The first chapter of the 26th Havana International Book Fair concluded in an event held in the San Carlos de La Cabaña Fortress’ Nicolás Guillén Hall on Sunday, February 19. By the last day of the Fair, over 1,100 literary activities – including 900 book presentations, 28 panel discussions and 106 poetry readings – had taken place.
Attended by Cuban Minister of Culture, Abel Prieto; Juan Rodríguez Cabrera, President of the Cuban Book Institute; and Anna Lise Domanski, second secretary at the Canadian Embassy in Havana, among other officials, the event provided a good opportunity to recall some of the highlights of the recently concluded edition; such as the book sales of over 301,500, 111,540 more than during the same period last year; and the 415,599 visitors, an increase of 25,000 as compared to a similar period in the previous edition, among other notable accomplishments. Also reaffirmed however, was the need to continue working to satisfy the demand of readers and families who attend the event every year.
In his remarks, Rodríguez Cabrera highlighted the participation of 536 representatives from 46 countries, 232 expositors, 173 authors, 48 editors, eight artists, and 75 officials, in this year’s edition of the fair, noting that guest country of honor Canada delighted the Cuban public with its culture.
He went on to mention the well-deserved tributes paid to Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro, founder, creator and inspiration behind the Book Fair; as well as Dr. Armando Hart, committed to the most noble causes of humanity, during this 26th edition of the fair, which will now continue across the country, ending on April 16 in Santiago de Cuba.
Also presented during the closing ceremony were prizes for the best stands at the fair. The award for the best non-modular stand went to the National Lawyers Association; and the cultural project Nuestra Historia y Fidel received a special prize; while first prize for the best modular stand went to the Ediciones Unión publishing house.