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: Félix López
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
We come today to young Alejandro’s third and most complicated paradox: “If not socialism, what do we have left?” It would seem our young man was looking for an exit on the expressway, but I don’t think so since he already made it clear he goes for a cool socialism. Well? Nothing, I can see he wants and needs to know what the non-socialist option has in store for us. And I will answer him without using the worn-out tale of the Big Bad Capitalistic Wolf devouring the Proletarian Little Red Riding Hood.
What’s at stake is a lot more than a remake of a children’s story: history, maybe life itself; our ecology and future; our happiness and existence. Socialism is all that and even more: the sworn enemy of selfishness and inequality, boundless consumption and violence, warmongering and expansionism, drugs and pornography, a lifestyle based on foolishness and glamour… all synonymous with capitalism, designer of a society where –contrary to Martí’s precepts– the more you have to show off, the more valuable you are; where it’s not how you think but how well you’re dressed and what brand your cell phone is what matters; where people’s worth is measured by their fortune –ergo, the have-nots are not people– and the ID cards have been replaced with credit cards; where a mall is more worshipped than a university; where, according to Eduardo Galeano, to praise a flower you say, “it’s so beautiful you’d think it’s plastic!”
If not socialism, Alejandro, barbarism would be the only option left to us. I’m sure that capitalism would waste no time in presenting us with an oasis of spotless showcases and the mythical junk food franchises would compete for the best spots downtown where they could create a mirage of lights and affluence, as they did in the former USSR… and all the while that artificial bubble would be surrounded in a flash by a poor area with no schools but teeming with gangs; with no jobs but many prostitutes; with nothing to dream about but lots of drugs to forget that fact; with no quality lifestyle but the required TV set to sell you all kinds of comforts… and you bet I’m not even mentioning the terrible dangers fueled by deep-seated hatred.
There’s another, simpler and more realistic answer to Alejandro’s question: you either make sure you become an enterprising optimist and strive to build a cooler socialism –so you can keep your freedom and at the same time have a better and happier life– or risk your neck at the Russian roulette in a casino and end up finding out that in the realm of “every man for himself” even your smile can be mortgaged. It’s no coincidence that Silvio Rodríguez, who has traveled around the world and gives us through his music a kaleidoscope of life, voiced his support of a perfectible socialism in his capacity of Deputy to our National Assembly of the People’s Power, making it clear that we can improve ours and we must do it by ourselves.
President Raúl Castro warned in a recent speech that he had not been elected to restore capitalism in Cuba and invited all Cubans to discuss what kind of socialism we want. If we ever lose the gift of participation the Revolution will have lost its sense of direction. Hence the importance that we, our parents and our children, that is, three or more generations of Cubans –in one of which Alejandro belongs– take part in this get-together and engage in a collective reflection free of slogans and mechanistic attitudes.
I feel certain that our socialist values will come out stronger as a result. Not long ago, on the occasion of the Cuban Revolution’s 50th birthday, a number of young intellectuals were invited to talk about it and the realization of the socialist project. What follows is just a thumbnail sample of their comments sufficient to understand how necessary and comprehensive is the debate awaiting us:
Julio César Guanche: “In 1959, the Cuban Revolution gave birth to a beautiful specimen of utopian socialism and implemented on Cuban soil a significant part of Rousseau’s great ideal: universal citizenship, a sovereign society, and social justice. Fifty years later, Cuba realized that a revolution is not the ultimate goal, as every thing conquered must be re-conquered and changing with the times is the only way to move on”.
Ariel Dacal: “We must publicly discuss how we understand socialism and what to do to make it more effective in its quest for an anti-capitalist alternative, which entails as much social justice as possible. People’s education, culture, technical ability, feelings and political knowledge are underrated and in some cases wasted. In order to reverse that situation we must make qualitative changes in the way people get involved in the management and control of their daily individual and public life, both as workers and community members”.
José A. Fernández: “Our Socialism has fought against poverty, capitalism, imperialism and its worst manners –war and terrorism– as well as against the immobility of state bureaucracy, political ignorance, the opportunism of the alleged extremists, the tiny internal opposition and the strong external opposition, the ghost of the ‘siege’ that prevents us from trusting our own potential to be freer… We have contributed the beauty of a whole people of women and men forged with blood and fire, blockade and militia, lack of resources and a wealth of wisdom and faith in the justice we have earned”.
