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news item

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Culture is a priority in Cuba, affirms Minister

by: Prensa Latina

"Culture is a priority in Cuba and is considered a fundamental pillar for social transformation", said the Cuban Minister for Culture, Abel Prieto, on a visit to Belgium this week.

This was explained during a conference held at the House of Latin America in Bruseels.

According to the headline, "the concept of transformation of society and the human being on which the Cuban Revolution is based, has to do with the transformation through culture."

In this sense, he recalled the ideas of the National Hero José Martí, who associated culture with freedom, the ability to understand the world and not to be manipulated.

The minister said that despite efforts to guarantee the Cuban people vast access to the best of world culture, the country does not escape the junk culture that has spread throughout the planet.

One of the main examples of this, he added is the loss of the habit of reading because "we not only read less but read things of lower quality."

"We are in a daily battle against very mediocre symbols, a mediocre culture that is everywhere," he said.

Abel Prieto explained that initiatives such as the development of video games or applications for mobile phones designed specifically to promote the habit of reading are being promoted in Cuba.

In this sense, he defended that "culture is not an ornament, it is an essential thing that has to do with the sense of life of people, and from there is born our challenge."

He also gave details on the current situation in Cuba, marked by complexities such as the passage of Hurricane Irma that caused considerable damage in many sectors.

He also referred to the new policy announced by the United States government that involves a setback in the bilateral approach that has taken place in recent years, and a resurgence of the economic, commercial and financial blockade.

Despite the difficult circumstances, the minister explained that culture remains a priority, and for that reason the country will continue to hold major events, such as the Latin American Film Festival in December and the Book Fair in February.

The conference is part of Prieto's agenda during his visit to Belgium, which also includes meetings in the European Parliament, with other Belgian authorities and participation in the celebrations for the Day of Cuban culture.

Link to original report in Spanish

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