Monthly Archives: October 2013

Airport change for European Airlines

havana-live-jose_-martiTemporary Change of Airport for European Airlines in Cuba
Havana, Cuba, Oct 10.- With the purpose of successfully facing up to the upcoming high tourism season in Cuba, Terminal Two of the capital’s Jose Marti International Airport (AIJM) will temporarily receive four European airlines as of October 14.
The companies to be relocated are Air Europe; Air Italy, Neos (Italy) and Condor (Germany), said Juan Carlos Quintana, general director of the AIJM.
In this regard, he added that these airlines currently carry out their operations at Terminal Three, which is in a stage of repair until the end of December.

(ACN)

Cuba Hosts for the First Time Latin American Pharmacology Congress

Cuba will host for the first time the Latin American Congress of Pharmacology and Therapeutics Latinfarma 2013, which opens this Monday in the capital with experts from the region and visitors from other countries.
Doctor René Delgado, president of the organizing committee said that in this twentieth edition of the event, underway at the Havana’s Conventions’ Center until Friday, aims to contribute to the development of this specialty in Latin America.
Delgado, president of the Cuban Society of Pharmacology (SCF) and the American Association of the industry, announced that the meeting will discuss issues related to pharmacology, therapeutics and related sciences, with emphasis on the development of new drugs, optimizing the existing ones and their rational use.
Professionals of the biomedical and pharmaceutical industry of various nations will know Cuba advances in science and medicine in Latinfarma 2013, to be held parallel to the V Ibero-American Congress of Pharmacology.
The event will include simultaneously symposia on the Teaching of Pharmacology, Update on Cancer Therapeutics, Psychiatry, Brain Damage and Neuroprotection , Immunopharmacology and Biotechnology, according to the organizing committee.
More than 300 conferences are included in the scientific program as well as debates, presentations and a similar number of workshops, as well as a trade show, all aimed at professionals who do research and teach these subjects.

(ACN)

Large Participation Expected at Havanas Inter- national Trade Fair

MakeThumbnail.aspxMore than 110 institutions from all Cuban economic sectors will mount stands at the Thirty First Havana International Fair, which will open its doors on November 3rd. An overview of Cuba’s medical advances –both in terms of techniques and medical products– will be advanced at the Fair, providing information and trade possibilities with Cuba, being the most advanced Latin American country in that field. Havana’s International Fair accepted as one of the most important in Latin America, is sponsored by the Cuban Chamber of Commerce. New products and services will be launched at the Fair by Cuban trade, service and industrial concerns, and the recently created Cuban Ministries of Industries and Mining and Energy will provide business opportunities. Business meetings have already been announced by joint Entrepreneurial Committees of Cuba, Spain and Russia. More than 60 countries have confirmed their attendance along with thousands of businessmen from all over the world.havana-live-havana_trade_fair

Jesse Jackson arrives in Havana

havana-live-jacksonRev. Jesse Jackson is in Cuba and it’s not clear how long he may stay.
Jackson arrived in Havana Friday afternoon, but did not provide extensive details as to why he is visiting the country. Jackson flew to Havana on a charter flight from Miami. Gross was jailed in Cuba in December 2009 and was sentenced to 15 years in prison in 2011. Authorities said Gross installed internet networks for Jewish groups which the Cuban government considers subversive. The U.S. claimed Gross was trying to help as part of a democracy-building project. Jackson flew to Havana on a charter flight from Miami.
“We will hope for the day when the walls come down and bridges are built so families can reunite again and relate with each other on real mutually respectful, mutually beneficial ways,” he told the press on arrival at Havana flagship Hotel Nacional.
“We will hope for the day when the walls come down and bridges are built so families can reunite again and relate with each other on real mutually respectful, mutually beneficial ways, ” he told the press on arrival at Havana flagship Hotel Nacional.“We will hope for the day when the walls come down and bridges are built so families can reunite again and relate with each other on real mutually respectful, mutually beneficial ways,” he told the press on arrival at Havana flagship Hotel Nacional.
Jackson surrounded by officials of the Cuban National Council of Churches said, “We’re here as guests of the church and we’ll listen to the agenda of the church. They’re concerned about the poor and the needy. They’re concerned about peaceful relations. They’re concerned about state and governments having good relationships and hooking up relationships between Cuba, the U.S. and the rest of the Caribbean that will facilitate that relationship.”

Havana (CBS)

Cuba approves Law for Mariel special development Zone

havana-live-harbour_havanaThe Council of State of Cuba, met on Thursday in the capital and passed a Decree/Law for the Mariel Special Development Zone, destined to become the main import/export gateway for Cuba’s foreign trade, said Granma newspaper. In addition to the law, the Official Gazette will publish in the coming days the port’s regulations with seven complimentary resolutions. The entire package will come into effect on November 1. The Mariel Zone,the first of its kind in Cuba, will have a “special policy” in order to “encuorage foreign and domestic investment, technological innovation and industrial concentration.” The Zone will be off-bounds to Cubans not involved in the production, commerce or the supplying of services.
The first of the facilities are expected to begin operations in January 2014, including the first 700 meters of quay, said the note.

