USF scientists headed for Cuba to study what it looks like before any oil spills

Image result for University of FlST. PETERSBURG — Florida scientists will ride their research vessel to Cuba next month to take measurements of its coastal waters before any oil spill ruins them.

One of the major problems with the 2010 BP oil spill, say scientists, is that no one — not the government, not the oil companies, not even universities — had taken base line measurements of what conditions were like in the Gulf of Mexico prior to the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

So the University of South Florida’s marine science department has been trying to rectify that by taking readings all around the edges of the Gulf over the past year or so. They even journeyed down to Mexico, where they not only took readings but also found signs that oil still remains from the 1979 Ixtoc I spill, a disaster that paralleled the BP spill. Continue reading

Posted in Exchanges | Leave a comment

Cuba’s iconic cigars see rise in worldwide sales as US market grows

Salem Store

For cigar aficionado Jonathan Barbeau, Havana was the place to be in March.

“I knew it would be great, but it turned out to be phenomenal,” Barbeau said of the 19th Festival del Habano (Habano Festival) that attracted some 2,000 cigar enthusiasts and distributors to Cuba. “I found the festival to be the single greatest cigar event that I’ve ever gone to.”

This was the first time Barbeau, general manager of New Hampshire’s Two Guys Smoke Shop and host of the Cigar Authority Radio Show attended the annual festival held by state-run manufacturer Habanos SA. Each year, it attracts cigar lovers to Havana from more than 50 countries for seminars, tastings and tours of the Habanos tobacco plantation in Pinar del Río province’s Vuelta Abajo as well as the H. Upmann and La Corona factories. The Habanos company markets 27 hand-rolled brands, including the iconic Cohiba, Partagas, Montecristo and Romeo y Julieta. Habanos cigars are sold in over 150 countries.

“We are very satisfied with our business evolution in 2016,” said Luis Sanchez-Harguindey, co-president of Habanos, during the festival. And for good reason. Worldwide sales in 2016 came to $445 million, a 5 percent increase from 2015, despite a “challenging marketing environment” that included inclement weather affecting Cuba’s tobacco crop for the last few years. “We have a very solid base to face 2017 with great optimism.” Continue reading

Posted in Cultural | Leave a comment

Cuban Songwriter and Singer Luiba Maria Hevia with New CD

Havana, Apr 23 (Prensa Latina) Cuban singer Liuba María Hevia is getting ready to finish the last details to release next May 2 in two digital platforms her new album ”Parallel Lives,” which brings together songs in a duetto with Latin American artists.

From the Dominican Republic and for the world, diascograhic company La Oreja Media is preparing the release of the album, she announced on Facebook.

Parallel Lives is also the title of the first promotional single of the new CD and is a duet with Dominican Pavel Núñez, she explained.

She also noted that the satisfactions of production include collaboration with Danny Rivera, a ‘very large’ artist whose career has been consistent and constant. Continue reading

Posted in Cultural | Leave a comment

Washburn students get lesson on U.S. policy, political structures during trip to Cuba

Maci Hagelgantz, Alex Simmons and Meagan Borth with the founder of the Martin Luther King Center, where the group stayed during their trip to Cuba

The Topeka Capital-Journal April 23, 2017 By Katie Moore | Thrree Washburn University political science majors witnessed the effects of U.S. policy firsthand during a nine-day trip to Cuba this month.

The trio focused on the effect of the U.S. embargo, enacted in 1958, on Cuba’s youths.

“The critical consciousness of the young people was outstanding,” junior Alexis Simmons said.

One particularly striking interaction was with a 17-year-old teenager studying hospitality. Talking with her and her family provided an inside look on life in Cuba.

Simmons said being a political science student, she thought about Cuba as a political structure. But talking to people such as the teenage girl, as well as taxi drivers and school children, shifted her perspective.

“We really got to see what Cuba is about, how people live,” said senior Maci Hagelgantz.

Much of Cuban society is constructed around the embargo, Simmons said. People live in poverty, without many modern conveniences and lag behind technologically. But there’s also a sense of solidarity and generosity that grew out of being cut off economically, she said. Continue reading

Posted in Exchanges | Leave a comment

Royal Caribbean cruise ship makes first stop in Cuba

photo by Halee Whiting

April 23, 3017 | Royal Caribbean’s Empress of the Seas arrived in Havana, Cuba earlier this morning, marking the first Royal Caribbean International ship to stop in Cuba.

Empress of the Seas departed Miami earlier this week, as part of a 5-night sailing that culminated with an historic first visit to Cuba. The cruise has been filled with a number of special events and festivities, from cortaditos and café con leche in Café Royal to salsa music and dancing in the Boleros Latin lounge.  There was even a special Cuban-inspired dining room menu.

After months of negotiating, Royal Caribbean announced it would offer cruises to Cuba in December 2016.  Royal Caribbean offers regular sailings to Cuba, including some sailings with an overnight visit, through the end of 2016, along with stops in Key West, FL. and Cozumel, Mexico. Continue reading

Posted in Exchanges | Leave a comment

Theoretical Event Developed in Olorum Festival

| |

The aesthetics line of the filmmaker, first film director of the Cuban Institute of Art and Cinema Industry (ICAIC) was one of the aspects exposed by the intellectual from Camaguey.

