In the course of next week, Correos de Cuba will put on sale in all its units and newsstands, the Constitution of the Republic of Cuba that was approved in the Second Ordinary Session of the IX Legislature of the National Assembly of People’s Power, at the price of one peso in national currency. Correos […]
Author: Germán Veloz Placencia | firstname.lastname@example.org
24 de julio de 2018 22:07:37
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
The trivialization of the art of clowning is a widespread phenomenon in our society, rooted essentially in its conversion into a lucrative business.
Author: Leidys María Labrador Herrera | email@example.com
29 March 2018 20:03:13
A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippmann.
A unique music sounds and at its rhythm, the picturesque character comes out, dressed in big shoes, colorful clothes, a funny wig or hat, painted face and the unmistakable red nose. He or she stumbles forward, laughs loudly and always has a joke up their sleeve.
Surely, if we were to conduct a survey of the Cuban population about their idea of what a clown is, the descriptions would more or less revolve around the one we presented at the beginning of this report. I can bet that most people would think the question was a little silly because who doesn’t know what a clown is? But this is accompanied by another question: do we really know?
We are not far from the truth when we say that behavior and clothing largely define a clown, but they are only its superficial shell. Behind that peculiar being that we see before us, there are other elements that make up its essence and that, unfortunately, have been diluted in the limbo of having certain acting qualities, some vis comic and the idea] that with that they are already suitable to make people laugh.
However, a deeper approach to this subject allows us to understand that clowning is an art that has become trivialised and commercialised in our society. Many have turned it into a lucrative business, to the detriment of the most important function of the clown: touching human sensitivity.
From the opinion of well-known personalities of Cuban theater and some of the most faithful exponents of this type of acting, Granma approaches the dilemma of the true differences between the clown who is sustained only in the material interest, and the one who starts from the actor’s ethics, the conscious dramaturgy and the need to transmit true messages to the people.
HOW DO YOU BUILD A CLOWN?
It is not necessary to be a theatre specialist to understand that any actor or actress, when she or he plays a role, if she or he does so with responsibility for her or his art and the unavoidable commitment to the audience, is capable of changing her or his skin. During the time that a production lasts, it assumes another life, other conflicts, another reality.
Building a character doesn’t mean it’s anything like him. In other words, it is possible to assume values, ways of acting, norms of behavior, even a temperament that has nothing to do with the actor’s true personality. In the case of the clown, although there must be the same level of responsibility, ethics, and commitment, the clown and the actor are the same person. The one cannot exist without the other.
This is what a man who, like many others, began as a clown for parties and birthdays, but then decided to take a step forward, because he understood the need to dignify such an ancient and vilified art. Perhaps this is the greatest merit of the group he founded and which today has become a paradigm of clowning in Cuba, Teatro Tuyo. Ernesto Parra, its director, knows very well what the birth of a clown is all about.
“Actors in our profession have the ability to approach lives from a character. The actor in the dramatic theater is going to play the role of a doctor and does not necessarily have to have studied medicine, he can play the role of a drunkard and be a teetotaler, but in the case of the clown the difference, which is not tacit, but only the adaptation to this concept of acting, is that yes, we are playing a character who is the clown, but it has been made with the actor’s own characteristics. There is no distance between the character I am going to play and the person I am.
“In any case, the actor who plays a clown, whether it be on a birthday, in a theatre, in a circus… when the performance is over, is once again the normal person who goes home to face his routine. What happens is that this character is constructed from his own psycho-physical characteristics. The mythical example is that of Charles Chaplin, who built a Charlot, the little tramp, through his own experiences.
A similar opinion is shared by young Adrián Bello Suárez, who has carried out all his acting growth in Teatro Tuyo.
“My clown’s name is Belo, and I started to find him after I had been in the group for some time. In fact, I’d say he’s still a long way off. I have drunk from Belo and Belo from me, I could tell you that we are walking hand in hand along the same path. Because that’s what the art of clowning is all about, of finding the clown that we all have inside us which is unique for each person, and building it with your own emotions, feelings…”.
Such experiences show that playing a clown is more than just having a red nose. Perhaps it is from this ignorance that the superficial vision of those who believe that dressing up in colorful costumes and stumbling senselessly is to be a clown.
THE DEFORMATION OF THE REAL CLOWN
The children are seated awaiting the presentation. The birthday boy’s parents are also anxious to see the protagonist who, frankly, has a tight budget The time comes, but there is no music of bugles or cymbals, what begins is the thunderous reggaeton and the clown comes out wagging his waist in an act that has nothing to do with comedy but borders on the obscene.
I’m not saying this is always so. We cannot commit the sin of absolutists and say that all those who today entertain in children’s parties act in this way. But how many of us haven’t had regrettable experiences like that? The saddest thing is that this person continues to do his “job” and we continue to open the doors of birthday parties to him.
NOTE: Sound file is in Spanish:
For Rubén Darío Salazar, director of the “Teatro de las Estaciones” group, this process implies a step backwards when talking about clowning.
“The art of clowning in our region, and in Cuba specifically, has suffered a regression. This is because it is something that many people feel entitled to do without, schooling, without training. They think they can just play the clown without any of that. But the worst part is that people believe it, and they are paid and hired and they cause a distortion in the profession.
