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Mónica Rivero

Mónica Rivero

A half-empty plane was flying from Miami to Havana on March 24, just when the 14-day isolation measure came into effect for all those who arrived in the country from that day on. Photo: Mónica Rivero.

Blog on my isolation in Havana

Private jet These days flying, using the services of an airline, seems like an extraordinary and rare privilege. Now traveling on board a plane with hundreds of available seats but with only 11 people on board, as in American Airlines Flight 743 on Tuesday, March 24, gives the feeling that one is on a private jet. Or that you’ve gotten permission to do something forbidden, something already remote, although just a month ago the traffic of millions of people from point A to point B in almost the entire planet was still natural. The pandemic has filled us with ships in port and aircraft on land. Nothing sets sail, nothing takes off. These days the world seems like a stage without actors, both open and closed spaces intended for large gatherings. In life, it is our ghosts that fill avenues, squares and stadiums. The practically empty Miami airport lounges. Photo: Mónica Rivero. Miami International Airport, where I made a stopover on the way to José Martí, was a set of large empty lounges. After witnessing the movement of thousands of people, the shops, the movement of luggage, welcomes and farewells, finding that scene of silence, corridors...

Photo: Monica Rivero.

With Trump in Phoenix: anatomy of a rally

“The United States is the largest nation in history where the government does not interfere with your personal decisions, and that is what he promotes,” as New Yorker Steven Daniels explained his support for Donald Trump in the President's rally last February 19 in Phoenix, the capital of Arizona. Carrying Trump-Pence posters while chanting “Four more years!” “USA” and “We want Trump,” tens of thousands of supporters filled the Veterans Coliseum to hear new promises, such as that the American flag will be planted on Mars. He also sang the praise of the offers of his previous campaign (“the wall is being built”) and tried to ease the anguishes of his supporters: that “the United States will never be a socialist country” and that they will not have free and universal medical insurance as announced by “crazy Bernie” if he is elected President. “Universal and free” are words that provoke an automatic and passionate reaction of rejection in this audience. They say it's communism and they don't want it in a country where tens of thousands die annually because they don't have health insurance. Photo: Monica Rivero. Trump followers come to listen to him to support...

Photo: Nera Valentic

Two Nogales: Where Mexico and the US have the same name

Milagros has never touched her youngest grandson, even though she sees him once a week. The baby is a year old and lives in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico. His grandmother lives in Nogales too, but on the other side of the northern border, in Arizona. Her daughter travels half an hour to the border with the United States, and shows her mother Dario in her arms. There is another reason for this border fence crossing encounter. Milagros' eldest grandson is also Mexican, but he studies in the United States. He stays during the week with his undocumented grandmother, and every Friday she takes him from school and brings him to the Morley Gate transit point, where tens of thousands of people come and go every day. Like other border cities, both Nogales, Sonora and Nogales, Arizona are trafficking channels: drugs to the north, weapons to the south; despite attempts to reinforce and add security to the fence, that technically is not the wall that President Donald Trump likes to announce on television. Until 2011 it was a precarious fence that separated the community along the 3.6 mile long stretch. Before that, it used to be an ordinary fence. Historically, the two...

"Zara, you have to stop," slogan of the viral campaign that Clandestina has started to denounce a possible plagiarism of its creations. Photo: Ernesto Mastrascusa / EFE.

Clandestina vs Zara: subtle inspiration or vulgar plagiarism?

"Actually, I’m in Havana" is a slogan that is immediately related to Clandestina, the first urban fashion line founded in Cuba in 2015, a private enterprise that has grown into a kind of millennial icon on the island. It turns out that Clandestina has denounced that Zara, the famous Spanish fashion house, sells a T-shirt using a very similar slogan: "Mentally I am in Havana." The resemblance is obvious. "The 'Mentally…' was already too evident, because our ‘Actually, I'm in Havana’ is what we have sold the most, it is something that connects Clandestina with the public a lot," Leire Fernández, founder of the store with designer Idania del Río, says to OnCuba. https://www.facebook.com/clandestina99/posts/2351632924884565 It isn’t the first time that a Zara collection uses resources that are too reminiscent of the Cuban store's collections. Customers from different countries have sent videos or photos of T-shirts or stores where these "similarities" are obvious. "The first thing was when our collection ‘País en Construcción’ was just coming out, Idania received a message showing her the ‘Under construction.’ Then we received the one of ‘Delete the drama,’ which was a bit strong," says Leire about the...

