Santiago Batisdona

Santiago Batisdona

Santi no es un superhéroe, pero le gustan los antifaces. No es una cuestión de modestia, ni de combatir el crimen, sino por el motivo más antiguo por el cual alguien se pone una máscara. Tal vez un día se deshaga de ella, pero por ahora será como Clark Kent, un simple redactor que oculta su identidad.

Ilustración: Klaus Ksp

The Book, the Fair

India, full of myths and deities, overlooks the Book Fair of Havana. A promotional leap in search of readers. It doesn’t need them, but just want to go through the cabin and leave a puff of smoke where exotic dancers, temporary tattoos, meals with different flavors (and much curry), Indian handicrafts and items that charm visitors to the main Cuban literary festival . Nothing better to promote your culture than showing the most spectacular way possible, what could be compared with an Indian bazaar to sell? If you like certain characteristic of a country, where are you looking for information? In addition to Wikipedia, in books, and that's the Fair for, to meet your needs. Or perhaps India is only a pretext to open a new world to the reader, one unknown and very different to what you are used because books are not just for knowing reality, sometimes prefer to evade them, meet nonexistent worlds, neither better or worse, just different.

Little fabric for dressing as bride

Several controversies are unleashed by these days about Marilyn Solaya´s film Vestido de Novia, which won the prize of popularity in the last edition of the Film Festival in Havana. Issues related to piracy and copyright have been discussed in the blog Cine Cubano, la pupila insomne. However, there has not been a discussion about the film itself, or had been reported defects that hinder its quality. The story can be genuine and made with the best intentions, with all the desire to denounce a homophobia still latent in the country, but if at the end of you did not do it plausibly, the film has no value, it is another case of it appeared to be but it was not. That is the first defect in Vestido...it does not convince. One of its biggest problems is the limited use of climax moments of the film, mainly because the camera is not located in the best position. To give three examples: Rosa Elena (Laura de la Uz) discovers that her father has faked disability; Sissi (Isabel Santos) removes makeup in the mirror; Rosa Elena along with two supporting characters look at the sea in search of Sissi. Those are strong...

Parishioners take communion at Mass / Photo courtesy of the author

And you’ve already gone to the Midnight Mass?

Religious traditions are many, especially when these are adapted to each culture. If we did a list, we could be half day listing them; but one of the best known and entrenched, no matter what country it is, is Midnight Mass, by its direct relationship with the birth of Jesus. Where does the name come from? The assumptions are varied. The most widely accepted is that the rooster began at midnight and in turn the beginning of a new day, and Pope Sixtus III established in the V century hold a vigil Mass at midnight on the birth of Jesus; we unite both premises and we have a hypothesis. Another indicates that the first animal to see Jesus birth was the rooster and his singing woke the other barnyard buddies to give the good news. Pseudo-theology classes aside, the midnight mass is a reality that the same can be very close to us to be an event beyond our life completely. Some arrive at December 24 in many different ways; are the typical Christmas, with Mr. obese in a red dress lurking from our fireplace (does anyone have fireplaces in Cuba?). Other, more distant from the westernized culture where the...

Cuba VS Trinidad y Tobago

Cuba makes it to the Gold Cup, not to Copa America

With a goalless draw against the Soca Warriors, Cubans lost the chance to defend its title as champions of the Caribbean and to participate in the Copa America Centennial, although they got a direct ticket to contest the 2015 Gold Cup. Directed by Walter Benitez they played two heartbreaking games before facing the Trinitarians. In the first, against French Guinea, Cuba opened the score through Ariel Martinez at the 57th minute and, thanks to several worthy saves by Diosvely War, they managed to maintain their goal unbeaten during the game; but in the 94th minute, substitute Michael Solvi sent the ball to the back of the net after a pass from Rudy Evens to seal the tie and leave the Cubans with a single point. In the second game, the tone remained and a goal in the 95th gave them the victory over the weak Curacao. The Cubans were never behind in the score; they scored first on the 15th thanks to Jorge Luis Corrales, but at almost halftime those led by Etienne Siliee tied the scoreboard thanks to a goal by Rajcomar. Cuba returned to take command six minutes after the start of the second half, this time thanks...