HAVANA TIMES

Haitian carrier Sunrise Airways launches Cuba flights

jetHAVANA, Haitian startup carrier Sunrise Airways received permission to offer charter flights between Cuba and Haiti, Caribbean Journal reported. Sunrise will operate twice-a-week flights between Port-au-Prince and Holguín on a 19-seat Jetstream 32 aircraft. The airline was launched in November 2012 and “aims to establish a hub in Port-au-Prince,” the company says on its Website.
Philippe Bayard, president of Sunrise Airways, said that he is aiming a tourists and business travelers, according to Caribbean Journal. The company also offers all-inclusive tourism packages in Cuba, through Cubatur. Sunrise plans to expand to other Cuban destinations, beyond Holguín in eastern Cuba, he said. Thousands of Cuban medical personnel work in Haiti, and many Haitians study in Cuban universities.

Havana sees new life for industriell port

havana-live-havana_harbour1Havana’s harbor has long been an unsightly jumble of piers left to crumble into piles of rusty, twisted rebar. Its dominant feature is a refinery smokestack across the bay that belches smoke and flame 24 hours a day. But lately demolition crews and towering cranes have been working double-time to finally tear down the ruined docks. Gentrification is already evident in the lovingly restored bayside plazas of Old Havana, and now comes an ambitious plan to turn the polluted waterfront into a gleaming promenade with restaurants, cafes and public parks.
It has all been made possible because of a new port under construction west of the Cuban capital that promises to knock Havana from its perch as Cuba’s No. 1 shipping hub. Where some might bemoan the economic loss, city authorities instead see an opportunity to transform this seedy industrial zone and revitalize the depressed, densely packed Spanish colonial core.
“The bay is symbolic. It is what gave birth to the city and it is part of what we are today,” said Orlando Inclan, an architect with the Havana City Historian’s Office, which is overseeing the project. “Now it’s time to redefine it.” Inclan envisions in the space of just a few years pelicans, gulls and sailboats replacing tankers, freighters and mothballed navy vessels as the main inhabitants of the harbor of Havana.
Workers milled about on a recent afternoon putting finishing touches on the woodwork of the former tobacco warehouse in anticipation of the brewery’s opening in a month or so. Artists’ renderings depict a rescued ferry terminal, a modern, floating wooden boardwalk and open-air plazas that will connect the already existing cruise ship terminal and a huge arts and crafts market hall that opened several years ago. The project not only covers the abandoned docks, about half of which have already been razed, but also stretches kilometers (miles) south to shipyards that will be decommissioned, cleaned up and repurposed.
havana-live-aerial-view-of-old-havana“It’s a chance to reverse the deterioration of the entire southern part (of the bay), where public space, infrastructure and environmental values are lacking,” Inclan said.Havana Harbor’s industrial days have been numbered since 2009. Back then authorities determined that the purse-shaped bay, with a narrow, shallow entrance made even shallower by an automobile tunnel that traverses the mouth, could not be expanded. With Brazilian help, work began on a new $900 million port at Mariel, about 45 kilometers (30 miles) west of Havana. The city is best known for the Mariel Boatlift of 1980, when more than 100,000 Cubans fled the island by sea in the space of just six months. Designed to accommodate bigger, deeper-drafting vessels that will begin passing through an expanded Panama Canal in 2015, the Mariel port is set to open to traffic around the end of the year. The City Historian’s Office, run by powerful and well-connected Eusebio Leal, would not divulge timetables or cost figures for the Havana Harbor makeover. Arturo Lopez-Levy, a Cuban economist who lectures at the University of Denver, estimated that such a project could easily top $100 million factoring in things such as environmental cleanup and the cost of moving industrial activity. Cuba has a spotty record of following through on its grand ambitions, and money is always tight.
However Leal’s office can point to a long list of accomplishments since the 1990s, when it began restoring hundreds of historic buildings and converting them into bustling hotels and restaurants, breathing life into Old Havana and making it a major attraction.Havana is planning for both its current reality — millions of Canadian and European travelers visiting each year and freighters full of Chinese goods arriving on its shores and also a day when the 51-year U.S. economic embargo is no more. When that might happen is anyone’s guess, but observers say the “forbidden island” would likely be flooded with anywhere from 1 million to 5 million American travelers a year, not to mention U.S. exporters jostling to stake a claim in a market less than 150 kilometers (100 miles) from Florida.
In addition to Old Havana, Cuba has also spent millions developing beach resorts like Varadero and Cayo Coco. A beautified waterfront would add yet another lucrative attraction, said Julio Cesar Perez, a Cuban urban planner and visiting scholar at Harvard.
“You have to understand that by doing this you can generate wealth, value,” said Perez, who, independent of the Historian’s Office, drew up a similar master revitalization plan for Havana with the harbor as its crux. “At the same time … you need to deal with the housing problem” afflicting ordinary Cubans.
havana-live-Old-Havana-old-MapHousing is chronically short across the island, nowhere more so than in cramped Old Havana. When the Historian’s Office restores old buildings, it’s always a headache figuring out how and where to rehouse families. Leal’s employees say the harbor makeover will dramatically improve life for locals especially in the seediest part of the harbor, the predominantly industrial southern bay.”Just as has happened with many cities that have transformed their waterfront, Havana has this opportunity, and right in the very center of the city,” said Claudia Castillo, another architect in Leal’s office.Authorities also have been working since 2006 on cleaning up the water itself, sealing off industrial drains and installing a treatment plant on the Luyano River that feeds into the bay. Fishermen say the improvement is significant and avian and aquatic life has notably increased, even if plastic bags and tires still lap against the seawall.
Neighbors said many in the area who initially thought about selling their homes after President Raul Castro legalized the real estate market in 2011 decided to stay put upon hearing about the makeover — or significantly raised their asking prices.
“I see a bright future for the port zone,” said Runero Pena, a 64-year-old who lives near the waterfront. “We are very happy. We know this is a long-term program that won’t happen overnight, but this area is going to see great development.”