Haydée Milanés. Photo: May Reguera.

Haydée Milanés and Chico Buarque sing to Pablo

The Deluxe edition of the album Amor by Haydée Milanés presented on March 8th her new guest: Chico Buarque. "I always had the idea that he would participate in this album honoring my father's work. He is an artist who, in fact, has also had a personal and professional relationship with him," Haydée says about her decision to invite the Brazilian for this duo with a song by Pablo. "'Todos los ojos te miran' is not one of my father's oldest songs," says the musician and singer. "It came out in 1991 in the album Canto de la abuela. I would say it is one of the least known, in spite of being beautiful, especially because to my understanding it is not a common song about women." The 4-minute song has a piano arrangement by Cucurucho Valdés, which gives it a different musicality from the original. "His interpretation," Haydée says, "is wonderful, and I feel that it goes very well with the song." Haydée, born in 1980 and mother of a girl, gives more and more importance to "having songs that talk about women in their complexity, beyond the 'how cute you are' or 'you left me,' topics that are...

My parents of the others

I thought - and at some time said – that the story about Cuba’s migration drama was an exaggeration. That it wasn’t such a big thing if persons were leaving because they wanted to and that, also out of their own decision, others stayed. That in the end it was a political game of the sides, placing the people in dilemmas. That’s how I thought until the big family parties ended and my friends left. And all the drama hit me. Two of my girlfriends told me, on the same day, that they were leaving. One in the morning, the other in the evening. It was like in the movies. That coincidence was like some prefabricated drama. Both of them left with teary eyes. They had tried many things before making that decision and, like for so many others, Cuba ended up giving them the last push out of the island. The first notion I had that they weren’t here was not being able to talk to them on the phone. It was the end of me calling to tell them: “Turn on channel 6 and look at what so-and-so is saying,” and continuing the conversation in person, commenting, going...

Edmundo Desnoes. Photo: William M. Martin.

From Juan Pérez to Edmundo Desnoes

A video conference from Vedado to Upper West Side in New York took us to Edmundo Desnoes’ living room. At 88, he celebrated the technology that was allowing us to talk: “everybody criticizes it. They say one loses with it…, well I believe one gains. Every cloud had a silver lining. Reality always has two edges: an edge that cuts and an edge that cures.” Lezama told Juan Edmundo Pérez Desnoes that the magazine Orígenes would not publish a Pérez, and that’s how his signature came about. “There’s where the Desnoes came in. When I want to get lost among the people I’m Juan Pérez again.” As a child he spoke Spanish with his Cuban father and English with his American mother. I was “the son of the American, and that gave me that bicultural question between the United States and Cuba.” “Even today relations between the Cubans from the island and the Cubans of the exile should be closer,” he says. “Cuba is a tree that has its roots on the island and the branches and leafs subject to all the accidents of the time.” It’s been 50 years around these days that Memories of Underdevelopment (Tomás Gutiérrez Alea)...

Photomontage of “…Es la esperanza” (It’s hope), by Gabriel Guerra Bianchini. Photo: Iván Soca.

Heaven on Earth

  A Havana Malecón that doesn’t contain the sea, but is rather a cloud lookout point. The very city flooded in white steam…. That is what Gabriel Guerra Bianchini fantasizes, breaking “the damn circumstance,” “Make my wish come true of bringing us at least a horizon,” the photographer asks. “Allow me to fill this plaza with clouds; they are my utopia, the horizon and hope.” The clouds are the ones he has photographed for a long time; the plaza is that of Havana’s Cathedral Square, which in the 498 years the city celebrated on November 17 made its premier as an open-air gallery. Ten giantographies make up “…Es la esperanza”; for Bianchini, his “most desired personal exhibition.” The works, printed on canvas, take up the arches of the traditional Havana square. The creation process, Gabriel explains, is very simple. “It is the superimposition of two photos, two spaces. The clouds I have collected for years and spaces of my Havana with their characters.” He also tries to make “each cloud fit in, in the direction in which the light is shown as well as its tones.” Memorandum Why clouds? “In the midst of so much chaos,” says Gabriel, “drawing a...

Silvio Rodríguez in Summer Stage. Photo: Gabriel Guerra Bianchini.

