Latest preps for 50th anniversary of Cuban revolution

Santiago – 23 July 2003
1. Wide shot exterior of Moncada Barracks
2. Gardener watering plants
3. Carpenter working
4. Painter working
5. Construction crew
6. Plants being removed from truck
7. Moncada barracks and work crews
8. Wide exterior of Moncada
9. Medium of gardeners
10. Worker carrying wood
11. Pan right Moncada and workers
12. SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Vox Pop, Moncada worker:
“We are working with a lot of sacrifice. All the comrades are sharing in this activity.”
13. Tilt down of Moncada
14. Close up of worker hammering
15. Close up of “26 July” sign
16. Medium shot of flags

Havana – 24 July 2003
17. Preparations for festivity
18. Wide crowd dancing
19. Wide shot of musicians coming on stage
20. Close up of drummer setting up
21. Medium shot of child and old man on balcony
22. SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Ernesto Cabrera, Artistic Director City of Havana:
“You can go from here to the Orient, to Santiago where they are celebrating carnival now. The flavour of the people, their warmth, you can feel it all over the island.”
23. Wide cutaway crowded street
24. SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Moises Gonzalez, Band member “Crazy Man”:
“The 26 of July is a day of cultural activity across Cuba. We have to do it with love, with desire, with willingness…and go forward.”
25. Pan right of people dancing in street


Cubans around the island are preparing to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Communist revolution on Saturday.

Saturday marks the day Fidel Castro and some 100 rebels first attempted to overthrow Fulgencio Batista’s dictatorship back in 1953.

Castro’s plan was to overpower the Moncada Barracks in Santiago. Moncada was at the time Cuba’s second largest fort.

The attack on the barracks lacked the element of surprise and ended with most of Castro’s men being killed or arrested.

Fifty years later, Moncada is now a school. Its bullet riddled walls serve as a reminder to future generations that the revolution began here on 26 July 1953.

The building has been painted, the gardens spruced up, and 10-thousand chairs have been placed across the lawn.

Castro is expected to address Cuba’s 11-million population from the stage set at Moncada.

Those who do not live in the immediate area still feel very much part of the festivities.

They will be watching the event in one of the over 1-million Chinese television sets distributed by the Cuban government across the years.

In Havana, stages are being set up around town where free concerts will be held to celebrate the anniversary.

In the streets spirits are high and for the most part, celebrations have already begun.

The Cuban government declared Friday the 25th a national holiday, giving Cubans an unexpected three-day weekend.

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Cuba ~ The People, Culture & Art

Cuba ~ The People, Culture & Art

Immerse yourself in the culture of Cuba on this People-to-People educational exchange program licensed by the U.S. Department of Treasury. Visit the cities Havana, Trinidad and Cienfuegos as well as rural Pinar del Río. See the majestic Sierra del Rosario mountains. Each day, this program brims with opportunities to discover Cuba by meeting everyday people, artists, musicians, restaurateurs, farmers and more! Marvel at Cuba’s magnificent colonial architecture, see cigar makers create Cuba’s most famous export, ride in a classic convertible and visit the beautiful countryside. Local experts, such as a university professor, an architect, members of the clergy, health care workers and more, give you insight into Cuba’s culture, history, economy and daily life. This program features nine nights in Cuba and one night in Miami. All excursions and meals while in Cuba are included.

The Rolling Stones Live in Havana – Cuba 25.03.2016

Cuba’s revolutionary regime and the Rolling Stones have one thing in common: unexpected longevity.

The left-wing government has defied expectations by outlasting the Soviet Union, its former backer, by decades. The Rolling Stones, a 54-year-old unruly rock ‘n’ roll act, still wow crowds with impressive vim for septuagenarians.

These two worlds collide in Havana, Cuba’s capital, on Friday, with the British band’s debut there. The show takes place against a backdrop of slowly improving relations between the US and Cuba, former Cold War enemies.

“What strikes me is the longevity of these guys,” Bill Janovitz, author of Rocks Off, a book about the Stones, told Al Jazeera.

“They’re well into their 70s, beyond retirement age for most people. Not only are they still out there, but they’re not taking the easy route. They’re inserting themselves into a worldwide political conversation.”

Sir Mick Jagger, the band’s raucous front man, was a schoolboy in 1953, when Fidel and Raul Castro began a rebellion that eventually deposed the Caribbean Island’s austere US-backed government and launched socialist reforms.

In 1962, when the Stones formed in London, the United States imposed a full trade embargo on Cuba and the world approached nuclear Armageddon as Moscow and Washington rowed over Soviet missiles on the island. Decades of animosity ensued.

‘Cultured country’

This week’s visit of President Barack Obama continued a US-Cuba detente that began 15 months ago and has seen Washington ease restrictions by opening up flights and some trade to an island only 145km off Florida’s coast.

As Obama toured Havana, a crew of 140 Stones employees and some 80 Cubans were setting the stage at the Ciudad Deportiva de la Habana sports complex to welcome hundreds of thousands of fans to the show, called the Concert for Amity.

