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A Fair of cultural resistance

feria libro VietnamThe 29th International Book Fair was officially inaugurated in Havana yesterday, and will continue here through February 16, to then travel across the country and conclude in the city of Santiago de Cuba, April 12. “Cuba, upholding the banners of freedom, independence, peace and justice; with the imperishable example of Fidel in the hearts of our people and many friends around the world who do not surrender, has made this encounter a reality, joining efforts and looking to the future with optimism,” stated Juan Rodríguez Cabrera, president of the Cuban Book Institute (ICL), upon opening the ceremony, held at the city’s San Carlos de la Cabaña Fortress, the Fair’s central venue.

On hand for the occasion, were Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, President of the Republic of Cuba; Esteban Lazo Hernández, president of the National Assembly of People’s Power and the Council of State; Alpidio Alonso, minister of Culture, and Truong Thi Mai, member of the Political Bureau and the Secretariat of the Communist Party of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam Central Committee, who is leading the Vietnamese delegation to the Fair, among other distinguished personalities.

Rodríguez reported that, despite difficult conditions created by the intensification of the brutal U.S. blockade, the celebration of literature was organized, with more than 300 intellectuals and figures of contemporary culture, exhibitors and distributors from more than 40 countries participating, and warmly greeted the delegation from Vietnam, a people to which we are united by six decades of close friendship, he noted.

More than 4,000 titles and four million copies are available at the Fair, an unmistakable sign, sent to the world, of the Cuban people’s resistance and our commitment to continue raising our cultural level, especially that of children and youth, he said.

An audiovisual was screened highlighting the contributions of the authors to whom the Fair is dedicated: the unforgettable Dr. Ana Cairo Ballester, with more than 20 books published and a life dedicated to knowledge, and Eugenio Hernández Espinosa, present at the event, and one of Cuba’s most outstanding playwrights, director of the country’s Caribbean Theatre Company and author of several classics.

Truong Thi Mai, also head of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee’s Mass Mobilization Department and president of the Vietnam-Cuba Friendship Association, on behalf of her Party and people, thanked Cuba for the special invitation, adding that it was a great honor to be in the beautiful, hospitable Havana, and that, despite the geographical distance, “Rarely do two countries in the world have such a close relationship.”

Performances by the artistic delegation from Vietnam, troubadour Eduardo Sosa, pianist José María Vitier and soprano Bárbara Llanes, enlivened the evening, before the inauguration of Vietnamese Pavilion, with President Díaz-Canel and other personalities cutting the ribbon.

(Source: Granma)

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