HAVANA - (AP) -- Pope Benedict XVI has named a new bishop for central Cuba's Matanzas diocese in his first decision concerning the Roman Catholic church on this communist-run island, the Bishops Conference of Cuba said Monday.
The Rev. Manuel Hilario de Cespedes y Garcia Menocal, great-great grandson of Cuban independence leader Carlos Manuel Cespedes, will fill the post left vacant by Bishop Mariano Vivanco's death, the bishops said in a statement. It said the Vatican sent official word over the weekend.
De Cespedes, a priest, has been vicar general in the western province of Pinar del Rio.
Born in Cuba on March 11, 1944, De Cespedes emigrated to Puerto Rico in the 1960s, where he studied electrical engineering.
But in 1966, he entered a seminary in Venezuela to study for the priesthood.
Ordained in 1972, De Cespedes developed his ministry in Venezuela for 12 years before returning to Cuba. In Pinar del Rio, he also served on the editorial board of Vitral, a sometimes outspoken church publication.
Although Cuba was once officially atheist, the government never broke relations with the Vatican and in 1992 dropped all constitutional references to atheism.
BOOK REVIEW By Cristina Elías.
Sentinel Staff Writer.
May 1, 2005
Decades from now, when pop-culture historians have glamorized the New York City Latin-dance scene of the 1990s and the Copacabana joins the Palladium in New York mythology, old-time dancers will dust off Patricia Chao's Mambo Peligroso (which means "Dangerous Mambo") and be back in the small working-class dramas of the barrio instantly.
If not quite composing the song of the street, Chao has managed to knit together a gritty-enough tune that both expert and novice dancers will have no trouble following. The only question is: Where is it going?
Chao, a dancer who performed with the group Casa de la Salsa, captures New York's dance clubs -- the buffets, the "working girls," the grotesque characters and dark moods -- in intense detail. Yet, with its one-eyed men and Spanglish-inflected speeches, the book stops just short of turning its inhabitants into caricatures.
Like a dance, Mambo Peligroso -- which follows Chao's well-received debut novel Monkey King -- is highly stylized. True to form, it cleverly steps up the narrative like an ever-increasing tempo, as Chao's heroine, Catalina Ortiz Midori, a Japanese-Cuban emigre, goes from novice dancer to expert mambera in her search for her roots and self-confidence.
This journey of discovery takes the shy teacher of English as a second language though the sweaty world of New York clubs, back through a painful divorce and eventually south to her childhood love in Miami, and to her inner strength in Cuba...
by Robert Dominguez.
The third annual Cuban Arts Festival New York features dozens of Cuban and Cuban-American musicians, playwrights, poets, filmmakers, dancers, artists and photographers out to show that the best way to thaw the Cold War chill with the island is through art.
A month-long celebration at sites all over the city starts Sunday with "Retoversiones," a Cuban jazz
recital at Our Lady of Good Counsel, 230 E. 90th St. at 3:30 p.m. and a concert by Martín y su Rico Tumbao at Ciao Soho, 150 Spring St. at 8:30 p.m.
In Cuban police jargon, posesas refers to women involved in family quarrels. Thus, by using the term in the title of her second novel, Cuban-native Dovalpage (A Girl Like Che Guevara, Soho Pr., 2004) gives readers a hint of her book’s confessional tone. During a blackout in Havana in the year 2000, four women of the same family reflect on their lives and generational differences, uncovering a century of Cuban history. Bárbara remembers her move from the provinces to Havana, and the personal circumstances that forced her daughter, Barbarita, and granddaughter, Elsa, to move in with her. Elsa’s rebellious 11-year-old, Bieya, also lives with them in the crowded central Havana apartment. Together the women confront the scarcity of food and personal resources that have characterized life on the island since the collapse of the Soviet Union. While they wait for the electricity to be restored, they argue about the unexplained disappearance of some money that another of Barbarita’s daughters sent from the United States. The novel traces the roots of the strong animosity between Bárbara and Barbarita, and between Barbarita and her daughter, Elsa. But Bieya’s funny account and her young perspective is what ultimately keeps readers interested in this story. The novel’s strength lies in Dovalpage’s ability to construct the complex personal background of these characters, touching on their sexual histories and the generational restrictions behind their confrontations with one another. The book is easy to read despite some Cuban regionalisms, but the plot can be hard to follow, as it is easy to confuse the characters’ experiences. Recommended for libraries interested in Cuban literature and the experience of women on the island.
