Mónica Rivero

Mónica Rivero

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,...

Foto: Trabajadores.

Cuban biotechnology

BioCubaFarma aims at exporting about 5 076 million dollars in the next five years. This Group of Biotechnological and Pharmaceutical Industries was founded in November 2012 and is in charge of the processing of materials by biological agents for producing medicines, equipment and high technological services for improving the population’s health and the generation of exportable goods and services in the current Cuban context. The Group is made up of 38 large companies comprising 21 613 workers. It emerged from the fusion of Quimefa, an enterprise for the production of medicines, and the Biotechnology Scientific Pole, leading institutions in this field in Cuba. According to Dr. Agustin Lage, general director of the Molecular Immunology Center, BioCubaFarma’s main challenges are: - To grow, rely on permanent investment capacities, reach international quality standards (which are not static), diversify exports with a commercial strategy up to par with this purpose, guarantee the constant renovation of products. Disadvantages - Scarce resources, industrial underdevelopment, economic blockade, high migration rates of qualified personnel, deteriorated work and life conditions, objective limitations in the use of TICs and connectivity and internet access. In view of this context, the development strategy by the Cuban biotechnological sector can be summarized...

Vittorio Garatti, a new project, a journey always

Vittorio Garatti arrived once again in Cuba with sketches and a new piece in mind, just like 40 years ago with the desire to see his project-dream come true at last. Garatti, along with Roberto Gottardi and Cuban Ricardo Porro, conceived Art, Ballet and Music Schools in Havana. Porro’s was finished in 2009; while Gottardi’s and Garatti’s are still between ruins and construction. Spaces damaged by time and indolence, but filled with the hopes of its many lovers. On this occasion he travelled to the Havana to open on Friday, March 7th, the exhibit Vittorio Garatti: Works and Projects, at the Wilfredo Lam Contemporary Art Center. “He is an extraordinary man”, says Jorge Fernandez, Director of this center and curator of the exhibit. “He is very committed with his work. If I had to define him I would say he is perseverance, resistance, the fact of believing in what you do and never stop dreaming, which is what has kept him alive.” The exhibition is a tour through his work: “his drawings with a special erotic feeling, some 3D molds of the school, the new mock-up he made for the Music Theater, which is a cathedral. He says he dreams...

Pedro Luis Ferrer: I still got many matches left

Prophet beards, a vibrant and deep voice. He has a clean and kindly smile. It is also clean what comes from his mouth, whether in song or conversation, if clean is pure, if pure means that there was no secondary process. Pedro Luis Ferrer says it as he conceived, as prepared at once, without much review, without elemental cautious self censorship, without permission of himself, or with all permission granted beforehand. He was a child when she started singing. "I always liked it. Actually I was being a musician and artist because I never thought being something else. "This was also due to the environment in which he grew up: "In my house there was room for poetry, my father sang tenth verse stanzas, I had two aunts who were piano teachers... My house was a center of influx of troubadours and poets." "I was making music and I was going well and people supported me. And so I became a professional one day. I was a professional first in terms of earning a living with music before starting to study in depth . I'm more self-taught but I studied, I think, almost everything that should be studied to be...

Santiago Feliu: Melody, naturalness, poetry

The concert ends and Santiago announces he will repeat some songs. He admits he did not like the ay in which some of them were played, even though we all have been especially pleased. "You can stay in the room, or leave if you wish," he says to the audience, his audience that has been faithful after decades, and knows him and loves him as he is. His public stays and accompanies him in this act of precious reparation, almost contradictory when they have already forgiven him when, with sympathetic laughter, made ​​an inexplicable pause in the midst of a song and meticulously lit a cigarette, before saying: "I swear I do not remember what the fuck follows now.” By then he was celebrating his fiftieth birthday through a recount of his work, so there were songs that he did not play long, and he had no qualms in showing it, a s he did when appealing to the collaboration of the audience during a live recording in 2000, "We're making an album, so you should applaud a little bit more exaggerated." This is just Santiago’s lack of inhibition, mixed with his natural humor, sincerity, the same that as a...