Silvio’s angels in New York

Silvio Rodríguez sang “Cita con ángeles” on the natural stage for that song. At least three misfortunes of the “winged beings from another world” have an intense connection with New York: Martí, the “angel on horseback”; John Lennon, shot down in front of “Central Park” full of people and the “thousands who fell” in the attack on the twin towers of the World Trade Center 16 years ago. “I dedicate this song to the martyrs, to the innocent people of that day,” said Silvio. The September 11, 2001 attack against the twin towers was the macabre spectacle with which we entered the new millennium, a demolishing blow in the heart of the so-called world capital that has again received the Cuban trova singer, seven years after his last performance in the United States. Silvio in concert in New York’s Summer Stage. Photo: Gabriel Guerra Bianchini. To this is added that for him “New York is a partly mythological city…. It has a special fascination for me because it was the hometown of Whitman, a poet I always greatly admired. And for having taken in during fundamental years the genius of Martí.” The repertoire included songs from...

Photo by Monica Rivero

The dreamers protest in Manhattan

The president of the United States continues in his effort to dismantle Obama’s legacy. This time he went after the DACA: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a program endorsed by an executive order that since 2012 has allowed some 800,000 young people to not be deported. Technically speaking, now they could be returned to the countries from where their parents immigrated and where many have never lived. “Immigrants are welcome here!” dozens of U.S. citizens and activists defenders of immigrants shouted last week in the intersection of 5th Avenue and 57, in Manhattan: the coordinates of the Trump Tower. The elimination of the DACA was announced on September 5. Trump hopes that Congress will replace it with new legislation before it completely expires on March 5, 2018. He asked Congress to seek to prioritize the legal entry of persons who speak English and have high-level skills. “I am a U.S. citizen and feel that the dreamers are like me, even though they arrived when they were 6 months or two years old. This is the only country they know, it is their land. They are working hard, studying, making enormous contributions to the economy,” said Ryan, one of the participants...

Richard Blanco, navigator of reconciliation

The “presidential poet” cries once in a while. “I like to cry, I can’t help it,” and he laughs. He is smoking in the porch of a vintage café on 23rd Street, in El Vedado. This time he came heading a literary delegation of CubaOne Foundation, together with writer and anthropologist Ruth Behar. We spoke on the last day of his eighth trip to Cuba, the first accompanying Cuban-American millennials to get to know Cuba, to build relations and to explore his own family history. The son of Cubans, born in Spain and brought up in Miami, Richard Blanco recited on January 2013 his poem “One Today” in the second investiture of Barack Obama. And in 2015 “Matter of the Sea” or “Cosas del mar” at the reopening of the U.S. embassy in Havana. “For all those who thought that not even the sea could separate us,” he said then, “the waves don’t know from what country they are or where they crash.” What do you do when you’re in Cuba? Do you walk? What is your route, what is the Cuba that you look at? Each trip to Cuba is different. It always changes. Since 1994, when I came during...

Conga for diversity, from La Piragua to the PabellónCuba at the 10th Cuban Day against Homophobia and Transphobia. Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez.

One conga, one march

"I was virgin by that side. I had never dressed like that before. It was not my intention at all to draw attention. But I wanted to express myself completely, finally at my 55 years", says Henry Dougherty, a Cuban-American who participated in last Saturday's conga for tolerance, on the 10th Day against Homophobia in Cuba. "I felt I would have a better chance of doing it here, that it would be safer being me, without any limitations. I do not know why. I just felt it was something more real, it feels very real to me. I have been in many gay pride parades everywhere, and this one is very beautiful", he said under his rainbow wig and wearing a red dress that exposed the hair on his legs. Henry Dougherty and Luis Rondón. Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez. "I'm going to make your Facebook viral today with this photo," a transgender joked with another while taking a picture of her next to Mariela Castro, just before the conga began, which started from the Piragua to the Pabellón Cuba with a carriage and a pair of convertible cars included. "Yes to socialism, not to homophobia" was one of the slogans...

Photo: Lisette Poole.

The 8,000-mile and 48-day photo

On May 13, 2016, Marta Amaro, 52, and Liset Barrios, 24, had left Havana. They had 13 countries, 10 illegal border crossings, kilometers and kilometers on wheels and on foot, traffickers ahead of them to reach the United States. They were pushed by the hunger for what had been promised, and the fear of not getting there on time. Marta (R) and Liset (C) in Marta’s home with her children, while both were preparing to leave in a few days. Photo: Lisette Poole. When in December 2014 Presidents Obama and Castro announced their change of direction in bilateral relations, many Cubans saw the coming of the end of a policy that had given them all the guarantees to emigrate to that country. A total of 56,406 Cubans entered the United States just in 2016: 34,128 more than two years before. An exodus. We had seen a great deal of the arrival, but nothing about the journey. Lisette Poole completes the photo of the migratory drama. Now we know a bit more about the makeup of the 8,000 miles – 12,874.75 kilometers – and some 48 days. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnX18fUvKe8 How did you decide to register this? The idea...