—Rafael Ocasio, Agnes Scott Coll., Decatur, GA
Pureplay Pr. 2004. 204p. ISBN 0-9714366-7-3. pap. $20. FIC
Opening reception and silent auction: Friday May 6 from 6 to 8 PM.
Exhibition from May 6 to May 28, 2005 Tues.-Sat. 12 to 6 PM
64 Grand Street (between Wooster & West Broadway)
New York, NY 10013
Private viewing / Information call:
212.204.8379 or 908.256.4590
www.cubaartny.org / www.dactyl.org
Cuba Expedition Photos to Be Unveiled Monday March 28, 9:55 am ET
VENICE, Fla., March 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Renowned landscape photographer and environmentalist Clyde Butcher will unveil photographs taken during three expeditions to the mountains of Cuba. The photographs will be shown at his Venice gallery from March 12 through April 30.
HAVANA (Reuters) - Sculptures and prints by Louise Bourgeois, including her monumental "Maman" spider, went on show in Havana this weekend in the first major exhibition in Cuba by a contemporary U.S. artist.
A U.S.-based organizer said he was surprised last year to obtain a U.S. Treasury Department license to hold the show in Communist-run Cuba in the current hostile political climate between the two countries.
The 20 sculptures and 11 prints from Bourgeois' private collection, insured for $15 million, had to be shipped to Cuba through Canada due to four-decade-old U.S. sanctions that have been tightened by the administration of President Bush. ...
As the curtain closed on the final gala of the International Festival of Ballet in Havana in November, Alicia Alonso, the aged matriarch of Cuban ballet, stood unsteadily at center stage, her arms outstretched toward the raucous adulation of the crowd. Silent and still, a gracious smile chiseled on her face, she seemed less a woman than a monument. She has presided over the biennial festival since 1960, and her power is such that she - and perhaps she alone - is able to draw the globe's best artists to her slight, impoverished nation to dance.
Ms. Alonso, who is 83, has ruled the Ballet Nacional de Cuba - has been the Ballet Nacional de Cuba - for nearly six decades. Before, ballet in Cuba was a marginalized extravagance. Now, men in one of the world's most macho countries clamor to put on dancing tights. She has trained some of the era's greatest dancers and created a world-class ballet company renowned for its precise classicism and exuberant virtuosity.
She has accomplished all this despite her nation's poverty. Despite its isolation from the world's great ballet companies. And one other thing: despite the fact that she is, depending on whom you ask, either largely or completely blind...
In a Cuban Kitchen Alex Garcia remembers sitting at his grandmother's table in Cuba, as his aunts and other female relatives pounded top round. Afterward, they marinated the meat for at least three hours, then cooked up the juiciest steak imaginable.
He remembers them soaking beans overnight, then producing the creamiest bean soup in the neighborhood. And he remembers the still-warm, freshly laid chicken eggs at his grandmother's house.
The Bronx River Art Center (BRAC) is pleased to present "Havana Sci-Fi", curated by Adolfo V. Nodal, a survey of eight young artists pursuing professional careers in Havana, Cuba today. This exhibition presents painting, sculpture and installation pieces representing the current vanguard of thought and preoccupations that are strongly reflected in their frank and unvarnished artistic output.
These artists, who represent a variety of points of view and backgrounds, are the new breed cutting their teeth in the international milieu and bohemian cultural atmosphere that is found in the City of Havana today. Hailed from various parts of Cuba and as well as from other countries. They are a mirror of the so called "Generation 2000" of emerging artists that are part of Havana's exciting art scene. The group of young artists in this show are the new cutting-edge of Cuban Art, still largely under the radar in Cuba and almost unknown in the USA...