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The country that will not forget because we have memory and will protect it

Canel Asambvlea nacional culturaA culture of conservation of our historical memory must be created, not only taking action, but also training entities to sustain this work, emphasized the President of the Republic, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, in his comments, Wednesday, in the Education, Culture, Science, Technology and Environment Committee, where the program underway to detain the deterioration of the nation’s documentary patrimony was discussed.

The President noted the significant damage suffered by part of the nation’s historical collection archived in different formats, such as sound, film and photography. This is an unresolved issue, he said, because we often lack infrastructure and specialized personnel, making it almost impossible to recover documents in poor condition.

Díaz-Canel also referred to digitization being carried out and mentioned some institutions that, given the value of their collections and their specialization, are playing a leading role in conservation.

The Council of State’s Office of Historical Affairs, the Music Museum, the Office of Documentary Heritage, among others, he noted, have been entrusted with the important task of working with Fidel and Che’s documentary archives, among those of other figures.

These entities, Díaz-Canel reported, were granted funding and equipment for the digitalization process. Likewise, the country’s newspapers are carrying out part of this work, especially with their photographic archives; while, several centers have created digital platforms offering users access to these historical resources.

The Cuban President noted the value of EcuRed as an important search platform, especially for young people, while commenting on the work undertaken by the Enrique José Varona University of Pedagogical Sciences to make the teaching of history more attractive and thus confront, with our own arguments, neoliberal assumptions our adversaries want to impose.

Diaz-Canel called for recognition of archivists and all those participating in the recovery of historical memory, insisting that follow-up on this program, “with sensitivity and responsibility,” will continue.

Earlier during the meeting, Martha Ferriol Marchena, director general of the Cuban National Archives, explained progress being made on this priority task which is reviewed monthly at the highest level.

Among the most significant results, in her opinion, are the approval of a policy for the improvement of the National System of Documentary Management and Archives; the general guidelines established for the conservation and digitalization of documentary sources; as well as the planning of investments to improve buildings in the provinces where archives are stored.

The importance of conservation, the cost of equipment required, and the need to train specialists in the field were the subject of many of the comments made by deputies, such as that of Lisset Martínez, from Habana del Este, who insisted on the training and participation of young people in the recovery of historical documents.

Ena Elsa Velázquez Cobiella, Minister of Education, pointed out, “There are provinces that do not request the training of such technicians, even though the option is open to all of them. Motivating students and perfecting curricula based on the country’s needs is another way of contributing to the preservation of historical memory,” she stated.


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