Garcia Yero referred to the way in which the filmmaker handled the social issues of the 1960’s in her documentaries like discrimination, machismo, marginalization and racial prejudice reflecting her concerns and support of the social project, initiated by the Cuban Revolution.

During the event, several investigations were presented on the music-dance expressions of the traditional popular culture, which are heritage of Cuban nation.

She cited, among them, an experience with the Vocal Desandann Cultural Project that has defended in Camaguey –from its music- the Haitian roots in Cuban culture for over 20 years.

Regarding this issue, she mentioned another conference on the also Haitian groups Caidije and Bonito Patua in the province and they spoke on the traditions and festivities in the 19th and 20th centuries as a reflection of the cultural musical identity.

Researchers from several provinces are exchanging until April 23 rd, date in which the Olorum Festival will come to an end, among them the 2015 National Dance Awards and the 2017 Silvina Fabars and Manolo Micler awards respectively. Continue reading

Posted in Cultural | Leave a comment

Cuba and the magic of its cities

Morro turismo

Photo: Miguel Febles Hernández

Cubadebate | April 20, 2017 |It is the architectural diversity of Cuban cities which make them so magical; with a wide array of styles spanning five centuries; featuring colonial and pre-baroque buildings as well as others from the modern and post-modern era.

Havana, Remedios, Cienfuegos, Trinidad, Camagüey, Bayamo, Santiago de Cuba and Baracoa, are just a few examples of such cities, some of which are designed almost to perfection while others seem more like mysterious labyrinths.

The city of Camagüey is set to become an attractive and prosperous tourist destination.
From the sea, huge fortresses welcome visitors who, once inside the city, can appreciate its vitality as they walk along its cobblestone, concrete or paved avenues; or under its columns, balconies, arches, balustrades and different buildings.

Such characteristics make every space the perfect place to take a photo, or simply stop and admire such well-preserved beauty. Visiting these cities is an enriching journey into the past, where every stone and every building has countless stories to tell, and secrets to reveal.

Cuba is as astonishing as its cities. Walking around them is like coexisting in time and space with a captivating past, evoked in their architecture and historical buildings. In order to truly enjoy its culture one must penetrate the very soul of this beautiful and changing island, which reveals itself through dance, music, visual arts, theater, literature, film and culinary arts. Continue reading

Posted in Cultural | Leave a comment

Bigote Gato, Curious Havana Restaurant

Havana, Apr 21 (Prensa Latina) A curious restaurant in Havana catches travelers mainly from Europe who are traveling the streets of the Cuban capital these days, its peculiar name is Bigote Gato.

With this unique name, diners fall into the hordes of the history and celebrities of yesteryear, ending at a rustic table and the cheerful attention of young people who explain to visitors the peculiarities of that place.

Bigote Gato was a very prominent character for Cuban tourism and gastronomy. He was a person with grace, style and intelligence, a founder of a night owl club and a famous bar in Havana.

The nickname came to him by a broad tipped mustache, known in his time as a manubrio, who also touched his head with a red beret. The Asturian man could talk twice with this journalist in 2001, at the age of 91, before his death.

For the new generations that name means nothing, even the tourists who visit the Cuban capital do not know him. This picturesque person was famous in the 40’s and 50’s of the 20th century, and a bar with its name is reborn today. Continue reading

Posted in Cultural | Leave a comment

HostelCuba Fair to Exhibit Gastronomic Novelties

Havana (Prensa Latina) The second edition of HostelCuba Fair will be attended by some 200 foreign companies, and will exhibit the Showcooking (a gastronomic novelty) for the first time in the country, according to the organizing committee.

This HostelCuba International Hotel Business and Catering Fair will be held from April 25th to 27th, with the attendance of about 20 nations.

There will be over 300 professional meetings organized by the Chamber of Commerce of the Republic of Cuba, as well as workshops, wine and liqueur tastings, the Fira Barcelona Representative Claire Gracia stated. Continue reading

Posted in Exchanges | Leave a comment

Agriculture Congress in Cuba Debates on Losses Reduction

Havana, Apr 21 (Prensa Latina) Experts from 40 institutions of 15 countries continue today at the 3rd International Congress on Urban, Suburban and Family Agriculture analyzing and evaluating how to avoid losses in the production chain.
Michely Vega, a specialist at the Institute for Fundamental Research in Tropical Agriculture (INIFAT), presented a methodology for the prevention and reduction of losses, which allows quantifying them and formulating an efficient and sustainable solution to this problem, he said.

Another work dealt with the impact of the establishment of mini-industries in the reduction of those, based on a cooperation project to support sustainable agriculture in Cuba.

On this final day of the Congress, which is held at Havana’s Convention Center, were exposed about 20 papers related to plant-genetic resources and agriculture and environment.

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment