auction house will hold its event “A viva voz” Auction where Cuban and foreigner collectors will be offered a lot made up by 70 pieces including works of the most important Cuban painters of the twentieth century with some of the most prominent contemporary artists.

Cuban Musicians Nominated to the Latin Grammies 2012

Los Van Van, the Cuban music train, will be competing this year for the Latin Grammies with its album La maquinaria (The Machinery), which classified in the category of Best Contemporary Tropical Album. In this CD, Juanito Formell’s band recreates the sound of the decades of 1980 and 1990 on the basis of new arrangements of such well-known themes as Recíbeme or Eso que anda, adding others which are already becoming popular among the dancers like Un año después (La costurera).

Animated Version of Cuban Film El Brigadista in Preparation

The film El Brigadista by Octavio Cortázar, premiered in 1977, will return to the screen in an animated version currently in preparation at the ICAIC Animation Studios, according to that institution’s web page. El maestrico (The Young Teacher) is the name of these “comics” that take essential parts of the popular Cuban film and at the same time present a more contemporary style in an attempt to comply with the demands of such a special public as that of children.

Giants in Havana

Giants stroll along the city’s neighborhoods. They are dressed in colors, walk on wooden stilts, playing the trumpet, singing and saying poems. No one fears them; on the contrary: children, their parents, the neighbors of the places they go by follow them at the rhythm of their pirouettes and dances.

Fernando Perez Finishes Shooting his New Movie

After 44 days Cuban director Fernando Perez has finished shooting “La pared de las palabras“ (The wall of words), his eighth film, which he hopes is the portrait of a fragment of life rather than a movie. For this effort he brought together renowned actors like Isabel Santos, Veronica Lynn, Laura de la Uz, Jorge Perugorría and Carlos Enrique Almirante, who are responsible for bringing out the veracity of the story and of each of its characters created by writer Zuzel Monne.

A visit to the studio of the artist Martha Jimenez

Bursting into an artist's shop or studio, without prior notice, may be an unfortunate act. Without meaning it, you can kill an idea before it hatches, scare away a gesture that could have been the beginning of a promising path, the happy ending of the chasing after an image, a word, finding the thread that leads you to that place you have got just a glimpse of for so many nights.

Matanzas’s French Pharmacy

In the French pharmacy on Milanés Street, facing the Parque de la Libertad of the city of Matanzas, time has stopped. When you trespass its doors you find the entire furniture bought by the owners around 1882 to open the commercial establishment in the center of a city in full economic splendor.

The Blue Cha Cha album by Manuel Galvan

The best gift Cuban guitarist Manuel Galvan left us before leaving forever was his album "Blue Cha Cha". This work shines among his entire musical production and the Cuban music scene for its achieved eclecticism. In it Galván makes his, alongside Cuban and foreign musicians, the universality of music and appropriates, with his usual mastery, various genres, styles and sounds that manage to build a clear and long dialogue between past and present.

The Havana Malecón: Essential Threshold of the Sea

A long concrete wall tightens the waist of Havana. It holds and defends her from the violence of the sea, although at times it cannot stop the fury of the winds that raise waves over two meters high, threatening with devouring it. In the early days, in the 19th century, they wanted to name it Avenida del Golfo (Gulf Avenue), later Avenida General Antonio Maceo, but no one succeeded in beating the usage of the neighbors, who baptized it forever as the Malecón.

Cuban tourist

In the main beach poles in the country, with the arrival of the months of July and August, the hottest in the Cuban calendar, it is no longer too alarming the drop in the number of foreign visitors that prefer to visit the country in the winter. This is because domestic tourism has begun to occupy an increasingly important place as a consumer of tourist products this time of the year.

The Indian Movies shot in Cuba Breaks box Office Record

Ek Tha Tiger (Once upon a time a tiger), a film that includes scenes shot in Cuba, set a new record for Bollywood when it collected more than 300 million rupees ($ 6.1 million USD), in its opening day, in a nation that produces close to a thousand films every year. The film’s director Kabir Khan wanted several scenes shot in Havana city’s locations earlier this year to be part of the plot of his film which this week became the fastest movie to reach the 100 crore mark (18 million USD) in the box office.

Sailors on the Toa River

To travel from one side to the other of the Toa River, the largest Cuban river, people don’t use sophisticated boats or with deep draft, but they cross it on rafts made of bamboo that are powered with a long staff. The locals that inhabit the Cayo Guin town, close to 3 thousand men and women, and others from the surrounding areas are experts in these rafts since they cross from one side to the other of the stream several times a day.

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