Ariel Martínez

The dream of Copa America

On November 10 the kickoff of the final stage of the Caribbean Cup will sound. Cuba, defending champion of the tournament, will try to keep the title and also qualify for the Centennial Copa America, an opportunity that, if it seizes it, would give Cubans the chance to rub shoulders with first elite players. Cubans are in Group A, where they share section with Curacao, French Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago. The first two selections are, a priori, below the national squad and should not cause problems, but with the Trinidadians the story is different. In the third game that will define the winner of the group (and in turn to one of the finalists of the Cup) will be a rematch of the final course of the tournament, where Cubans won with a goal in extra time. Should finish second, Cubans qualify for the 2015 Gold Cup, but will only discuss the third against the second in the B key, consisting of Jamaica, Haiti, Antigua and Barbuda and Martinique. The winners of both groups will contest on November 17 the berth for the Centennial Copa America 2016 to be held in the United States, while the runners-up will contest...

Fútbol en Cuba

Soccer: Panama and Guatemala will play friendlies against Cuba

The Cuban national soccer team will play two friendly matches in order to prepare for the Caribbean Cup, to be held during the month of November in Trinidad and Tobago, which gives a place for the champion to the 2016 Copa America and four to the 2015 Gold Cup, both in the United States. As reported by AFP, the first of these will be held in Panama City, against the Panamanians, on August20, and the second match will be against the Guatemalans, four days later, also as visitors. It is valid to clarify that none of these two games will be played in FIFA date. Of these two teams, Panama is far superior to the Cubans and it is over sixty steps ahead of Cuba in the FIFA ranking, 31 by 95. However, Guatemalans are ranked 127, far behind us. In the last three official matches between Cuba and Panama the Antilleans accumulate two losses and a draw, the last of these the rout suffered in the 2013 Gold Cup, where Cuba lost 1-6. The other two games were during the World Cup qualifier for Brazil 2014, where Cubans harvested a tie to one in Havana and then fell 0-1...

corto cubano de Alejandro Medina

Cuban Short film to participate in Warsaw and Rhode Island Festivals

The presence of Cuban works in international cinema festivals is not so common, perhaps because the film industry depression. These days, a Cuban short, Alejandrito y el Cuco, by filmmaker Alex Medina, has crept into first level festivals, including one of class A, the International Film Festival in Warsaw, which was chosen to participate in the Short Film Competition. It was also selected to participate in the Official Competition of the Rhode Island International Film Festival, where not only will be vying for the Grand Prize for Best Short Film, as the festival is one of the works of qualification for the Oscar Academy Awards . It is valid to clarify that the work was chosen among five thousand sent from over sixty countries. It was also chosen in the Independent Short Film Festival Dragon Con, which is part of the Dragon Con, based in Atlanta, Georgia, USA; This convention brings together lots of fans of science fiction, fantasy, comics and other elements of this culture. The festival is a platform that serves filmmakers to interact and become known in the world of cinema. What is special about this film? Alejandrito y el Cuco plays with the fear of children...

Football World Cup: The Effect Costa Rica

Neither Messi nor Cristiano were the talk of the Cubans this weekend. Beyond the disappointing performance of Argentina and Portugal, people on the street repeat ad nauseam something as uncertain as impossible: "If Costa Rica can play like at world finals, Cuba at least could qualify." The argument? Costa Ricans and Cubans ten years ago drew couple of games in a World Cup qualifier. From that selection today remain only Christian Bolaños and Michael Umana; well, after that result, the Technical Director Steve Sampson was separated from the national squad. That team suffered that couldn’t beat those led by Miguel Company, changed face several times before reaching the finals in Germany. However, how is it possible that a selection of CONCACAF, one of the weakest areas of the football universe, has struck in the face a couple of world champions? It's so hard to explain. Of the 15 players who stepped on the pitch in the 1-3 victory over Uruguay two play in MLS clubs, two in the Deportivo Saprissa of Costa Rica and the other eleven do it in Europe. When Cuba was defeated 3-0 win in the Gold Cup 2013 by Costa Ricans, many of the World Cup...

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