Ramon Espinosa, AP

Tracy Reese’s Havana night’s for Spring 2014 – New York Fashion Week

Tracy Reese showed her 2014 Spring collection yesterday at Lincoln Center.
There was lively Latin-flavored music, packets of plantains on the seats, and even live conga players in a playful runway presentation.
In an interview backstage before the show she told me the African-Cuban theme is one she returns to again and again. There was a strong masculine/feminine aesthetic. Take a look at the model pairing she started the show with. She said of the collection, “There’s a spirit of tribalism.” She also said there were themes of athleticism and romanticism. An especially pretty look Reese wanted viewers to note was the floral print in a glowing blue and red.mode1mode2

Posted by Clint Henderson Fox News

Travel Agents from Around the World Descend on Havana

Havana, Sep 11 (Prensa Latina) In order to promote destination Cuba, the island has welcomed 350 travel agents from 20 countries for a program organized by the Cuban travel company HAVANATOUR.
havana-live--vinialesWith its strategy of continued growth, HAVANATOUR is one of the largest companies of its type, announced that it was celebrating 35 years of service by bringing together specialists from the world’s leisure industry.
The one-week program gives travel agents and tour operators an opportunity to learn about a variety of travel and recreation offers.
MEGAFAN 35th Anniversary, as the event is called, runs from Sept. 8 to 13 and includes seminars and exhibits on various Cuban tourism scenarios for the coming winter season.Visitors will tour the northern coast of the central province of Villa Clara and the Varadero beach resort, 140 km east of the capital, Cuba’s most important recreation destination.

Havana eager to host World high diving Series

Mat_Cowen_action_Azores_3webCuba is eagerly preparing to host a stage of the 2014 World High Diving Series, the newest and most exciting competition in the world of aquatic sports. “It’s going to be a very important show,” said Ruiz Pedreguera, a former diver in the 70s and 80s who hopes to see Cuban athletes competing in the event, tentatively scheduled to take place April 12 at Castillo del Morro, the historic fort overlooking Havana Bay.
havana-live-cliff-diver-orlando-duque-dives-from-25m-at-the-statue-of-libertyOrganizers are considering building a seven-meter-high steel-and-aluminum platform, extending eight meters out over the sea, at the fort, which already has a height of 20 meters. The waters in this part of the bay have a depth of more than five meters.
The event is expected to gather a dozen or more of the world’s top high divers, whose death-defying leaps, turns and aerial somersaults will be visible to spectators along the port city’s seafront promenade. In the men’s division, divers are expected to make five dives from a height of 27 meters; in the women’s division, divers make three dives from an elevation of 20 meters. Both are expected to remain suspended in air for three seconds and to dive, feet first, at nearly 100 kilometers per hour.Competitive high diving is spectacular to watch and considered extremely risky. Since the series debuted in 2009, some 20 countries have hosted the event at least once. To help oversee the preparations for the event, and offer workshops, the current high diving world champion and director of the sport, Colombian-born Orlando Duque, will be traveling to Cuba this month. Cuban diver Yurisbel Caignet, 26 and a former champion, has expressed an interest in competing in the event. The sport’s record holders include Switzerland’s Oliver Favre, with a 54-meter dive, and the U.S.’ Lucy Wardle, with a 37-meter dive. Next year’s edition of the diving series will see Havana host the second stage of the 10-stage competition held in exotic locations around the world, such as Mexico, Brazil, Australia and Hawaii.