Marita Pérez Díaz

Marita Pérez Díaz

Haidee Cano in Havana. Photo: Courtesy of the interviewee.

“Not from here or there,” being Afro-Cuban-American in Hialeah

Haidee Cano was born in a place where "violet water" (a cologne that smells of violets) is put on babies since they’re born and are taught to eat guava pastries or drink milk with coffee at breakfast as "part of their Cubanness"; but since she was a child she had the uncomfortable feeling of "not being from here or there," of living trapped in a Cuban-American screenplay. The place where she was born, although it isn’t in Cuba, is a "Cuban" city: Hialeah, in Florida, a space where the stereotypes of a culture are taken to their maximum expression due to the emigrants’ nostalgia of the past and the present, and where being black or mulatto is like having emigrated twice: a minority within the Cuban community in the United States. At 27, Haidee has just graduated with a Master's in Social Work at the Atlantic University of Florida, where she was named student of the year in her branch for Palm Beach County. This year she also presented a national research on undocumented Latinas who survived gender-based violence. Her field of study is mental health and she works with marginalized and low-income communities, immigrants and refugees, and prisoners, most...

Photo: Kaloian Santos Cabrera.

Where is there? Cuban solutions on WhatsApp in the face of shortages

If during the Special Period of the 1990s a neighbor could let you know at your door or with a cry that there was chicken at the butcher’s, today the technologies and the Internet, at an unfair price, move and expand the neighborhood to the cell phone in a new way: the WhatsApp groups. "¿Dónde hay?" (Where is there?) is one of those groups, created first among friends, and which now includes hundreds of people. "The group emerged because I already belonged to others related to several subjects and I saw that they were so useful and so active that I had the idea of taking advantage of what we had at hand to help with the crisis we have right now," says Dalma Martínez, one of the administrators, referring to the shortage of food that the government is trying to palliate with rationing measures. Martínez explains that the main objective, "just as the name says, is to locate food products in Havana, since the products are sold in different stores and schedules and we help each other and we can go directly to look for what we need." In times when basic foods are scarce and deficiencies in transportation...

Cuban and U.S. flags in Miami. Photo: Marita Pérez Díaz.

Cubans gets response from State Department on Parole

Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Kimberly Breier this Wednesday published a tweet asking Cubans for "patience" for those affected by the halt in the Cuban Family Reunification Parole (CFRP) Program more than 20 months ago. Breier wrote that the State Department is processing approved immigration petitions for Cubans in Guyana and that they recognize that there is a long wait for approved cases of CFRP, that they appreciate their patience and flexibility as they process requests outside this alternative location. The U.S. Embassy in Havana echoed the comment, one of the few publicly received regarding the claims from Cubans affected by the halt of the parole program. https://www.facebook.com/USEmbCuba/posts/10157117751613911 Thousands of Cuban residents (and even U.S. citizen) entered the Parole program to claim their relatives in Cuba, with the aim of expediting a process that can take years for people from other countries and for Cubans with that facility could take months or a little over a year. However, in 2017 the United States decided to stop issuing visas in Havana due to the alleged "acoustic attacks" and the parole program was not taken over by any close embassy. https://oncubanews.com/cuba-ee-uu/eeuu-suspende-emision-visados-cuba/ With the English label #ContinueCubanCFRP, hundreds of those...

Washington Monument in the U.S. capital. Photo: Marita Pérez Díaz.

A Cuba week in Washington DC

In an unfavorable political context, several events on Cuba are coinciding these days in the U.S. capital, in search of rapprochement and dialogue between both countries. The week began with a celebration of Cuban culture organized by the Center for Democracy in the Americas (CDA), where politicians and representatives of diverse organizations attended a concert by Cuban singer Aymeé Nuviola. https://twitter.com/cda_dc The CDA also organized a panel on civil society together with the Latin American Working Group (LAWG), Oxfam America, and the Washington Office for Latin America (WOLA). The latter published on its web page that the purpose of the event is to know the impact on Cuban civil society "when Cuba is concluding its first year with a new president, has promulgated a new constitution and is adapting to the changing dynamics of U.S. policies." WOLA promulgates opposition to the "counterproductive U.S. embargo against Cuba, which has not promoted human rights, has done nothing to encourage political or economic reforms and, in turn, has isolated the United States from the region," the organization says. Teresa García Castro, WOLA Program Associate, told OnCuba that during the event they highlighted how the latest changes in Cuba policy under the Trump administration...

