Our Weekend in Havana tour is far more than a mere brush with exotic culture – it’s a full-on immersive discovery allowing you to not only pay witness to Cuba’s dynamic rhythm and color, but to dive right in and become part of the canvas.
Like the fiery salsa rhythms that can be heard rippling through its city streets, Havana springs to life with warmth and vivaciousness that never stops taking you by surprise. Removed from the quiet fields of sugar cane and mango trees that thrive further afield, Cuba’s largest city is an urban metropolis – a place of rambling Colonial architecture, endless adventure and unfettered discovery.
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Thirteen films by Cuban filmmakers are up for a Coral Award at the 40th International Festival of New Latin America Cinema, in the categories of Feature length, Fictional Short, Documentary, Animation, and Debut; as well as one for Post-production, five in Unpublished Screenplay, and 13 Film Posters.
A score of titles by Cuban filmmakers were also included in all the sections not in competition, recognition of their quality.
We have previously referred to two of the films selected to compete in the fiction category: Inocencia (Innocence) by Alejandro Gil, and Nido de mantis (Mantis’ Nest) by Arturo Sotto. Thus we turn to Insumisas, from the prize-winning Fernando Pérez, who worked together with Swiss filmmaker Laura Cazador on both the screenplay and directing.
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What are the main changes proposed in the draft Constitution, which is currently being debated in neighborhoods, workplaces and schools, regarding the structure of the Cuban state and government? What motivates this decision?
In a panel held at the headquarters of the Union of Cuban Journalists, Dr. Martha Prieto, vice president of the Cuban Society of Constitutional Law and tenured professor at the University of Havana, acknowledged that the proposed changes in the leadership structure of the island are among the most novel of the draft Constitution.
The new proposal separates the functions of the President of the Republic and those of the Prime Minister, which were previously merged into one, based on collegial decision making.
“Now, although he (the President) is the head of the Executive, he must also be a deputy, approved by the National Assembly of People’s Power (ANPP). This is a necessary measure, because it prevents Assembly-state leadership separation,” the jurist explained.
The main obstacle to the development of the Cuban economy’s potential is not related to nature but to an immoral way of doing politics: the economic, commercial, and financial blockade imposed by the United States on Cuba.
When a hurricane is identified as a threat to the island, all Cubans begin to worry. Despite measures adopted by our Civil Defense system to protect human life and material resources, it is well known that the powerful winds and rain show no mercy.
Every natural phenomenon that strikes leaves damage that must be repaired as soon as possible. Thus, some plans are put on hold to free resources for the recovery, and the state cannot move forward as fast as it would like.
Damages caused by Hurricane Irma, for example, were estimated at more than 13 billion pesos, mostly to housing, healthcare facilities, schools, agriculture, hotel infrastructure, as well as roads.
People shop at an outdoor food market in Havana in July 2018. (AP Photo / Desmond Boylan)
“Our business is down 70 percent,” Havana restaurateur Niuris Higueras told a group of Nationmagazine travelers who were spending their final evening of a weeklong spring tour in Cuba at her renowned eatery, El Atelier. “We may have to reduce staff,” she sadly noted, after a major boom in US-generated business following Barack Obama’s history-making rapprochement with Raúl Castro.
Culinary entrepreneurs such as Higueras, along with other Cuban businesses catering to US tourists, have been hit hard by the sharp shift in relations under the Trump administration. In the first quarter of 2018.
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Discovering isolation on a butter-soft beach not nabbed by an all-inclusive hotel on the Caribbean island of Cuba can be like searching for the proverbial cocktail stick in the sand. We’ve sunbathed, snorkelled and sipped several mojitos so you can plan your perfect beach adventure in Cuba, without the crowds.
…I hope that others, as radical and revolutionary as this, will put an end to the mercantilism and demagogic invasion of the artists and polyps of art and the culture that shows to what extent they are willing to sell the nation and their citizenship for a “few happy dollars” – By Jorge Ángel Hernández / La Jiribilla
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