“Being a clown has long been an art form looked down upon, and I don’t know why, because we have had in our country people with a powerful history in clowning, like Edwin Fernandez, known as Trompoloco. He was an actor who played the clown with a mixture of impressive lyricism and satire. I believe that this has been lost, it has been deformed, it has been devolved, without any of us noticing that the art of clowning is the new comedy, if we take it seriously, with the discipline and commitment it demands”.
TRIVIALIZATION, A LATENT PROBLEM
Ernesto Parra himself has a similar opinion. He says the trivialization of the art of clowning is a resident problem in today’s Cuba, especially when the real perspective of any actor performing a clown is lost, driven by economic need.
“We cannot say that the art of clowning is made in a single way, nor that it has these or those typical characteristics. The clown genre, according to the master Dario Fo (Italian actor and writer, recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature), is the preparation of an artist who becomes a total actor and is the one who transmits, through humor, not as an end but as a means, an emotion, poetry, an idea, tackles a problem. It is not the stereotyped clown, of screams, of colourings, of jumps, of falls, of stumbles. Although they are elements that he uses to construct his dramaturgy, they do not constitute his main objective. That is to say, to take the spectator by the hand to arrive from humor to touch the soul and to move”.
Emptiness, lack of real, direct communication with the public, and in many cases, a total lack of tools to enrich the character, are some of the most common aspects when analyzing this phenomenon of the “multiplication” of clowns. The sharp vision of the master Roberto Gacio, who is a theatre institution in Cuba, allows us to evaluate some of the most notorious weaknesses that these clowns face.
“It is necessary to investigate, deepen, and be in a very serious position to transmit messages, not so much from social reality as from human existence. This, like other phenomena, is also marked by the loss of values, the lack of interest in personal and collective improvement and, of course, the economic factor.
“The way to save the clown’s art is to realize that you have to say things out of sensitivity, out of humanity. The clown and the clown, in general, are also like big children, who talk about serious adult things or children’s things, but with a lot of tenderness”.
Logically, like other similar dilemmas that take place within all artistic expressions, this process cannot be seen as alien to the social context, nor divorced from everyday realities or the way people perceive the world around them. These are aspects to which researcher, theatre critic, and director of the magazine Tablas-Alarcos, Omar Valiño Cedré, attaches great importance.
“There are two different dimensions to the problem. The abundance of clowns, which in reality there are not, should not be seen as excessively pernicious. It is simply an economic reality, in which people who have a certain capacity for animation, entertainment and the world of acting, seek that economic reinforcement for their profession, although they are not necessarily clowns [themselves]; and of course, there is the dimension that Teatro Tuyo and other artistic groups and entities represent, which is the dimension of the real clown, of the clown as a very singular priest of the performing art.
“Being a clown is the greatest thing in the performing arts. A real clown moves an amount of energy, of metaphors, of symbols, of abilities around him that is hardly achievable with any other scenic material. I believe that the challenges are, for all those who want to evolve from one side to the other, to know technically, spiritually and intellectually, what a clown is and how to train. Knowing how to be up-to-date, how to be effective in terms of communication and how to establish new pacts, new links with today’s public that is not the same as it was a few years ago”.
That is precisely the perspective of a group that has managed to fill theatres, to be loved by young and old and become an obligatory reference point whenever there is talk in Cuba of the worthy profession of the clown.
Ricardo Ronquillo Bello, deputy editorial director of our newspaper, was elected on Saturday as the new president of the Union of Cuban Journalists.
Published: Sunday 15 July 2018 | 01:32:49 AM
By Juventud Rebelde
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
In this responsibility, and by decision of the delegates to the meeting, he will be accompanied, as first vice-president, by Rosa Miriam Elizalde Zorrilla, member of the presidency of the trade union organization during the previous period, as well as Ariel Terrero Escalante, director of the International Institute of Journalism José Martí, and Jorge Legañoa Alonso, deputy director of the Cuban News Agency, as vice-presidents.
Raúl Garcés Corra, dean of the Faculty of Communication at the University of Havana; Arleen Rodríguez Derivet, journalist for the television program Mesa Redonda; and Ana Teresa Badía, Angélica Paredes López and Minoska Cadalso Navarro, all from Radio Rebelde, were also elected as non-professional members.
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
It is necessary to explain to the students the reason for things, their meaning and importance, and to do it with solid arguments, so that they know why they should attend the activities or be part of the processes or movements that the University Student Federation (FEU) has.
This was reiterated countless times during the 9th Congress of the organization at the Universidad Tecnológica de La Habana José Antonio Echeverría (Cujae).
As Felipe Alejandro Pérez, a student at the School of Automatics and Biomedicine, explained, apathy must be banished, increasing participation. And that can only be achieved by “infecting young people with the desire to do, with perseverance and personal example, having brigade leaders who motivate, convince, take on any sacrifice and strip themselves of inertia and formalism,” he said.
There were not a few participants who, like this young man, alluded to the fact that many times in the brigade, in the department and even in the university, activities are organized or certain tasks are called for and only three or four cats go, as they say in good Cuban. Faced with this reality, the student said, we have to better organize our processes.
In the same vein, Danhiz Díaz Pereira, president of the FEU in Cujae, stressed that the brigade is the essential cell of the organization and “in all our actions it has to be the most effective”. She added that the commitment of the members of the Federation is to make it more like them, through conscious and real participation in all processes.
Another topic of analysis was the Educating for Love initiative. It has been involving university students in alleviating teacher shortages in a number of provinces for several years. Yeslaisy Grandales Ferrales, a student at the Department of Mechanics, referred to this task as the most humane, far-reaching and socially-influential one in which she has participated, which means educating the new generations.
Olga Lidia Tapia Iglesias, a member of the Secretariat of the Party Central Committee, said that this task of impact, like others carried out by the FEU, demonstrates her concrete contribution to the economic and social development of the country. “Every day, she stressed, we have to think about how to become more useful, how to continue training a competent professional, who carries feelings, values and principles in keeping with the Revolution.
Not a few agreements emerged from the discussion: to promote university-industry relations that make it possible to train students in their skills. To propose to the departments that they hold a workshop on job placement, to analyze the need for the years in which the student is an assistant to be counted as seniority in the teaching category process and to strengthen other aspects of political-ideological work with new communication codes.
At the end of the meeting, Raúl Alejandro Palmero, president of the FEU, called on the students to act with the example and commitment of José Antonio Echeverría, and above all, to participate, because where it is not possible for the young person to get involved, share and motivate himself, the FEU loses its meaning, while if the opposite is achieved, the organisation becomes green.
“These are times to have a living Federation, which will continue to represent its members and do for the country,” he said.
“Four cats” is a Cuban slang expression used when only a few people or none show up for an organized event. I’ve no idea what significance, if any, the number “four” has in this context.
July 6, 2018
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
Dr. Lilian Valdivia García, head of the nutritional support group at the National Minimum Access Surgery Center in the Cuban capital, where she works as an intensivist, told Radio Rebelde that obesity is currently a health problem in the country.
Also a specialist in General Comprehensive and Internal Medicine, Dr. Vadivia explained that a national survey on cardiovascular risk factors reported that 42 percent of the Cuban population was overweight, of these, 47 percent were female and 37.6 percent were male; the most worrying thing was that 13 percent of the total are children, and as a result they are exposed to serious diseases.
The above, he said, has an impact on health, because if not taken up in time, these infants will become obese in adolescence and later as adults with risk factors for hypertension, diabetes mellitus, hypercolestoremia, ie, increased fat and incidence of diseases such as heart attacks, cerebrovascular diseases and increased incidence of high blood pressure, among others.
“Many patients who come to our consultations with these diseases respond favorably to a diet plan that makes them lose weight, thus compensating for their diabetes or stop being so, and others eliminate hypertension.
Dr. Valdivia Garcia also said: “As for the types of obesity, we classify the weight of the patients according to their body mass index; we calculate the size squared and divide it by the kilos of weight they weigh.
He explained that a person’s normal body mass index should be between 18.5 and 24.9; when it is above 25 and 29.9 it is said that the patient is overweight, and after 30 is considered obese, according to the different degrees that has this condition that indicates that when the body mass index is 40 corresponds to super obesity.
He categorically affirmed that this evil is preventable from childhood. A person becomes obese, among other causes, because he or she begins to have bad eating habits from a very early age. “It’s not that they don’t eat jams,” he says, “but that’s one day, without being the essence of the infant’s diet; parents usually offer them empty calories, such as soft drinks, sweets or candy.”
For Dr. Valdivia, good nutrition is provided by a balanced diet: “It is considered that in the first place are cereals and fruits, then vegetables, followed by proteins as a contribution of essential amino acids, then dairy products for the body that is not capable of producing them and then what I say to patients are the “whims” or jams, known as empty proteins that should be eaten one day as something exceptional.
The population has the false concept that only meat is protein,” he said, “but so is a dish of rice and beans because legumes are legumes; eggs are also a protein with the highest biological value that exists. Sometimes they go to the agricultural market and instead of buying fruits and vegetables, they choose empty calories and other products that do not provide the body with vitamins or other necessary nutrients.
Dr. Valdivia also pointed out the importance of becoming aware of the harmfulness of inadequate dietary habits to human health; each person has the power to stop the growth of overweight and obesity – she said categorically.
(Taken from Radio Rebelde)
The genius is in the masses, Fidel said at the Manuel Ascunce Domenech School in Santa Clara.
Art Instructor’s Day Observed
Author: José Antonio Fulgueiras and Pedro de la Hoz
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
February 19, 2001
SANTA CLARA: “The genie is in the masses, the genie is massive”: these two deep convictions were expressed by Fidel when he opened last night, in the Escuela de Instructores de Arte ManuelAscunce Domenech, in this city, the system of educational institutions of this type (15) operating in the country since last September.
The Commander in Chief made this comment when analyzing the enormous possibilities that are open to the development of talent under the conditions when the Revolution, after four decades of extraordinary growth in the number of people educational work, is carrying out a colossal program for the promotion of a general and comprehensive society-wide culture.
The event coincided with the celebration of the Day of the Art Instructor, September 18. February, date of birth of Olga Alonso, a young woman who belonged to the first batch of this speciality, of remarkable poetic sensibility, who died in an accident in 1964, near the Escambray, when She was killed. was doing her duty.