Cuban emigrants on the border between Mexico and the United States. Photo: Irina Dambrauskas.

Cuban deportable “aliens” decrease in U.S. borders

The Cubans considered "deportable aliens" who have entered the north, south borders and by sea have diminished considerably in the last decade, according to data offered by the United States Border Patrol. If we compare fiscal year 2007 (4,296) and fiscal year 2018 (194), the reduction is up to 95.5 percent of the number of Cubans who were considered deportable upon entering. The largest decrease is noticeable in the entry by sea, from several thousand to a few dozen people who were considered in that category at the time of being intercepted by the border patrol. --------------------------- *CAPTION Entrada Frontera Sur – Entry South Border Entrada Frontera Norte – Entry North Border Entrada por mar – Entry by sea Cantidad….. - Number of Cuban "deportable aliens" Años – Years --------------------------- According to Stephanie Malin, Chief of the Office of Public Affairs of Customs and Border Protection of the United States (northern region), being a deportable alien "means that the foreigner crossed illegally and is subject to deportation, even if deported immediately or not." Alien is the word used within the U.S. immigration system to refer to foreigners, both documented and undocumented. The precise definition in English is "belonging to a...

TuCuba Pride, a trip through diversity

Shortly before leaving for Cuba from the Fort Lauderdale terminal, Antonio Méndez stuck a sticker on his suitcase in the shape of a heart with the rainbow flag, version of the logo of CubaOne, the non-profit organization that invited him to the second LGBTIQ trip to the island. "They can teach us many things, and we can teach them. We can return with many experiences to share from this side and show that in Cuba there is a very strong community," said Antonio. Two years ago, in May 2017, Antonio Méndez, better known as Queef Latina and one of the most famous drag queens in Miami, traveled to Cuba in the first CubaOne group focused on the LGBTIQ community, to interact and establish links with entrepreneurs, artists and activists, as well as to learn more about Cubans from the gay and queer community. At that time Queef Latina published on OnCuba: "I grew up with many misconceptions about Cuba, its government and its people" and then added that "not only did we learn about the rich history of the country, but we returned home with a completely transformed perception of Cuba, its policy and the local population, as well as...

Canadian Embassy in Cuba. Photo: Claudio Peláez Sordo.

Canada suspends majority of consular services in Havana

The Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) this Wednesday announced the reduction of its programs and services in Havana, due to a cut in personnel announced last January. As announced in an official statement, from now on, the visa procedures services for temporary visits, study and work permits will not be offered in Cuba, and permanent residence interviews have also been canceled. The Canadian Department of International Affairs also announced this Wednesday the replacement of the Canadian ambassador to Cuba, Patrick Parisot, by the official Perry Calderwood. https://twitter.com/GAC_Corporate/status/1125861178570309633?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1125861178570309633&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Foncubanews.com%2Fmundo%2Fcanada-suspende-mayoria-de-servicios-consulares-en-la-habana%2F The services that remain active include receiving applications for Canadian passports, proof of citizenship and travel documents for permanent residents in Canada. For canceled services, the IRCC advises to apply through online accounts or apply for visas through third countries, in any of the application centers outside Cuba. In the case of giving fingerprints and photographs (biometric data), you must travel to another country to proceed with the service. https://twitter.com/EmbCanCuba/status/1126096957070610433?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1126096957070610433&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Foncubanews.com%2Fmundo%2Fcanada-suspende-mayoria-de-servicios-consulares-en-la-habana%2F For all those who have existing applications for permanent residence, the processes will be transferred to the Canadian office in Mexico City, where they will communicate directly with applicants in the coming weeks. All questions about existing cases can be...

Photo: Tahimi Arboleya

Creativas^2, artists and entrepreneurs from Miami and Havana

Four women, artists and entrepreneurs, traveled from Havana to Miami to participate in the Creativas event this May 5. It is a new space that encourages dialogue between Cuban women from both shores. The name of the event was promoted as Creativas^2, or square power of the word "creatives," because "the union or merging between Havana and Miami allows results to emerge with greater impact," said one of its organizers, Giuseppe Andrea Scrufari, founder of Hape Collective. He and the founders of CubaOne and Cuba Educational Travel, also organizers of the panel, hope that this will be the first of many meetings, from Havana to Miami, and from which future ideas of collaboration between people from the creative world and entrepreneurship of both countries can emerge. "These meetings will generate friendships and exchange of ideas and opportunities on both sides," said Scrufari. Women leaders in Cuban art and entrepreneurship The island’s four participants on the panel are women from the world of art or self-employment, leaders in their respective fields. Lauren, Cristina, May and Martha come from different fields such as photography, business, curatorship and fashion. They seek to describe and offer a broad panorama of Havana’s creative movement, according...

