Leydi Torres Arias

Leydi Torres Arias

A 90-minute political game

A 90-minute political game

The first presidential debate lasted as long as a football game: 90 minutes. Neither more nor less, just enough time for the ball to pass from one part of the field to another. The venue was Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, which hosted the meeting that pitted the contenders for the presidential seat of both parties. The moderator, this time, was Chris Wallace, host of Fox News Sunday. The event, broadcast on the largest television networks in the United States, was followed by millions of viewers throughout the country, who hoped to get from this first presidential debate, a possible winner to guide undecided voters. Something that doesn’t seem to have happened, when between yelling, interruptions, and offenses, neither of them could defend their agenda, as they were more focused on responding to personal accusations. The issues that moved opinions were the American health system, the economic crisis, the political record of both, the near future of the vacancy in the Supreme Court, the coronavirus pandemic, violence in cities and why they should vote for them. Oscar Blanco, who in recent years has devoted himself to studying the history of Cuba and the influences of capitalism in Latin America,...

The change is already here

The change is already here

“I’m going to do my bike ride in Miami. If you think it’s worth protesting against the embargo on Cuba, you can join. I’ll be there at 8:00 a.m. in the parking lot of the old Kmart, in front of the Casino on Norwest 7th Street.” That was the announcement of Jorge Medina, better known as Protestón Cubano (Cuban complainer), on his YouTube channel, on July 17. The night before he had seen, for the first time since he left Cuba, the program Mesa Redonda. That night he wasn’t the only one connected to the Cuban television broadcast. Many people were seen watching (against all odds) the island’s channel, as they were alerted about new economic measures. Jorge Medina “Protestón cubano.” The images of Cuba, the latent shortages and those to come, made him decide to take his bicycle and support several Cubans who had demonstrated against the economic restrictions established by the U.S. government on Cuba. Jorge was also supporting, as he said in that video, Cuban-American professor Carlos Lazo, who had started a trip from Seattle to Washington, to build Bridges of Love between the peoples of Cuba and the United States. The first...

“In Miami I’ve discovered another part of my culture”

“In Miami I’ve discovered another part of my culture”

Héctor David Rosales is more than a Cuban filmmaker who lives outside of Cuba. He is more than one of the actors who were in La Colmenita, the ENA, a film by Fernando Pérez, or who studied photography direction at the Famca, at the ISA. All these acronyms are summarized in the National School of Art, Faculty of Audiovisual Media Art, Higher School of Art. I mean, cinema.... Héctor David has that passion in his eyes, and the certainty of knowing what he wants and going there. Until the age of 27 he lived in Havana, in Centro Habana, and his parents in Cerro. “My parents, my sister, my family, many friends, my work group, everything was in Cuba. That was my work-friends-family dynamic. Those were good times: I had made the music video with Yissy García, I was finishing a small documentary with Havana World Music, we had filmed two videos for Daymé Arocena, another video with Vocal Sampling had just come out.” In 2017, he participated in the Havana Film Festival, a film festival in New York, with a short film that he had made as a Famca thesis. Photo: Courtesy of the interviewee....

Mother of Charity

Mother of Charity

The first time my mother entrusted me to Our Lady of Charity, I was still in her womb. She asked her to protect me, that I be healthy and lucky. Protection—according to her—was not long in coming. She came the same day I was born: they took me out with forceps, and she, a 27-year-old new mother, checked me from head to foot as soon as she had me in her arms, and she breathed relieved. I had no malformations. Several people had told her horror stories and mysteries about the complexities of childbirth and how forceps could ruin a life. The wish for health, she tells me, was also fulfilled. I wasn’t a sick girl. My parents didn’t have to take care of me in a hospital. Except for pharyngitis and a heart murmur, I can claim my only visit to the doctor’s has been for routine check-ups or allege in self-defense that I would pass out at the next blood test. My mother says I’m a lucky person, that everything works out for me. And to support it, she says I was born in September. Two days after the 8th, which is the day of Our Lady of...

El Mejunje, un lugar donde se habla el lenguaje de la inclusión y diversidad . Foto: EFE

Chiaroscuros of Longina event

The eighteenth edition of Longina, the national troubadours meeting, came to an end. From January 9 to 12, Santa Clara city became the capital of the singer-songwriters in Cuba. In a few days the ether was filled with sounds of strings and Pedro O'Reilly, Amaury González, Carlos Abreu, and Yuri Giralt, Cañasanta group members, sang live in the provincial radio station combining their voices and guitars. The concert by Luis Alberto Barbería, a member of Habana Abierta, and the presentation of Frank Delgado were among the most attractive performances of these days, judging by the amount of public. Both times the spaces were small to the number of people who attended. Barbería was surprised by how most of those present knew and hummed his songs. Meanwhile, the organizers had to agree to open the doors of La Caridad Theatre and allow corridors to be occupied by those who preferred to sit on the floor due to the lack of capacity to enjoy Frank Delgado’s songs. Troubadours from different locations attended this event such as Vicente Feliu, Fernando Cabreja, and Fidel Diaz Castro, the groups Enfusion, Círculo de Tiza, and Argentine duo Fulanas. They all were welcomed by the hosts who...

Let us dance

The invitation reads: "A t our of the world of dance in 12 days, because joy is not written, it has to be danced". With so suggestive proposal it was opened last Monday, in Santa Clara, the 9th dance season “Para bailar en casa del trompo”. It will last twelve days from December 9 to 20. Ernesto Alejo- Danza del Alma Company and the event director - refuses to the last month of the year to pass without dancing. For this occasion he calls for the companies Danza Espiral (Matanzas), Los Hijos del Director (Havana), Cuba’s National Folk Ensemble (Havana), Camagüey Folk Ballet, Pól Frenak Company (Hungary) and the host Danza del Alma. The presentations in this ninth season are devoted to the 45 and 18 anniversaries of Escambray Theatre Group and Danza del Alma Company, respectively. A platform placed in the centric Vidal Park resembles the opening stage, without curtains or scenery. The audience, closer to the dancers than usual distance in the theaters, can see every detail. Watching, for example, how one of the dancers bleeds from a right toe and yet continues as if it did not hurt, as if blood was not in his skin. Other...

Santa Clara, thanks to Remedios

The townsfolk of San Juan de los Remedios, tired of the imps, demons and witches that were overwhelming them, joined together to find a solution. Some wanted to stay and defend their territory, but not bathe in the rivers or leave the house late at night…or close their eyes. After years of uncertainty, some families from this colonial villa decided to settle farther inland, where no mythical beings or corsairs or pirates could reach them easily. They left behind many legends and stories and two churches they had built, right in the middle of the villa, dedicated to the Virgen del Buen Viaje (the Virgin of Good Travel). More than 40 km from their native land, they built their new homes on the Antonio Díaz cattle ranch, on the hill of Loma del Carmen, and in the shade of a tamarind tree, they founded what is now the city of Santa Clara on July 15, 1689. Catholics to the core, they were soon occupied with the construction, using lumber and palm thatch, of the church that would mark the high point of the new settlement. When their financial situation permitted it and after the population had grown, they rebuilt the...

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