Photo: Ismario Rodríguez

On the (other) day that the sea came in

Muddy streets, workers in rubber boots, daring photographers, flooded basements, debris everywhere, destroyed walls, waves still hitting the Malecón and the avenue, trucks with wet tires, mattresses being aired, wet, shaking dogs…. That’s how the Vedado district dawned this Tuesday. This Monday January 23, as happened a year ago, there was an encroachment of sea in the low zone of Havana. Slight and moderate floods had been announced. “That’s exactly what they said,” complains Alina when confirming the destruction the water caused in the crafts fair where she works, on 1ra and B, facing the sea. Yuri, another artisan, lost some 150 of 200 pairs of shoes, “others were left without any.” He kept them in a small container that the force of the waves dragged for more than 20 meters. “We had placed them at the height in which we thought they would be safe. It’s been a long time since there had been such a big flood,” he said. When encroachments are forecast in the low zone of the city, the artisans place their merchandise on high places, while the neighbors do the same with their refrigerators, mattresses, furniture and, when they have to,...

Photo: Ismario Rodríguez Pérez

Fernando Pérez in his metamorphosis

If there is someone for whom Havana is a set that is Fernando Pérez. Here are his films, brewing in plain view. He feels them and he films them: Clandestinos, Madagascar, Hello Hemingway, La vida es silbar, Suite Habana, José Martí. El ojo del canario, Madrigal, La pared de las palabras, and announced for next December is the premier of Últimos días en La Habana, his most recent production. Fernando Pérez talks with OnCuba and describes his film as a “happy drama” that started having a title only apt for Cubans. “In this film, for reasons that the spectators will discover when they see it, the title ‘Chupa pirulí’ attracted me a great deal. The immediate reaction was laughter or confusion. ‘Is it a comedy?’ ‘No, it’s not a comedy, it’s a happy drama.’ And the confused would say to me: ‘But that isn’t one of your films.’” Co-producer José María Morales advised that a second title be found, more “international,” and that’s how Últimos días…came up, which when screened in Havana will keep the wink of the initial title. Últimos días en La Habana or Chupa pirulí hopes to represent the drama of the major part of...

Mr. Masaru Watanabe in OnCuba. Photo: Regino Sosa.

“Cuba continues fascinating the Japanese people”

Masaru Watanabe, Japanese ambassador to Cuba, was enthusiastic when he found out he would come on a diplomatic mission because he has always been a fan of Cuban music. “Moreover, everyone I told I was going to Cuba said to me: that’s great, the country of opportunity!”, the ambassador tells OnCuba during a conversation about bilateral relations and a propos the Japanese prime minister’s visit to the island some weeks ago. “Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit has been a tremendous achievement. We only have a prime minister, and it’s rather difficult for him to normally leave the country, and his coming to Cuba is something that hadn’t occurred in the last 400 years,” Watanabe commented. What are the principal commercial and political changes this visit represented? This first visit by a Japanese prime minister to Cuba in our 400 years of relations was of great importance. Both countries’ heads of state had the occasion to sustain relations of friendship and trust. We were also able to establish a mechanism of dialogue between the two foreign ministers with a view to speeding up bilateral as well as multilateral cooperation, with third countries. Now with a Cuba that promotes political, economic and...

Sylvester Turner and his delegation with Jeffrey DeLaurentis in Havana. Photo courtesy of interviewee.

Houston mayor: we want to be ready when the embargo is lifted

In late September Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner made a three-day visit to Cuba to explore collaboration opportunities in the areas of energy, health, sports, energy, commerce and art. Turner was accompanied by representatives of the Texas Medical Center, Houston Port Authority, Houston Airport System, Houston Community College, Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, United Airlines and several Houston-based companies, in what was his first commercial mission and the first time a Houston mayor visits Cuba. Hours before the UN voting on the blockade and only days after President Obama made public another package of measures to make more flexible bilateral relations with Cuba, we talked with Mayor Turner about his trip and the future of relations between the island and Houston, Texas. “Hopefully, our visit will convey just how important Cuba is to Houston and Texas,” said the mayor to OnCuba. “We know there are a lot of things happening between the White House and Cuban leadership that will take care of themselves.  In the meantime, I want the people of Cuba to know we are eager to begin building a relationship.  We have a lot to learn from one another.  This trip was about beginning the dialogue.” Taking into account...