A sewing machine remodeled in Cuba. Photo: Courtesy of Cade Museum.

When in the face of scarcity Cuban ingenuity becomes art

Cuban Ingenuity is the name of an exhibition about objects of Cuban daily life that will remain open in the Cade Museum until December 31, 2019. Sue Draddy, director of marketing for the museum, said that through videos, photographs and Cuban objects compiled for the Cade throughout Cuba, Cuban Ingenuity highlights the ingenious vision behind dozens of innovations and inventions that came out of necessity. The exhibition, the first of its kind in that museum, includes manufactured products from the mid-20th century, from American cars to washing machines, all repaired, modified, reused and redesigned for almost three generations. Once the idea arose, Cade's team collaborated with artists and curators born in Havana, Gabriela Azcuy and Jorge Lavoy, with the support of Anne Gilroy (curator of exhibitions at the Thomas Center Galleries in Gainesville, Florida). García Azcuy says that for some years Phoebe Cade (the president of the board and CEO of the museum) and Randy Batista (director of the Bulla Cubana Festival) had the idea of ​​making an exhibition about Cuban inventions. Once the museum opened its doors in April 2018, they retook the theme. The second edition of the Bulla Cubana Festival would take place in March 2019 and...

Cuarteles Street, Havana, Cuba. Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez.

The reasons of those who reject Trump’s new Cuba policies

Since on April 17 the total implementation of the Helms-Burton Act and new measures that restrict travel and remittances to Cuba were announced, various voices have rejected the Trump administration’s new policy towards the Island. Representatives from Canada, Europe and Mexico, as well as U.S. politicians and trade organizations, agreed that it will be the Cuban citizens ―and not the authorities, as the White House points out― who will suffer the most from the restrictions. Democratic Congressman Jim MacGovern described as "stupid" the announcements made by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and then repeated by John Bolton in Miami, where the decision to fully implement the Helms-Burton Act was announced. "It alienates America's closest allies in Europe, Canada & Latin America. It strengthens Cuban alliances w/ Russia, China & Iran. In short, it's driven by political expediency & an ideology that’s 50 years out of date," MacGovern said in a statement on Twitter. https://twitter.com/RepMcGovern/status/1118559220083888128?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1118559220083888128&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Foncubanews.com%2Fcuba-ee-uu%2Flas-razones-de-quienes-rechazan-las-nuevas-politicas-de-trump-hacia-cuba%2F Meanwhile, former Republican senator for the state of Arizona, Jeff Flake, also disagreed. Flake, who from his position in the Senate promoted initiatives of bilateral rapprochement and visited the island on several occasions, said: "Why limit remittances that provide seed capital for Cuban entrepreneurs and give...

Photo: Rosario Ojeda.

Cubans in Booking: money in limbo

A couple of weeks ago, Cuban entrepreneur Denisse Rondón started noticing a strange delay in the mechanism to receive the profits from the rental of her apartment in Havana, registered in the Booking tourist accommodation platform. It was enough to investigate on the Internet to discover why the money did not reach her bank account. It had been discovered that the Argentine intermediary company that processes her payments was part of a money laundering and drug trafficking network. The unforeseen event affects both Denisse and an unknown number of Cubans out of the approximately 1,000 owners of private accommodations in Cuba that are managed through Booking. The income of those who used the services of SmileWallet for Booking clients’ virtual payments and bank transactions in dollars are in limbo. "I only lost 400 dollars, but a lot of people have lost 2,000 or 3,000 dollars or more," said Denisse. Thousands of dollars in transfers remained in an inaccessible virtual space and nobody is offering Cubans a solution. "In the middle of all this, we’re involved in a story of international trafficking, paying the consequences in such a delicate issue with which we have nothing to do," lamented the Cuban entrepreneur....

Interior of Hemingway’s house in Finca Vigía. Photo: Courtesy of Hugo Fernández.