Fidel spoke with the school’s director, Pedro Díaz Guerra, and with teachers and students from downtown.
“Your historic mission,” he said as he addressed the students of the school- is that all the children of our country acquire a culture art, learn to appreciate art, that millions of children, that all of them those that are born every year and that are currently around 150 000, have the possibility of awakening artistic genius or artistic faculties they’ve got inside them. It’s to turn all those children into artists, to teach them to paint one, to work in the clay or clay to others, to teach them to enjoy what humanity has created for thousands of years, to bring them that spiritual wealth that has no limits and that human society does can create for man.” He compared that mission to the sowing of seeds of gold in our children and adolescents, while there may be a star in every human heart.
No less than 4 000 children will enter this type of school each year. students, served by cloisters in which the contribution of the following are highlighted members of the UNEAC and the HermanosSaíz Association, organizations that together with the to the National Union of Cultural Workers, have given their full support to the initiative.
Fidel emphasized the idea that the wealth of a country cannot be measured in the cold terms of the Gross Domestic Product, or of its production material only. He highlighted the incalculable benefits of the education, health, sport and culture, and resource training a priceless capital that in our country has developed in correspondence with the project of society that we built.
He contrasted our ideal of culture with the one that prevails in the world, where what he described as cultural poison is proliferating: exacerbation of violence, the erosion of national identities, an industry of the entertainment that stimulates the selfish and irrational feelings of the human being.
He expressed his confidence that we are building a kind of society that will be inspires in the noblest feelings of the human being, the brotherhood, the brotherhood, the generosity, solidarity, as well as an absolute and enormous conviction satisfaction with the society we are building, the way in which we are building it, the way in which we are doing, and the heroism accumulated in defense of that dream of society, which we temporarily call socialism, and which we will one day call socialism. communism .
In front of a square filled with students of the school of Villaclara, of intellectual and artistic personalities and guests the governors of the Venezuelan states of Portuguesa and Lara, Antonia Muñoz and Jesús Reyes, and the British rock band Manic. Street Preachers, with whom he had a good talk for a while. He developed an artistic program in which a young boy, Antonio La Villa, a student of the Commander’s presence with tenths of a second and a third of a second. dedicated to cultural mass.
Fernando Rojas, director of the National Center for Community Culture, introduced one of the most emotional moments: Fidel’s award, with the Distinction for National Culture, to Mercedes Suárez, a Matanzas instructor of Plastic Arts; to Delia Aguilar, a Camagüeyan dedicated to dance; to Nieves Armas, a Santiaguera who has excelled in choreographic creation; and to Eloy Hernández, a veteran theater instructor in Villa Clara, who represented the graduates in the first courses implemented in the early 1960s. Everyone was deeply impressed by the words with which Eloy remembered how he, a guajiro from Santa Cruz del Sur, shoeshine boy, newspaper salesman and glass container scrubber, had the opportunity to study at the School of Art Instructors at the Hotel Comodoro and since 1963 has been practicing what is more than just a profession – an undeniable vocation.
The director of the EIA Manuel Ascunce Domenech, Pedro Díaz Guerra, spoke to explain the magnificent conditions of these schools and the support received from the artistic intelligentsia, the UJC and the organizations; and the president of the FEEM of the center, Yudislaydys Cardet, made clear the commitment of the future instructors to serve the Homeland. MICONS, MINIL, COPEXTEL and the Instituto Superior de Diseño Industrial were recognized for their contribution to the development of these schools.
Forty minutes before the ceremony began, Fidel, accompanied by the Minister of Culture, Abel Prieto; the first secretary of the Party in Villa Clara, Miguel Díaz-Canel; and Otto Rivero, first secretary of the UJC, toured the installation. He exchanged with students who participated in drawing and modelling sessions and in dance and body expression practices; he received explanations about Cuban and universal painting works, particularly Picasso’s Guernica, from the collections of reproductions exhibited in the school, and he noted what the bibliographic resources and the use of audiovisual media represent for the quality of teaching.
This school has an enrollment of 359 students from the 13 municipalities of Villa Clara, who study in the specialties of Theater, Music, Dance and Plastic Arts.
The course lasts 4 years, of which 3 are dedicated to teaching and 1 is pre-professional, with internships in the cultural centres where the students come from and where they will be placed at the end of their studies.
El genio está en las masas
Fidel en la Escuela Manuel Ascunce Domenech, de Santa Clara.
Celebrado Día del Instructor de Arte
Autor: José Antonio Fulgueiras y Pedro de la Hoz
SANTA CLARA.-“El genio está en las masas, el genio es masivo”: estas dos profundas convicciones fueron expresadas por Fidel al inaugurar anoche, en la Escuela de Instructores de Arte ManuelAscunce Domenech, de esta ciudad, el sistema de instituciones docentes de este tipo (15) que funciona en el país desde septiembre pasado.
El Comandante en Jefe hizo este comentario al analizar las enormes posibilidades que se abren al desarrollo del talento en las condiciones actuales , cuando la Revolución, al cabo de cuatro décadas de extraordinaria obra educacional, lleva adelante un colosal programa para la promoción de una cultura general e integral a escala de toda la sociedad.
