An estimated 4 million copies of over 900 latest publications of books and movies, plays and art will be available at Cuba’s 25th International Book Fair which was officially launched on Thursday, February 11 in Havana. Some 300 foreign publishers from 37 countries are expected to attend, said the organizers. The Fair is considered Cuba’s premier cultural event, as well as the event with one of the highest attendances in Cuba: the 20th International Book Fair drew over 2.3 million people to the Capital City!
Around 70 Cuban publishing houses will display their products in this annual event in which Uruguay is this year’s Guest of Honor. Uruguay’s Vice President Raul Sendic noted that “in recent years, the people of Uruguay have lived through a very important period, thanks to policies that helped strengthen our values, our production and economy, and better distribute resources to alleviate poverty.” This new stage has allowed for the flourishing of “the ideas, culture, art and initiative that fosters artistic creation,” he added.
The Uruguayan official said his country applauded the “friendship, solidarity and brotherhood” between the two leftist nations and honored the role that Cuba has played in defending Latin American culture, welcoming authors and intellectuals persecuted by fascist and authoritarian regimes.
The Uruguayan delegation read from the works of the late writer Eduardo Galeano, held panels and presented new editions of some of his most popular works as a tribute to his life. The fair will also feature Uruguayan movies, plays, traditional crafts and art.
The initial stage of the event, always located in Havana, will take place until February 21, then it will move to other provinces of the country, a sample of the massive scope of one of the most awaited events by Cubans throughout the year.
With the opening ceremony now gone, one can expect the Fortaleza San Carlos de la Cabaña, the usual venue of the Fair, to be crowded with people looking for the most current and varied literary options, as well asa place for recreation and spending free time with loved ones. For the 25th version of the cultural event, a similar structure to that of its predecessors is being prepared, with various sub-headquarters, such as the Union of Artists and Writers of Cuba (Uneac, in Spanish), the Dulce Maria Loynaz Center and the downtown Pabellón Cuba, among others.
This edition of the Fair will also be dedicated to Cuban writers Lina de Feria and Rogelio Martínez Furé, National Literature Prize winners, to the disappeared novelist José Soler Puig, and to the 130th anniversary of the abolition of slavery in Cuba.