Speaking with reporters, the band’s production manager Dale “Opie” Skjerseth, joked that Obama was their “opening act”.

The gig was a late addition to the group’s Latin American tour, which kicked off last month in Santiago, Chile. Cubans dodge the 0 ticket prices paid elsewhere thanks to free entry, on a first-come, first-served basis.

The band used 61 shipping containers to import an estimated 500 tonnes of equipment, such as the stage, speakers, lights and video screens, Skjerseth said. A Boeing 747 arrived from Mexico last week carrying the last of the gear, he added.

The Stones are not strangers to the Caribbean. They recorded albums in Montserrat, Jagger is understood to own a villa in Mustique and was married to the rights campaigner and former actress Bianca Jagger, from nearby Nicaragua.

Their sound draws on many styles, from rhythm and blues to reggae and soul. Their 1964 cover version of Not Fade Away, which opens with Jagger shaking maracas, features echoes of Afro-Cuban music.

US media outlets present the gig as the first world-renowned rock act to reach an isolated nation of some one million culture-starved Cubans. For Cuba-watcher James Early, this is typical “US-centric arrogance and chauvinism”.

Cubans are erudite and world-class in music, ballet and poetry, Early said.

“I don’t mean to detract from the Rolling Stones, which will be a great attraction for Cuba, but to suggest that somehow this is opening the curtain of universal culture for them is just way beyond the pale,” Early, a former Smithsonian Institution director, told Al Jazeera.

“It’s a very cultured country.”

Though human rights groups have big gripes about Cuba – from political prisoners to web blocking – the communist-run island has not sought to banish the music of foreign bands, including the Stones, since the early days of the revolution.

Former president Fidel Castro turned out to watch the Manic Street Preachers, a Welsh band, at the Teatro Karl Marx in 2001. In 1979, during a previous US-Cuba rapprochement, Kris Kristofferson and Billy Joel played the same venue.

A statue of John Lennon, the former Beatle and peacenik, was unveiled in a Havana park in 2000.

Although the Stones gig may go down in history as the biggest rock concert to be staged in Cuba, Bernardo Navarro, a 39-year-old Cuban-American, does not foresee major convulsions to life for its Spanish-speaking people.

Cuba-in-Focus: Art, Culture, Law and the Environment

Cuba-in-Focus at ICWA
Uncharted Waters: Navigating U.S.-Cuba Normalization
Panel 2: Art, Culture, Law and the Environment
June 6, 2015
Washington, D.C.

Paige Evans – ICWA Fellow in Cuba (1998-2000), Artistic Director of LCT3 at Lincoln Center
Kasara Davidson – Corporate attorney and social justice engineer
Ximena Escovar-Fadul – Marine scientist with Ocean Doctor’s Cuba Conservancy Program
Alexandra P. Gelbard – Expert on Cuban music and culture, completing her PhD in sociology at Michigan State University

Guantanamera Cuban Folk Music a true site for real revolutionaries!!!!!!! Viva la victoria! You don’t have to be a revolutionary to love the sound of this fantastic song. Guantanamera was taught to us as children for no other reason than it is a beautiful Cuban Song.

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Properties for sale Cuba

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The Music Songs La Familia Valera Miranda – Ocora Cuban full albums This collection of Cuban sons, boleros, and rondos is performed by a family whose origins lie in the same region as the birthplace of the son the Oriente (of which the capitol is Santiago), over a thousand miles from Havana. Ocora has taken its usual academically sound approach and recorded the Familia Valera Miranda – all of the three generations represented here are musicians – playing the classic sons of various times and regions, but mostly from the 0riente. The country son differs widely from the urban version in that, while the two-measure beat is created with the claves, there are improvised lines from the beginning, and the chorus itself remains static. The freeform first lines and choruses that usually come in the back part of the song are reversed here. Elsewhere, on the boleros, the driving passion at the heart of the more urban variety is muted into something more lush and asymmetrical, creating an incantatory and hallucinatory kind of son, one that slips out of what those further to the north have come to recognize as either son or bolero. The only drawback to this collection is the dry, flat sound with which Ocora has chosen to record this family. For whatever reason, its equalization was registered as flat, and therefore if the listener is not delving deeply into the songs and their meanings – courtesy of a complete booklet of information – the tracks all become samey-sounding and don’t highlight the dynamics in some of these songs, which are part of the popular son repertoire on the island, especially in Havana. Indeed, it’s as if the Ocora team went out of their way to record the Familia Valera Miranda as timepieces, artifacts, antiquities – rather than as the living and breathing musicians they are. It is truly unfortunate to have the most passionate music on the planet performed by some of its most important interpreters, but recorded as if it were a museum exhibition.
1. Llora mi nena (00:00)
2. Bambay (04:57)
3. Tuna, Mayari, Guantánamo (08:43)
4. Juramento (13:41)
5. Que lindo Bayamo (16:32)
6. ¡Basta ya! (21:43)
7. Rita la caimana (24:27)
8. Retorna (29:29)
9. Vuela como el águila (31:58)
10. Dulce embeleso (37:15)
11. Murió Valera en San Luis (39:55)
12. El misterío de tus ojos (44:00)
13. El calvario de un poeta (47:08)
14. El penquito de Coleto (55:29)
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La Academia RuiTui. Ruy López-Nussa and “La Academia” (Cuban Percussion Academy)

Ruy López-Nussa’s proposal wants to develop and illustrate through a musical group, the methodological way started with his book “Ritmos de Cuba. Percusión y batería”. (Cuban rhythms. Percussion and drums), which is a recompilation of the creole rhythm and the usefulness of this musical instruments.