El acto coincidió con la celebración del Día del Instructor de Arte, 18 de febrero , fecha de nacimiento de Olga Alonso, una joven que perteneció a la primera hornada de esta especialidad, de notable sensibilidad poética, quien falleció en un accidente en 1964, en las cercanías delEscambray, cuando cumplía con su deber.
Fidel conversa con el director de la Escuela, Pedro Díaz Guerra, y con profesores y alumnos del centro.
“La misión histórica de ustedes -dijo al dirigirse a los estudiantes de la escuela- es que todos los niños de nuestro país adquieran una cultura artística , aprendan a apreciar el arte, que millones de niños, que todos esos que nacen cada año y que actualmente son alrededor de 150 000, tengan la posibilidad de despertar el genio artístico o las facultades artísticas que tengan dentro. Es convertir en artistas a todos esos niños, enseñarles a pintar a uno, a trabajar en el barro o la plastilina a otros, enseñarles a disfrutar lo que la humanidad ha creado durante miles de años, a aportarles esa riqueza espiritual que no tiene límites y que la sociedad humana sí podrá crear para el hombre”. Comparó esa misión con la siembra de semillas de oro en nuestros niños y adolescentes, en tanto puede haber una estrella en cada corazón humano.
Todos los años ingresarán en este tipo de escuela no menos de 4 000 estudiantes , atendidos por claustros en los que se destacan el aporte de miembros de la UNEAC y la Asociación HermanosSaíz, organizaciones que junto al Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Cultura, han dado todo su apoyo a la iniciativa.
Fidel hizo énfasis en la idea de que la riqueza de un país no se puede medir en los fríos términos del Producto Interno Bruto, o de su producción exclusivamente material, en tanto destacó los incalculables beneficios de la educación , la salud, el deporte y la cultura, y de la formación de recursos humanos , un capital invaluable que en nuestro país se desarrolla en correspondencia con el proyecto de sociedad que construimos.
Contrastó nuestro ideal de cultura con el que predomina en el mundo, donde prolifera lo que calificó de veneno cultural: exacerbación de la violencia, del sexo, erosión de las identidades nacionales, una industria del entretenimiento que estimula los sentimientos egoístas e irracionales del ser humano.
Manifestó su confianza en que estamos edificando un tipo de sociedad que se inspira en los sentimientos más nobles del ser humano, la hermandad, la generosidad , la solidaridad, así como una absoluta convicción y enorme satisfacción por la sociedad que estamos construyendo, la forma en que lo estamos haciendo, y el heroísmo acumulado en la defensa de ese sueño de sociedad , que llamamos socialismo, transitoriamente, y que un día llamaremos comunismo .
Ante una plaza colmada por los estudiantes de la escuela villaclareña, de personalidades de la esfera intelectual y artística, y de invitados especiales como los gobernadores de los estados venezolanos de Portuguesa y Lara, Antonia Muñoz y Jesús Reyes, y de la banda británica de rockManic Street Preachers, con los que departió durante un buen rato, se desarrolló un programa artístico en el que un jovencito, Antonio La Villa, alumno del centro , saludó la presencia del Comandante con décimas y una seguidilla dedicadas a la masividad cultural.
Fernando Rojas, director del Centro Nacional de Cultura Comunitaria, introdujo uno de los momentos más emotivos: la condecoración, por parte de Fidel, con la Distinción por la Cultura Nacional, a Mercedes Suárez, instructora matancera de Artes Plásticas; a Delia Aguilar, una camagüeyana consagrada a la danza; a Nieves Armas, santiaguera que se ha destacado en la creación coreográfica, y a Eloy Hernández, veterano instructor de teatro en Villa Clara, que representaron a los egresados en la especialidad en los primeros cursos implementados en los tempranos años 60. A todos impresionó vivamente las palabras con que Eloy recordó cómo él, un guajiro de Santa Cruz del Sur, limpiabotas, vendedor de periódicos y fregador de envases de vidrio , tuvo la posibilidad de estudiar en la Escuela de Instructores de Arte del hotel Comodoro y desde 1963 ejercer lo que es algo más que una profesión : una vocación irrenunciable.
El director de la EIA Manuel Ascunce Domenech, Pedro Díaz Guerra, habló para explicar las magníficas condiciones con que cuentan estas escuelas y el apoyo recibido de la intelectualidad artística, la UJC y los organismos; y la presidenta de la FEEM del centro,Yudislaydys Cardet, hizo patente el compromiso de los futuros instructores de servir a la Patria. El MICONS, el MINIL, COPEXTEL y el Instituto Superior de Diseño Industrial merecieron un reconocimiento por su contribución al despegue de estas escuelas.
Cuarenta minutos antes de comenzar el acto, Fidel, acompañado por el ministro de Cultura, Abel Prieto; el primer secretario del Partido en Villa Clara, Miguel Díaz-Canel ; y Otto Rivero, primer secretario de la UJC, recorrieron la instalación. Intercambió con alumnos que participaban en sesiones de dibujo y modelado y en prácticas de danza y expresión corporal; recibió explicaciones sobre obras de pintura cubana y universal, particularmente el Guernica, de Picasso, a partir de las colecciones de reproducciones expuestas en la escuela, y constató lo que representa para la calidad de la docencia la dotación bibliográfica y el uso de los medios audiovisuales .