I hope that both young Alejandro and those who read these comments found in them food for thought, issues to debate, new questions and some answers. Many people deem a discussion about socialism in present and future tense a thorny subject. Rest assured that if we do it in public, using a pro-positive key instead of drawing up an inventory of problems, we will no longer be treading on waste land. The forest is crawling with snipers.
We have to keep creating and learning if we want to make progress and be better. With the energy of our people and Fidel’s endless supply of creative thoughts we have done what once seemed impossible: we saved socialism.
Author: Félix López
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
Why does socialism seem more concerned about ideology than about aesthetics?, young Alexander asked, his question undoubtedly originating with his concept of a cool socialism: a just, nice society, estranged from capitalism’s “every-man-for-himself” laws and free from any ugliness, sloppiness, vulgarity, mediocrity, bad taste and boredom for good measure. To young people, “being cool” means hip, fashionable and graceful, the kind of synonym Alejandro chooses for his life.
Let’s come to the grips with his poser. The praxis, to be sure, ended up leaning to the ideological side, but I think the idea of favoring ideology over aesthetics never entered the mind of the socialist theoreticians or the letter of the classics. Lenin, for one, warned us that disseminating ugliness and annoyance was by no means good revolutionary communication. A case in point is Cuba, where plays, movies, books and museum exhibitions became real crowd-pullers following the democratization of culture and seeing a worker enjoying a classical ballet or a scientist shaking her hips like one possessed to the rhythm of a popular band is no longer surprising.
Cuban culture is the perfect example that most people want socialism free of any gaudiness. Many of us brag about the criollo, Martí-oriented and Caribbean nature of our Revolution without overlooking the benefits and influence –both positive and negative– of the Krim TV sets, the Moskvich cars, the Hanka and Danka cartoons, the incomprehensible jokes of Ferdinand the Clown, and the “proletarian chivalry” clichés. Or the avalanche of luggage bursting at the seams with bad taste that our relatives in Miami are bringing here as we speak. Or the blue jeans with golden dragons embroidered on the pockets that a Cuban state purchaser –a très unchic one, by the way– brings from overseas to supply our department stores.
Alejandro, make no mistake: Marx and Lenin dreamed about one thing, but the final outcome after the [mis]interpretations was another matter altogether. Let me give you one example: in the months following the triumph of the Russian revolution, the avant-garde currents were deemed a natural complement to revolutionary policy. Constructivism flourished in the visual arts, while poetry and music praised all non-traditional and modernist forms… until one day that the illustrated bureaucrats let their criticism run free, saying that impressionism, surrealism, Dadaism, cubism and other modern styles were full of subjectivist principles –which crashed head-on with dialectical materialism’s objective aspirations– and ruled it was “bourgeois art”.
That’s how the curtains of cultural diversity were drawn and socialist realism came on stage, aesthetic flaws and all, convinced that only the topics touching on politics and the working class were worth the effort. Then the USSR exported it most other socialist states, where the doctrine took on various degrees of significance… only to see its eagerness to describe people’s simple life –with Maksim Gorky’s work as one major exponent– become swamped in a dogmatic and exclusionist vision of socialism that eventually harmed the mission of its culture.
It’s a commonly held, albeit wrong, belief –often used as a justification– that a poor, underdeveloped country can’t afford to think about aesthetics when it has so many other fish to fry, namely to feed, shelter and clothe its population. A comfortable economic and financial situation makes everything easier, I have to give you that, but at the same time I flatly refuse to second such ode to misfortune. My grandma used to say something became a canon at home: “Poor but honorable; patched but clean”. Our greatness lies in surmounting that crest of hardship and being different.
In my previous comment I asked: “How much longer do we have to wait until our builders, food service workers and everyone else in charge of making people’s life happy rather than miserable become steeped in the excellence we have achieved in research, sports and culture?” Well, here’s another question: how did we manage to remain immune from the unsightly contamination of socialist realism and even oppose it with a recognized movement of graphic designers, filmmakers with a soul of their own and protest singers who leaped over the bureaucratic censors and became a poetic monument to Cuban culture?