This volume comes to be, didactically speaking; an approach to the cultural advances of the percussion on the island, while applies in details the way of playing all this rhythms on the drums. Also presents with interesting and attractive techniques the different genres of the popular and folkloric music, in order to display the variety of possibilities this rhythm offers throughout an interchange among the Afro-Cuban percussions and drums.

At the same time mix the whole rhythmical wealth with arrangements based on the Jazz and different musical movements, specially adapted for this format: Piano, Bass, two Trumpets, Saxophone, two Percussionist, Drums and a Vocalist.

“La Academia” according to López-Nussa, born to be essentially didactic, voiced, almost always thru a performance, a kind of concert-show-demonstrative class, revealing attractive performances that embrace concert saloon, classrooms in different auditoriums, in-door and out-door playing.

The Cuban Percussion Academy has no limits for education and representing itself, its delightful is found in the instructional and creative balances of its entire musical production which is includes original plays, chants and rhythms of the Hispanic, African and Cuban culture combined with masterpieces of present-day and foreign authors. Its standards and principles have values in diverse musical places such as: Jazz Festivals, Folklore, Fusion and modern productions. The exciting of this project is in its versatility and talent, combined with an original proposal, non-edit in Cuban musical space.

In order to a continuous renovation and professional development, La Academia pretends to invite foreign percussionists and includes in its sound heritage “offering bits” to different divinities (African routes), launching ties that helps to make a careful study of the great cultural fusion that distinguish to the insular culture.

La Academia has recorded two CDs, the first one, attended with a Jamaican percussionist Everton “Pablo” Paul, where the Bob Marley’s Music is remembered with the peculiar style of the group, and a second one, still in production, that according to Lopez-Nussa result to be “a faithful expression of the aggrupation’s tone”.

The band

Drums … Ruy López-Nussa Lekszycki
Piano … Jorge Luis Pacheco Campos
Bass … Luis Antonio Izquierdo Clua
Sax … Iván González González
Trumpet … Roberto García López
Trumpet … Orlando Carrodeguas Boza
Percussion … Otto Santana Selis
Percussion … Octavio Rodríguez Rivera
Vocalist … Alieny Abreu López
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Coolidge arrived by battleship in Havana’s harbor in January 1928. The dramatic entrance came with ceremonial guns booming, a flyover by military planes and an elaborate parade during which he was pelted with roses by tens of thousands of cheering Cubans assembled on streets, balconies and roofs. Cuba declared a national holiday for the occasion.
“It was the gayest and happiest welcome anyone ever received from this green island in the Caribbean,” The New York Times reported from Havana on Jan. 16, 1928. The display underscored American power at a time when the United States was a dominant force in Cuba, with the right to intervene in its internal affairs enshrined in a law known as the Platt Amendment, and was inserting itself aggressively in other parts of Latin America and the Caribbean, including Nicaragua and Haiti.
“The culture of U.S. paternalism prevailed at that time, and the Caribbean was basically a U.S. lake,” said Amity Shlaes, the author of the biography “Coolidge” and the chairwoman of his presidential foundation. The Americans, she said, expected the Cubans to welcome the president with a sense of “Dad is coming in his boat, and we love Dad.”
It is hardly the symbolism that Mr. Obama wants to project in March, as he tries to sweep aside decades’ worth of accumulated bitterness over American imperialism and meddling in Cuba and look to the future.
In 1928, Mr. Coolidge and his wife, Grace, boarded a train in Washington and rode for 40 hours to Key West, Fla., where they switched to the battleship Texas for the crossing to Havana, a trip that took two days. They were greeted at the port by Gerardo Machado, Cuba’s president, and his wife. The couple would host the Coolidges at the presidential palace in Havana and a country home nearby, feting them with two lavish banquets and accompanying them to a jai alai match and a sugar plantation.
Machado gave Coolidge a Panama hat, and there was much speculation about how the American president, whose country was in the midst of Prohibition, would navigate the etiquette challenge of being offered a drink of Cuban rum. (He simply turned his back and pretended to be talking to Machado when approached with a tray of daiquiris, one journalist recounted.)
News reports at the time indicated that Coolidge, known as Silent Cal for his taciturn demeanor, visibly enjoyed himself. To the Cubans, The Times reported, “he now is a smiling, and not a cold and silent, president.”