Esta escuela tiene una matrícula de 359 alumnos procedentes de los 13 municipios de Villa Clara, quienes estudian en las especialidades de Teatro, Música, Danza y Plástica.
La carrera dura 4 años, de ellos tres son dedicados a la docencia y uno pre-profesional con prácticas en las casas de cultura de donde proceden los alumnos y en las que serán ubicados al finalizar los estudios.
THANKS TO NELSON VALDES for the Spanish original, an early reference to Migues Diez-Canel from the year 2001. He was elected President of Cuba’s Councils of State and Ministers in April 2018.
By: Enrique Ojito
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
Elena was never this far from life. She opened the window of the apartment where the unexpected drizzle came in. At that time, her mother was enjoying the adventures on TV in the living room. At that time, her daughter sought to escape for good. Before, there was an overdose of psychopharmaceuticals and intensive therapy; there was a train, an infinite whistle and the hand that pulled her off the railway line at the exact second. She wanted to get rid of her 22 years and her stormy marriage, which was not so. She climbed into the chair to say goodbye, too, from the window. And she stumbled upon the wet emptiness of the night.
Attempts and consummated suicides are not exclusive to Sancti Spíritus or Cuba. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that every 40 seconds a person is deprived of life on the planet; the number of deaths from this reason per year even exceeds the number of deaths due to armed conflicts and homicides in that period.
As international and Cuban experts maintain, this problem is not just a phenomenon of today; in the course of humanity, suicide has been valued from different cultural angles, not a few modified over time.
In ancient times, it was reasonable for Vikings and Gauls to take their own lives because of illness or old age; the Japanese resorted to it for atonement or defeat. In the Greco-Latin world, there is an extensive list of recognized figures who proceeded in this way: Socrates, Marco Antonio… In Cuba, first, the indigenous people; then, the Africans brought to the island appealed to hanging before the impotence and bitterness provoked by the Spanish colonizers, according to the book The Psychological Sutopsy: Suicide or Homicide? by Dr. Teresita García Pérez.
For the WHO, suicide – a word coined by the English writer and doctor Thomas Browne in his work Religio Medici in 1642, based on the Latin terms sui (oneself) and caedere (to kill) – is “death resulting from a suicidal act”, conceptualized by the organization itself as “any act by which an individual causes himself an injury, whatever the degree of lethal intent and knowledge of the true motive”.
The object of analysis from clinical, psychological-psychiatric, epidemiological and sociological perspectives…, such action constitutes a global phenomenon and affects both the most industrialized and the least developed nations, a reality that led to joint research between academics from the United Kingdom and the United States, who considered the high mortality rates for this cause in the “happiest countries” paradoxical; understood as happiness, essentially, as having enough money to make and buy what the person wants.
Regardless of this reductionist view, it also reveals the loss of human lives -even more so due to suicide-, whether in Japan or Switzerland, or in Cuba, with high annual rates per 100,000 inhabitants in the Americas.
This pitiful truth has been manipulated for political ends by the media to create opinion matrices against the Revolution, a project that can be improved and which has had the human being as its cornerstone, as demonstrated by the recent presentation of the report of the Greater Antilles to the Universal Periodic Review, a mechanism of the United Nations Human Rights Council, based in Geneva.
Despite the State’s efforts to guarantee the right to existence – as the infant mortality rate of 4.0 reported last year attests – 8,954 people took their own lives in the country from 2013 to 2017, a period in which suicide was among the top ten causes of death – similar to the world trend – according to the Statistical Yearbook of Cuba and Health.
Specifically, Sancti Spíritus recorded 389 deaths for this reason from 2013 to 2017, 90 of them the previous year. The latter figure, in addition to tripling the number of deaths caused by traffic accidents in 2017 here, represents the highest of the five-year period, when annual death rates from intentionally self-inflicted injuries always exceeded the national average in that period and were among the top 10 causes of death in the territory, according to the Statistical Yearbook and sources of the Provincial Health Directorate.
From previous centuries to the present day, scholars have delved into the manifestations of suicidal behavior. As early as 1820, the French psychiatrist Jean Pierre Falret stated that suicide was the result of a mental disorder; in 1838, the Frenchman Esquirol argued that it was the result of an emotional crisis. The sociologist Émile Durkheim argued in his book The Suicide in 1897 that it was the result of the interaction between the social facts and the individual motivations of the victim.
In Sancti Spíritus, each completed suicide leads to the analysis of the Provincial Technical Advisory Commission on Suicidal Conduct, which determined that the cases of 2017 were linked, to a greater extent, to personal and family conflicts.
In order to save the lives of those who demonstrated suicide attempts and, fortunately, survived, the commission itself, with the support of the municipalities’ Mental Health departments, also evaluated the attempts, which amounted to 468 last year, a number that is often distanced from reality, given the stigma that acknowledging it arouses in the social imaginary.
More than half of these events were due to family friction, conditioned by dysfunctional homes, misunderstandings and communication problems. Couple and personal conflicts also led to the attempt, significantly present in the female group of 20 to 39 years old.