Jill Biden in Cuba. Photo: Ismario Rodríguez Pérez

Jill Biden: Culture is the way to working together

Before boarding the Air Force Two at the end of an intense weekend in Cuba, Jill Biden said to OnCuba that "everyone in Cuba was very warm and friendly" with them, that she saw strong women, met the ministers of education, labor, the director of the Pedagogic Institute, women entrepreneurs...very strong women". The so-called Second Lady, wife of U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden, and the delegation that accompanied her, this Sunday took off from Camagüey’s Ignacio Agramonte Airport en route to Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic. Biden, who is a close collaborator of Michelle Obama, said that "I really think that the culture of Cuba is so exciting and so vibrant that I think that is the way our two countries can work together". With her visit to Camagüey, Biden has become the first U.S. high-ranking official to visit a Cuban city outside of Havana in several decades. Jill Biden and the Habana Compás Dance Company. Photo: Ismario Rodríguez. The U.S. delegation also comprised United States Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Catherine Russell, who gave statements to OnCuba about the visit. She said that "we are seeking the empowerment of women worldwide for two reasons: One because we think...

Rashid Mairza Al Mulla, ambassador of Qatar to Cuba. Photo: Gabriel Guerra Bianchini.

Qatar in Cuba: A Moment of Splendor

The construction of two five-star hotels and the partnering of Qatar Airways and Cubana de Aviación are just two of Qatar’s investment projects in Cuba. The economy continues being one of the principal channels for the bilateral relations that began in 1989 when that State became the first Arab Gulf country to have diplomatic ties with Cuba. The small peninsula, with barely 300,000 inhabitants more than Havana, has the third largest world reserve of natural gas and is one of the planet’s countries with the highest per capita income. It has the highest human development index in the entire Arab world. Qatar was one of the States attracted by the new Cuban Foreign Investment Law of 2014. The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamin bin Hamad Al Thani, visited the island in late 2015, which represented a boost to bilateral relations, especially in the commercial sphere. In early September it was announced that the state-run Qatar National Bank (QNB) would open an office in Cuba, thus becoming one of the 10 foreign banks with representation on the island. OnCuba talked with Mr. Rashid Mairza Al Mulla, ambassador of Qatar in Havana, to get to know the details about these projects. [caption...

Parawifi . Photo: Courtesy of the interviewees.

A Cuban Idea to Comfortably Connect to Internet

Since July 2015, when the first 35 WiFi points were inaugurated in Cuba, it became a common spectacle. They were called “Sidewalk WiFi.” Cubans started crowding together with their cell phones or laptops in streets, corners, gardens, plazas or parks, brought together because of the long-awaited connectivity. More than a year later, with 200 points fitted out, the panorama is the same. “Out in the open, exposed to the elements, with insecurity, without privacy…,” Luis Ramírez, the Cuban designer who together with his colleague Michel Aguilar has conceived a “Modular system of urban furniture for the WiFi zone in Cuba,” or Parawifi, as they called it, points out. Parawifi . Photo: Courtesy of the interviewees. For creating this design Luis and Michel went to observe these dynamics and their conditions. “We felt the rigor of the sun and rain,” they say. Ramírez adds that the irregular conditions also favor illegal activities. “The reselling of cards, the rental of spaces, interface operation…. Moreover, there was interference with those public spaces’ other functions.” Parawifi has been chosen to participate in the first London Design Biennial being held September 7-27, and which in addition to Cuba only has representations...

Photo by Ismario Rodríguez Pérez

Investors in energy and infrastructure take a peek at Cuba

Seventy companies from 11 countries met in Havana from September 1 to 2 at the 1st Energy and Infrastructure Summit, a meeting where high-ranking officials from Cuban state entities presented them with business possibilities in terms of energy. Organized by New Energy Events, IJ Global and the Center for Studies on Renewable Energy Technologies (CETER) of the José Antonio Echeverría University Center (CUJAE), the summit forms part of the policy to increase energy independence, decrease costs in the sphere, guarantee the supply to all sectors of the economy and the population, and reduce the emission of greenhouse effect gases. According to Rosell Guerra, director of renewable energy of the Ministry of Energy and Mines, in Cuba the use of renewable sources currently does not exceed four percent in the production of electricity. The authorities hope that it will be 24 percent in 2030, and are planning that they cover 60 percent of the increase in consumption forecast for that period. Guerra affirms that the island has a great potential in that sphere. In the archipelago there is “high solar radiation throughout the year, a growing production of sugarcane, forest biomass and wastes from agricultural harvests, as well as a significant...