Luckily, we don’t have to go out in search of the answer. Cuba has every reason to take pride in its indigenous culture, its own creations, and its people’s commitment to the Revolution and boldness to conquer the bureaucrats’ Golgotha and inherent ability to come up with a problem for every solution. Dialectics, participation, authenticity and our criollo cleverness… those are the best antidote to sloppiness, banality and laziness. Aren’t the New Song Movement’s lyrics cool or what? Who says Cuban baseball or the way [110-meter hurdles racer] Dayron Robles runs are not cool? How to deny that the children of La Colmenita are not cool on stage? So why should we deny Alejandro the chance to make our socialism cooler?
Coming back to the opening question above, I call attention upon something we have neglected. We all know that socialism in our Island is essentially just, friendly and remarkably human. It’s the wrapping what we have to solve yet, a problem not always dependent on solvency, as we’re also haunted by subjective ghosts. But it’s not too late to ward them off, though. Let’s stick a moral bill on every ugly, rundown and forgotten spot of our environment which says: “Wanted: creativity, solutions, gall, good ideas, diligence, shame, devotion and, why not, plenty of cool.
(To be continued…)
By Graziella Pogolotti
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
The large-scale tourism industry has a relatively recent history. Its initial impulse came after World War II. The rise of left-wing movements and the pressure exerted by powerful trade unions led many countries to pass laws making paid rest compulsory. For many sectors of the middle classes, the possibility of enjoying holidays was opened up.
At the same time, numerous publications disseminated the cultural values located in Third World countries. Appropriate marketing operations designed tours to famous places for destinations that were docile to the indications of trained guides. The trip was no longer an adventure. Everything was planned in advance. Back home, the tourist would not remember much of the experience lived in the pyramids of Teotihuacán, but would arrive with a bunch of trinkets billed as souvenirs.
The traveler, on the other hand, is moved by the search for the unusual. He’s going to go to some of the most remote places in the cities. You will observe the human landscape without disdaining typical foods in some modest restaurants. I confess to having belonged to this species in my younger years. When I couldn’t afford the pennies to take on bigger adventures, I decided to start at home.
At the time, I had just finished my college degree. The studies of Art History had revealed to me the importance of our colonial legacy. I obtained the assistance of two compañeras to launch us on the adventure of discovering Trinidad. We stayed in a room on the corner of Media Luna and Desengaño. The names of the streets, such as the Habaneras of Amargura, Mercaderes, lficios or la Muralla have always exerted on me a remarkable power of poetic evocation. But the Trinitarian atmosphere of those days was far from what we know today.
There were the houses of yesteryear in the midst of an impressive misery. Barefoot and ragged, the children roamed the streets, sometimes reduced to begging. The ruin of the Valle de los Ingenios plunged the city into a poverty in which some families tried to preserve the dignity of the past.
It’s been a few years. In the 60’s of the last century, in the middle of the fight against the bandits, a traveling library went along the road between Cienfuegos and Trinidad. It offered book loans for children and adults. I wanted to know the experience in a direct way. The newly-literate peasants encouraged their children to acquire the habit of reading. On that occasion, I met a unique character.
Carlos Joaquín Zerquera was one of those local historians who narrated countless anecdotes of characters from the past. He did it so neatly that his murky marriage intrigues seemed to be happening in the contemporary world. His energies were focused on the effort to rescue the Brunet Palace in order to turn it into the Romantic Museum. Resources were scarce.
Nicolás Chao, Party secretary in the region, who also sponsored the creation of the Grupo Escambray, led by Sergio Corrieri, was able to listen to the Trinitarian researcher’s homily. Little by little something was done. Recognition of the need to preserve our heritage was beginning to take shape. We did not know, in those distant 1970s, that we were investing in a future tourism that would become one of our options for economic growth. Trinidad has been reborn and has recovered its best artisan tradition.
The traveler can enjoy the uniqueness of its urban environment. Let us take great care of your specific features. Let us not fall into the mimetic temptation of Cancunizing it.