However, it is a matter of concern that more than a third of the attempts in 2017 in Cabaiguán – the municipality with the highest suicide rate in the province during the period – were among adolescents, events related to the lack of communication in the family, according to Orlando Ríos Taño, head of the Mental Health Department there. This commentary is in line with the evidence found in the inquiry about the causes and factors associated with the suicide attempt in that age group in Sancti Spíritus – it would deserve a particular analysis – published in the Cuban Journal of Hygiene and Epidemiology.
Knowing that the greatest number of suicides in 2017 was concentrated in Sancti Spíritus among people aged 60 years and over, “differentiated actions are carried out in elderly people who are alone, fragile and in a state of need, with adequate follow-up of psychiatric pathologies, especially those with a high suicidal risk,” according to Ledanay Aquino Pérez, Mental Health Coordinator at the Provincial Directorate of the sector.
Orlando Ríos warns of this vulnerability when he examines it in a scenario marked by the gradual increase in the number of single-person families due to migration abroad, especially of children, a phenomenon that has plunged many of those who remain on the island into depression.
Experts have assessed the influence of depressive disorders on suicidal behavior, associated with factors such as psychological functioning and personality factors (low self-esteem, hopelessness) and the presence of psychiatric pathologies and family conditions (divorce from parents, pressure from parents on children).
The relationship includes socio-demographic, biological (terminal illnesses, somatic deformities and amputations) and social reasons: poor support and acceptance of peers, school problems, interpersonal losses, alcoholism…
Several national studies refer to the incidence of disadvantageous economic conditions in interaction with other causes, a criterion supported by the increase shown by the suicide rate in the most dramatic years of the special period in Cuba.
Prior to this, in 1989, the Cuban State implemented the National Program for the Prevention of Suicidal Behavior, a reference in the world, but not executed with similar quality in the different areas of health in the country, according to the research consulted.
This program gives primary care a leading role in the identification of individuals at risk, as noted by this reporter at the Family Physician’s Office No. 20, from Polyclinic 2, in Cabaiguán; but it can be improved in other units of this type in the same territory.
In order for the program to leave the role and be corporated, there are Technical Advisory Commissions from the national to the municipal level, in charge of systematically evaluating manifestations of suicidal behavior, followinf-up of detected cases, intervention of the Mental Health teams and training, without forgetting the certainty of Martí: “It is a crime not to oppose all possible obstacles to death”.
The WHO insists that prevention transcends the borders of health systems and its approach must be multifactorial, with a focus on causes, in order to mourn death. At the same time, it warns of the consequences of suicide: the loss of human beings, family trauma and economic costs.
These expenses include the three operations that Elena underwent at the Camilo Cienfuegos Provincial General Hospital during her two months of admission. Only a miracle saved her life after she threw herself into the void that night. Only the skill of the specialists gave back the freshness to my friend’s new face.
(Taken from Escambray)
This reflection begins with a true story: in a certain pharmacy in the capital, a patient asks for the medicine that will take him out of the crisis in which his digestive system has fallen and out of an almost unbearable pain that has caused him to go out into the street despite the fact that the doctor has ordered absolute rest.
The needy person, who has to update his or her home address papers, carries a certificate with him or her where the word “transit”, written by the doctor, can be read, but the pharmacy technique explains that the term is only applicable to transfers between provinces.
The dialogue between the needy and those who can help becomes a dead end. At some point the technique says vaguely: “Let’s see if we understand each other, let’s see if we can “solve…”. The patient gets confused and just asks, “Will they give me the medicine or not? Suddenly someone remembers that there is only one box left with the pills that they are urging and that are destined for a very critical case in the community. The patient feels almost guilty, and without having solved his problem he leaves with a bitter and surprising memory of the phrase in which he had hinted at the possibility of a solution.
Among Cubans there are terms that allude to our incessant effort to make our way through multiple difficulties: the “battle” or “struggle”, for example, serves to remind us of the enterprising eagerness, often positive, of the children of this island. But there are words that speak to us of less clean attitudes – such as the “search” – or of invitations to “solve”, to mediate in circumstances that, so humanly delicate, do not allow the inclusion of intentions of sale and purchase.
This last word is often disconcerting to the listener, who does not know the language of “help me, I will help you”: No one who has in his soul an ethical protocol in which cheating and pillaging add to the list of anti-values will be able to comfortably assume that complicity in which “aid” has a price and in the end the feeling remains that, to the right, solutions either arrive late or never arrive, unless there is a commercial option.
To tell the truth, the desire to “seek” (i.e. to find monetary or material advantages where there are resources), or this desire to “solve” – whether from the person who charges or from the one who pays – could find multiple explanations in reality: In three decades of increased economic and social difficulties, we have seen a lot of weeds grow in the shadow of emergencies and needs; life, like water seeking to run its course, has become for many a long-distance race in which almost everything is done against the clock, desperately, in a context marked by a lack of resources, bureaucracy and inefficiency in providing services, in a country that for much more than three decades has suffered the handshake of the empire through a commercial and financial blockade.
To these known and accumulated problems we must add the new challenges arising from the reconfiguration of the country in the economic and social spheres – a stage that, as a friend told me, is reminiscent of the movement of the bowels of the Earth, that rearrangement in which many customs and moral compasses seem to be dislocated while the scenarios, like the flakes of the planet, are being rearranged.
