Friday, February 12, 2010

The 2010 Havana Book Fair, expression of a socialist society

Raúl and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov attend inauguration at La Cabaña fortress
Pedro de la Hoz
PRESIDENT Raúl Castro Ruz inaugurated the XIX International Book Fair at the La Cabaña Fortress, east of the capital, on Thursday night.
The publication of approximately 1,000 titles and the availability of seven million copies at the 19th International Book Fair is explained by the priority that a socialist revolution gives to culture in a country blockaded by imperialism for 50 years.
That idea was contained in the speech prepared by Zuleica Romay, president of the Cuban Book Institute who, because of a throat condition, was unable to read it, and it was read by Rafael Bernal, first deputy minister of culture. Her speech highlighted the enormous efforts made to satisfy the demands of readers who, for 10 days in Havana and two more weeks in 15 other cities, will be at the center of this event.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov spoke in the name of his country, the fair’s guest of honor, expressing thanks for the event. Others attending the inauguration, in addition to Cuban Party and government leaders, were Salvadoran Vice President Salvador Sánchez; Ticio Escobar, Paraguayan minister of culture; and Nobel Literature laureate Nadine Gordimer of South Africa.
The quality of Cuba’s arts education was demonstrated with performances of difficult pieces by Dmitri Shostakovich and Pyotr Tchaikovsky by the Youth Symphonic Orchestra of the Amadeo Roldán Conservatory. The contribution from the sizeable Russian cultural delegation at the event came from saxophonist Igor Butman and his jazz quintet.
Translated by Granma International

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