On holiday days, we can try the adventure of discovering our country. Sometimes, you don’t have to walk very far to stumble upon the surprise of the unusual. In the Havana municipality of Cotorro is the Church of Santa María del Rosario, a rural place devoured yesterday by the galloping growth of the capital. Nicolás de la Escalera, the oldest painter with a name registered in our history of art left his mark there.
In our small country, there are many corners to be rediscovered. To do this properly, we need to move, relentlessly but steadily, towards a change of mentality. Let’s not confuse the popular with the uncouth. Let us discard the reductionist vision of culture as an ornament and recognize in it the nourishing source of a spirituality that defines our uniqueness, that is, our identity. Managing with intelligence, avoiding the banal commercialization of the peddlers, is a good that can translate into tangible material benefits.
Let us abandon the formal routine of commemorations. Let us make each of them an event open to wider horizons. In these days we have remembered the bicentenary of the San Alejandro foundation.
Let us abandon the formal routine of commemorations. Let us make each of them an event open to wider horizons. In those days we remembered the bicentenary of the foundation of St. Alexander. The history of the Academy was one of light and shadow. The triumph of the Revolution brought about a substantial change by bringing about the emergence of the long-neglected artistic avant-garde. The tribute to the date would be an opportunity to find in our National Museum the work of those who passed through it along with the insurgents who rebelled against the obsolescence of their curricula.
Welcome to the sunny days and the beach, as well as the festivities that animate summer days. Let us also learn to take advantage of the weeks of rest to turn our gaze inward and devote some moments to productive meditation.
Author: Claudia Padrón Cueto
September 24, 2015
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
For the browsing experiences of web users to remain pleasurable in the country, the information strategy of our society must achieve a greater synergy. This is the responsibility of all those who are concerned with the education on the use of Information Technologies.
This past holiday season will probably be remembered as the “wifi summer in Cuba”. Undoubtedly the period was marked by the extension –through this type of connection– of the opportunities for web surfing at 2 CUC’s an hour. And while it is true that the price is still high for most, the wifi is welcomed.
Every day people go to the squares, parks or places with wifi reach to make use of internet navigation services. Many go to make video calls (using IMO) or check their Facebook profiles; while others find –in the wake of the wifi– a way to profit.
This is how it works in the city of Pinar del Rio: At the different access points some young people wait for new arrivals at the park or connection area and immediately offer “one hour of connection for only 1 CUC”, that is, half the official price.
They act as go-between working on commission for a percentage of the total amount collected. They take their customers/users to other persons who use their PCs and cell phones with wireless connection and sell the service to these temporary users.
Connectify Hotspot is a software –one of many– that allows sharing Internet by several users. Of course, in accepting this browsing option the speed and original connectivity potential is reduced, but still it is possible to access the web and even make video calls.
In addition to these agents of shared wifi, and of those others who hoard coupons to then sell them for 75 Cuban pesos [official price 2 CUC = 50 Cuban pesos], this journalist and some close friends were able to confirm the existence of other “merchants” who charge for a simple advice, for example: how to recharge a Nauta account that only requires to enter portal@…, and from this address type the card code.
This is a simple procedure that only takes a few minutes; but lack of knowledge makes some users resort to these “advisers” who take advantage of the inexperience and charge for the service 10 Cuban pesos. Such practices also involve certain risks, because those who offer “help” could even keep the data of the customer (username and password) and then use this information to access their accounts.
There are many who connect without even knowing how to turn on the wifi on their phone or what a browser is, what a web site, a web page or a network profile are. This is simply because without practice there is no possible knowledge. And such lack of knowledge frustrates the browsing experience of some, while others fill their pockets.
It’s been three months after the opening of the areas of wireless access service –indispensable in any modern society—and they are very much appreciated; but still the telecommunications company needs to improve its management so it is not limited only to the signing of contracts. It is also necessary to expand the benefits at the Joven Club [Free Computer Service Facilities] and provide guidance on the use of new technologies to solve the most dissimilar demands and problems of Cuban society in its way to computerization.
Schools should also join in this instruction task considering that today’s students options lead to new tools and benefits, provided by the use of ITs. These options need to be managed with dexterity so that users do not become easy preys to deception and theft.
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.