Photo by Ismario Rodríguez

Infiniti: Behind the wheel on a return trip

When he was 8 years old, Alfonso Albaisa only spoke Spanish. He was born in Miami, but until then his parents had considered that the child did not need to master the language of a country they were just passing through. But what initially would only be a temporary stay kept being extended and the time came when they decided to enrol him in a school where education in English would integrate him more fully. It was 1972. "They did not want to stay in America, but after about 8 years they thought that maybe they had a new home," a bilingual Albaisa that mixes Spanish and English tells OnCuba 44 years after his first visit to the island. Since April 2013 he has been the Executive Design Director for Infiniti, the luxury car brand Nissan created by the Japanese. Photo by Ismario Rodríguez He came to Havana to present its first model. Infiniti Q60 2017, the first new car to Cuba from the United States in 58 years and the first model of its kind to enter the country. "The paperwork was incredible" Albaisa commented in an exchange with the public at the Gorría Workshop...

US Mayors in Cuba: 38 years later

"If we went around the USA asking people about why we don’t have relations with Cuba I’m sure that 99 percent of them wouldn’t be able to give a single answer," said Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, mayor of Baltimore and president of the US Conference of Mayors. 38 years after its official visit to Cuba, the organisation returned to the island by invitation of the Cuban government for a sojourn between the 25th and 29th of May. Led by Rawlings-Blake, the delegation is comprised of three representatives of higher level: the vice-president and mayor of Oklahoma, Mick Cornett; the Second vice-president and mayor of New Orleans, Mitch Landrieu; and the CEO and Executive Director, Tom Cochran. In a press conference in the Hotel Nacional they announced that as a result of the trip they would not be signing a specific agreement, but that it would act as a departure point for future exchanges. "Our aim has been to start a dialogue that we hope will continue from the USA. We would like to know how we can hold exchanges with our Cuban counterparts and to know how we can work with them (…) We are anxious to share ideas in the evolution...

Photo: Alain L. Gutierrez Almeida

Chanel to the Rhythm of the Conga

A “historic and mischievous revolution that will last in the annals of the house’s spring ritual.” That’s how Chanel described her fashion show of the Cruise 2016-2017 Collection in Cuba. The avant-garde brand of world fashion was in Havana, and the Paseo de Prado was the scenario chosen to present the Cruise 2016-2017 Collection. Karl Lagerfeld, designer and artistic director of Chanel, is used to producing grand set designs for his presentations. This time, the city itself served as the entire decoration. Tobacco, tropical vegetation, bright colors, rumba, “almendrones” were the Cuban motifs alluded to by the fashion Kaiser. The thread of the collection was the reinterpretation of the guayabera shirt, which Lagerfeld named “the Cuban tuxedo”. The style of La Maison and Cuban fashion were combined and were present in the same peculiar runway. More controversial signs would be the play on words implicit in the slogan “Viva Coco / Cuba libre,” stars, berets and clothes of military inspiration. The participants in the fashion show had left from the Hotel Nacional de Cuba to the intersection of Prado and Neptuno streets, in Old Havana, moved by a caravan of more than 150 classic automobiles, convertibles, in pastel colors. In...

Cuban doctors

Containers of knowledge

Today, Cuba's main export good goes out of its airports in the head of the temporary travelers. In the case of the island, if we are talking of foreign trade, the times of huge amounts of cane sugar, cigars, coffee and nickel were left behind. The export of professional services is a growing worldwide trend, which was strong from the 1990s, and is substantial for the survival of a locked, indebted and soft loans hungry economy as the Cuban. In 1950 our exports of goods accounted for 93.48 percent of total sales to foreign agents, and four decades later, the situation was similar (91.15 percent); in a period of just four decades the balance has been reversed and in 2007 only accounted for 35.79 percent .Since in 2005, out of the total Cuban exports, 70 percent was of services. At the end of 2006, services accounted for 76 percent of gross domestic product and 70 percent of our total exports. According to Yilian Exposito Jimenez, CEO of the Distributor of Cuban Medical Services SA belonging to the Public Health Ministry, more than 50,000 Cuban doctors are working in 66 countries in Latin America, Africa and the Middle East. Of these,...

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