Hemingway’s house in Cuba, Finca Vigía frozen in time

When Cuban-American photographer Hugo Fernández visited Hemingway's house in Cuba for the first time in 2016, he felt frustrated that he couldn’t go inside the rooms. It was impossible to enter them because each door was cordoned off and it was only possible to observe the Finca Vigía surrounding it, without entering. It was then that he decided to photograph the spaces and build a single photo from multiple images, a way to better capture the details that no one could have access to. He took more than eight photographs in each space, mentally dividing them in different quadrants. Then, on his return to the United States, he used the Photoshop merging technique to create unique panoramic images based on several shots of the most emblematic places of the U.S. writer's home. "I've always been captivated by Hemingway's history. When I go to Europe, in Venice or Paris, for example, I go to the places he used to frequent, such as Harris Bar or Shakespeare and Company. So I couldn’t stop myself from visiting his house in Cuba," said Fernández. "However, when I discovered that people can’t enter his house in Cuba (to preserve the museum and the objects in...

Carlos Varela in concert with special guest Aldo López-Gavilán on the piano

Vedado Social Club, a Cultural Oasis in Miami

The top floor of the Langford Hotel in downtown Miami is decorated New York-style: cushions and sofas on the edges and a large open area in the center. This is where jazz, pop rock, or alternative Cuban music groups play every weekend. People can move from the indoor bar to the terrace, drink in hand, and talk, dance, and socialize enjoying the cultural offerings of the Vedado Social Club (VSC), where in a single night you can hear songs by artists ranging from Habana Abierta, Los Van Van, Carlos Varela, or Silvio Rodríguez, to emerging Cuban artists such as Cimafunk or Nube Roja. All that a few blocks from the electronic bits or the reggaeton background tracks of a Friday night in Miami. Since 2012, the VSC has worked with Cuban artists in Miami: Descemer Bueno, Kelvis Ochoa, Interactivo, David Blanco, among others from a long list. This is a two-way street, since VSC has also brought musicians from Miami to Havana. Juan E. Shamizo, 44, is one of its founders. A DJ since he was 15, he has spent more than 25 years advocating for what he considers the good Cuban culture. "The Vedado Social Club is a cultural...

Photo: Carlos Lazo's Facebook page.

Cuban-American teacher’s donations for tornado victims retained

The funds raised by the Cuban-American professor Carlos Lazo and his Seattle students for the victims of the tornado in Havana have been frozen by the U.S. platform GoFundMe since last January 30. Lazo made public on his Facebook page that for days he has had difficulties accessing the 3,775 dollars donated so far in the campaign he organized through this donation service. GoFundMe and other similar fundraising services, such as Facebook, require additional information about the destination and use of the money collected for countries sanctioned by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. "We thought that GoFundMe would be a good way to mobilize students, friends, parents and community to channel our humanitarian efforts. Instead, their organization (on purpose, or by negligence) has almost interrupted our efforts," said Lazo. Screenshot of an email of GoFundMe to Carlos Lazo. Lazo explained to OnCuba that the money collected would go directly to the victims affected by the recent tornado in Havana, where he will be going with a group of his students on February 14 as part of an educational trip and cultural exchange. "Since we started our campaign, I have answered many...

Dr. David E. Guggenheim. Photo: J.P. Balas

The American who became “Ocean Doctor ” in the Cuban seas

In 2015, shortly after the reestablishment of relations between Cuba and the United States, a photo of two divers holding flags of both countries went viral on the Internet. The story behind the snapshot, loaded with the symbolism of that moment, is linked to American scientist David E. Guggenheim, who for more than 20 years has conducted research on Cuba’s corals and marine ecosystems. “There are actually two such photos – one taken in 2004 during a research expedition off of Cuba’s northwestern coast and the second in 2015 in Jardines de la Reina,” says Guggenheim. "I organized the photos to symbolize the profound friendship and unity Cubans and Americans have below the waves and how we are truly connected – not separated – by the waters between our countries," said Guggenheim, who also takes pictures of the seabed. Doctor of Science, Guggenheim is the founder and current director of Ocean Doctor, a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC, with the mission is to advance the conservation of the world’s oceans “through scientific research, education and community engagement." His collaboration with Cuban scientists and his research on the island for more than two decades made him a specialist on Cuban...

Photo: Pxhere.