The fact that “resolving” lives among us as a style places us as a society, since it reminds us of the importance of the right-wing paths – that is, the entities that are responsible for the well-being of all – working together and doing so with agility. The other thing is that everything we design in terms of the necessary control must implicitly bring about the natural flexibility of life: rigidity and excessive restrictions are overwhelming and lead many to wonder what to do to “resolve” problems, and how to do it.
There is another inescapable aspect to this: even the ugliest attitudes can find an explanation, which does not mean that they deserve to be justified. Therefore, even if the most diverse distortions fuel the search for shortcuts, it would not be good for the dream country to wait for everything to go well in the target world to start looking inside. To rebel against brazenness and unscrupulousness at this moment seems to me to be an act of responsibility insofar as it limits the denial of virtue; it even seems to me to be an act of faith in the best possibilities for our fellow beings.
Although clients in our country can claim and assert their rights against any violation, it is worth asking what mechanisms and norms exist today to protect them.
Author: Yaditza del Sol González | firstname.lastname@example.org
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
Of course, these evils are compounded by others that affect trade in our country. These include irregularity in supplies, price-quality balance, insufficient information provided to buyers on the terms of product guarantees, few strategies and promotional initiatives, or the symptoms of apathy and mistreatment sometimes shown by staff working in stores and other establishments.
One thing is clear: to leave it to spontaneity or good faith to solve this problem would be to be naïve. The country is aware that, more than a glance, the most important thing is to take precise action, without delay, to eliminate the culture of abuse. It is not a favor to attend to the people and provide them with the service they request.
SOME OF THE COMPLAINT MECHANISMS AND CHANNELS THAT EXIST IN THE COUNTRY:
The Assemblies of Accountability of the delegate of the People’s Power of the district or private attention by this delegate.
The Attorney General’s Office and the Legal Consultations, which deal with complaints and issue consultations to citizens.
In the Councils of the Municipal and Provincial Administration, and in the companies located in the different territories where the Departments of Attention to the Population operate.
The Offices of Attention to the Population of the Communist Party of Cuba, in all its instances.
The mass media is another way for the population to lodge complaints.
SOME CONSUMER RIGHTS ESTABLISHED IN RETAIL ENTITIES.
To the satisfaction of their basic needs, through access to essential basic goods and services through the different modalities established in the country and according to their income.
The protection of the life, health, and safety of the consumer against risks caused in the supply of products and services considered dangerous, harmful and against poor quality and false or misleading advertising.
To the protection of their economic income, through fair, just and respectful treatment in the purchase and sale and contractual transactions and against coercive commercial methods or methods involving misinformation about products and services.
To the information, that is, to receive all the truthful and timely information on the different goods and services, with correct specification of quantity, characteristics, composition, quality, and price, as well as on the risks they represent.
To education and dissemination on the appropriate consumption of goods or services that ensure freedom of choice, fairness in the conduct of exchange and the preparation of the consumer to engage in responsible consumption.
To choose, which gives the possibility to satisfy the needs of consumers according to their expectations, tastes, preferences, all within a national framework and in accordance with the specific possibilities and conditions of the national economy.
To ensure that the conservation and preservation of the environment is not undermined.
To full, timely and adequate compensation for damages resulting from the purchase of the goods or services offered on the market and to effective compensation, whenever feasible, as regulated in the event of the supplier’s default.
To have access to the corresponding bodies for the protection of their rights with a view to presenting their opinions and complaints in the different instances, creating the conditions for their analysis, through agile and efficient procedures.
By Luz Maria Martinez Zelada
March 31, 2018
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
The display of many jewels at the same time is reminiscent of street vendors who used to put them on their bodies for marketing purposes, which does not reflect good taste and is shocking to most people.
But the wearers of so much shininess will say that they like to show off the brilliance of the metals and it is still a childish truth.
There is another example of the financial capacity of the ostentatious, referring to audio equipment: the more powerful, the more expensive.
Owners of powerful devices go out on the street or place them in front of the window, not so much for the purpose of listening to the music but so that everyone [in the neighborhood] knows so much about their property that they cannot sleep, hear the television or talk at home.
Other demonstrations abound, such as the dogs, man’s best friend. Some make the noble animal the object of display, dogs that must be the most expensive to walk wearing a shiny chain too.
Boasting about one’s advantageous financial situation makes one think of the sentences of José Martí, in the letter he wrote to Maria Mantilla, from Cape Haitian on April 8, 1895.
“…Too much shop, not enough soul. He who has much inside needs little outside. Whoever has a lot on the outside has a little on the inside, and wants to hide what little… ” “.
“…it is a human duty to cause pleasure instead of sorrow, and he who knows beauty respects and cares for it in others and in himself. But he will not put a jasmine in a Chinese vase: he will put the jasmine, alone and light, in a crystal of clear water. That’s the real elegance: that the glass is just the flower.
In the face of so much showing off, one might wonder if these ostentatious people lost their ability to admire the flower, influenced by the consumer society, which was alien to the roots and idiosyncrasies of the Cuban people.
(Taken from ACN)