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Vol. 74/No. 8      March 1, 2010

Book festival opens in Havana
Militant/Jacob Perasso

HAVANA—Hundreds of thousands of Cubans are descending on La Cabaña, a former Spanish colonial fortress here, for the Havana International Book Fair. The fair, which opened February 11, runs in Havana for 10 days. Similar cultural events will take place in 15 other cities across the island over the following two weeks. In Havana the festival is featuring more than 350 book presentations and poetry readings, along with concerts, art exhibitions, and film showings.

Seven million books, including 1,000 newly published titles, are available for purchase across the island, reported Zuleica Romay, president of the Cuban Book Institute, at the fair’s inaugural ceremony. She noted that despite the effects on Cuba of the global economic crisis and U.S. embargo, the priority given to the fair shows that here “books are not viewed as commodities, nor are readers treated as consumers,” because expanding access to culture is “a fundamental pillar of the revolution.”


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