Donating to Cuba through Bitcoins, an alternative that brings down walls

After the passage of the unusual tornado through Havana, diverse alternatives are arising for people who want to support the victims, be it the Cuban government or individuals. However, there are obstacles from abroad for those who want to donate money and for their material aid to arrive "directly". In recent days several GoFundMe or Facebook campaigns have been shut down for not complying with the OFAC regulations on the blockade, which is why donating money in dollars is an option that only the most fortunate have been able to achieve. How to get the money to Cuba and take it directly to the neediest is another of the complications that people who want to help from outside the island go through. This is why Fusyona, the first Cuban initiative to exchange virtual currencies, decided to launch a campaign that makes it possible to collect aid without having any government as intermediary and going beyond any financial regulation that prevents the process of providing aid to Cuba from anywhere in the world. In a world of digital currencies, relatively unknown among Cubans, the limits of the legality of its operation in Cuba are vague, so its creators remain anonymous, with...

Photo: Kaloian

Cuba and the political chess game of the crisis in Venezuela

Since Wednesday, January 24, 2018, the countries of the world are being classified according to those who support Nicolás Maduro and his government, those who favor the opposition and self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaidó and those who maintain a neutral position in favor of a peaceful solution to the political conflict in Venezuela. In addition to the Venezuelans themselves, the main actors in the crisis are also powers such as the United States, which supports the opposition (together with most Latin American countries, inside and outside the OAS); Russia, which defends the constitutional president; and China, which maintains a pro-dialogue position. Photo: Kaloian Cuba remains a strong political ally of the government of Nicolás Maduro. At this moment more than 22,000 Cuban collaborators remain there, carrying out medical, cultural, sports missions, among others. In the current context, the United States has expeditiously offered funds to support the proposal of Guaidó and realize Maduro’s exit. It also called for an emergency meeting at the United Nations Security Council, while Russia has declared that "any destructive foreign interference is a gross violation of the fundamental norms of international law," according to what Putin said to Maduro and was published in an official...

Cuban music students during a meeting with the Minnesota Orchestra in 2015. Photo: Nate Ryan for MPR.

From Minnesota to Havana, diplomacy with music

In May 2015 musician Rena Kraut saw her busy and serious colleagues of the Minnesota Orchestra smile as they rarely do. It was in Havana, in the relaxed atmosphere of an exchange with Cuban music students. The locals patiently taught the Cuban clave to the eminent musicians who had recently offered them a master class. "It's a magic that Americans really need," Kraut said. After that, Kraut could not shrug off what she felt that time, and in a stroke of creativity and inspiration she devised ways to maintain and multiply those moments between young musicians from both countries: she created the organization Cuban American Youth Orchestra (CAYO). CAYO is dedicated to providing educational and work opportunities for student and pre-professional musicians from the United States and Cuba through workshops, art delegations and cultural exchanges, as it announces on its website. The organization was founded in December 2016, just two years after the resumption of relations between Cuba and the United States. Since then, the nonprofit organization has been at the forefront of the cultural commitment between the two peoples. https://oncubanews.com/cultura/musica/sinfonica-estadounidense-repite-historia-en-cuba/ Its official presentation says they are proud to have the friendship and assistance of the Minnesota Orchestra, the Saint...

Cover of the exposition “Forever Celia” at the entrance to the Museum of the Diaspora, in Miami. Photo: Marita Pérez Díaz.

“Forever Celia”: Largest exposition on Celia Cruz opens in Miami

A letter written by hand by Celia Cruz, her favorite wigs, the most famous dresses and unpublished photo are just some of the attractions of the exposition “Forever Celia” which opened Thursday last week in the American Museum of the Cuban Diaspora, in Miami. Celia Cruz’ executor, Omer Pardillo-Cid, explained that the exhibit displays memorable moments in Celia’s life, imitating a timeline through different decades until Celia’s funeral, “impressive, since there still hasn’t been a funeral like that one again in the United States,” said Pardillo-Cid. The exposition is full of personal mementos, like the first passport with which she left Cuba for Venezuela, a small statue of Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre she took with her on all the trips, which were a lot, as well as eyeglasses and fans. “Celia was fashion, extravagance, elegance. Here you will be able to see colorful hats, dresses. Celia was color and energy,” said Pardillo-Cid. Celia Cruz’ executor and curator of the exposition “Forever Celia,” Omer Pardillo-Cid. Photo: Marita Pérez Díaz. Fifteen years after Celia’s death, the exhibition also includes screens to show videos and music from different stages of her career. Some 20 pairs of shoes and wigs also...