Silvio in El Chico: With hope everything sounds simple

He reached the transit community Carbo Servia on February 12th for six months, some days more, some three weeks, and five, 16, 18 years. Six months Luisa should be housed, while they will provide her a home for herself and her family. 18 years is the time she has waited, suddenly, one morning. 18 years out of which 12 she has carried a bucket of water dripping from the underside up to the second floor. She came with her ​​three-year-old daughter and already has two grandchildren and one newborn. She was 34 when she arrived and now is 52 and still waiting. She passed from 34 years to the 52 lost in the provisional, much more than a temporary condition: it is, above all, a state of mind. In the transit they do not provide a specific projection from reality, not grown from solid ground because it is suspended, this loses its limits by perennial permanence at an impasse, in the middle of something, in an ephemeral contradictory constant. The time does not advance into the future, but piles up on itself, in another dimension, but not progressive upward. She is housed in one of four buildings (identified from A...

Hitchhiking in Cuba: types and circumstances

My father had a car whose engine roared in a way that I knew very well, and not just because I was endowed with a keen ear. For a long time in my life-in a short life, you go where your daddy drives you if he has a car, even as mine was, even when the going out or errand was not his , or didn’t include him at all. That yellow Lada or metallic blue, or brown, it did not matter: it was always "the old with rouge" - is the first means of transportation I remember. It was alternated, of course, with the bicycles-in time, immediate preceding the issue that concerns me. It was the time when one or both parents of my friends and myself had always ready a seat adapted especially for us in "the horse" above all, and it seemed that there you could get anywhere. –we got almost anywhere-). But as I was saying: hitchhiking. I started practicing it without knowing the words that gave some body to its concept. With my mother, with one or other of my sisters-both are older enough than me-, I was sometimes waiting in certain corners, witnessing them...

Terralismo: cultivar el cambio

Terralismo: cultivating change

Ben Nicholson takes a quick break in the shade and mops his brow with a handkerchief, and then continues wandering the urban garden’s 10.7 hectares. He carries a notebook and wears boots and a hat. It’s hotter here than back home in far-off Chicago, but he keeps a steady pace, jotting down his impressions. He is a professor of architecture and has an environmental garden. He is interested in urban agriculture and its ties to the community, which is why he has undertaken a trip through more than 20 countries reported to have successful urban agriculture experiences. And that is why he has come to eastern Havana, to the Vivero Alamar organopónico (organic urban garden), a Basic Unit of Cooperative Production (UBPC). Founded in 1997 by Miguel Salcines, its president since then, this agricultural cooperative provides employment for 180 people from different professional backgrounds who work in its nine cost centers, areas devoted to a specific productive activity that contributes to the functioning of the rest, forming a system of complementary elements in the productive cycle. These centers include agricultural production, animal breeding, cultivation and sale of ornamental plants and fruit trees, a small industry of derivatives, production and sale...

Everyday profiles

Photos: Alejandro Ramírez Anderson Ismael learns the secrets of the land through his bare feet. “Shoes are just not for me” he says. He knows everything there is to know about grass, about roots under thick thrunks; he knows why rocks remain silent and what is to expect of the dew in clean and light mornings in the countryside. Dry leaves confide him weird truths. In the Cafetal del Padre he is always accompanied by Palomo, which he renamed: “ Lovely is not a name for a dog that works with cattle”  

Havana time machine operators

Photos: Alejandro Ramírez Anderson A city is its inhabitants, and its history — its great epics and its more modest episodes, its everyday stories. It is its idiosyncrasy, its ways of being and doing; it is a space for longings, dreams, frustrations and hopes…. A city is alive, and it has a memory; knowing where it comes from is a useful clue for imagining where it is going.

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