Photo: Marita Pérez Díaz

Díaz-Canel to meet with U.S. agriculture representatives

Cuban President Miguel Díaz Canel would be interested in meeting with U.S. agriculture representatives late this month, according to a press release issued by the  bipartisan U.S. Agriculture Coalition for Cuba (USACC). The meeting could take place later this month while Díaz-Canel is visiting the U.S. to participate in the United Nations General Assembly. Paul D. Johnson, president of USACC, mentioned in the press release that “This meeting provides an opportunity to meet Cuba’s new president and also demonstrates the importance agriculture holds in advancing trade relations.” Johnson explained that in last year’s Presidential Memorandum on Cuba agricultural trade had explicitly identified agriculture trade – permitted by law in TSRA (Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act) – as in the U.S. national interest. “The Trump Administration has continued dialogue with Cuba including USDA’s meetings with Cuba’s agriculture ministry. Any action on Cuba sanctions would have to re-start a policy process that many in the Administration prefer to keep in the rear view mirror,” he said.  https://oncubamagazine.com/economia-negocios/secretario-de-agricultura-por-mas-comercio-con-cuba/ He added that in the near term they expect the Trump Administration to perhaps make a political statement about Cuba in the context of GOP campaigns in Florida this fall.  “For our purposes…it...

Havana Maestros. Photo: Official Facebook Profile

AmeriCuba: U.S. music made in Cuba

A year after the Adiós Tour, some of the musicians of the Buena Vista Social Club, among them lute player Barbarito Torres, reconfigured their artistic career in a new project. AmeriCuba is the record that Havana Maestros presented to the general public. Ten themes that, according to Torres, seek to create an understanding between the music made in the United States and the Cuban rhythms, by combining instrumentalists of the stature of Amadito Valdés (percussion) and Emilio Morales (piano) with very well-known pieces like “Stand By Me” by Ben E. King. Hand in hand with the Berman brothers, known producers of the successful Rhythms del Mundo: Cuba (2008) – where the talent of Cuban musicians and international bands like Coldplay, Maroon and U2 came together – Havana Maestros does versions of themes made popular by Missy Elliot, Jason Derulo, Otis Redding, B.o.B. and Dionne Warwick. John Pareles, a columnist with The New York Times, published in June that it is a concept that could be affected. However, what the project reveals, in such distant songs as “Stand By Me” and “Good Times de Chic,” is the Afro-Cuban foundation of so much U.S. music. With arrangements by Harold López-Nussa and Emilio...

Photo: Marcelino Vázquez Hernández/ ACN.

Fidel Castro’s ashes are buried in private ceremony in Santa Ifigenia

The first photographs of where Fidel Castro’s ashes were deposited in Santa Ifigenia Cemetery started circulating hours after the burial ceremony: Photo: Marcelino Vázquez Hernández/ ACN. Fidel Castro’s ashes were buried this Sunday in Santiago de Cuba. In a “solemn and private” ceremony in Santa Ifigenia Cemetery, the revolutionary leader was bidden his last farewell. The ceremony was not broadcasted by national television nor did it have live press coverage. Neither have photographs been published. According to what had previously been announced, those present at the ceremony were the family and the topmost Cuban authorities. Invited personalities also attended, among them the presidents of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro; of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega; and of Bolivia, Evo Morales; as well as former Brazilian presidents Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff. Argentine former soccer player Diego Maradona also traveled to Cuba for the occasion. The funeral cortege departed at around 6:40 am from Antonio Maceo Plaza de la Revolución, after the vigil that followed the mass rally to bid farewell to the Commander. Along its way to the cemetery, the convoy passed through Avenida Patria, built last year and along which the people of Santiago gathered to bid farewell to Fidel,...

Curator and art critic Cristina Vives. Photo: Marita Perez Diaz

Questions and answers from Cuban artists in Washington

Q&A with Seven Cuban Artists is the first Cuban contemporary art show held in Washington in recent years. The gallery in the International Development Bank will house the exhibition this December, in the same month of the anniversary of the beginning of normalisation of relations between Cuba and the United States. OnCuba talked with the curator, the art critic Cristina Vives, co-founder of the independent project the Figueroa-Vives Studio. One of the works in the show makes reference to white collar crime. Photo: Cortesy of the artist, Lorena Gutierrez. Why play with the idea of “questions and answers” for the name of the show? Putting together an exhibition of Cuban art with the eagerness with which Cuba is being consumed today is very easy. You put a bunch of names of key artists, you mix in the ingredient of different aspects like Afro-Cuban religion, stereotypical images, the idea of exile, etc. A couple of likeable, interesting works that will be welcomed in this context. Really easy. But, if the idea is that a collective Cuban exhibition right now cannot be pleasant, you have to question things and include a sector of Cuban artists that might be interested in problematizing rather...

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