Monday, November 20, 2006

Preparations for Fidel’s Birthday Full Steam Ahead

More than a thousand personalities from all continents will be come to Cuba between November 28 and the first days of December to celebrate the 80th birthday of Cuban President Fidel Castro in what will be "a demonstration of love, passion, affection and respect for the leader of the Revolution," said Alfredo Vera, member of the Guayasamin Foundation, the institution promoting of the initiative.

"Fidel Castro and the late Ecuadorian painter Oswaldo Guayasamin were united by profound ties of friendship and mutual admiration," said Vera.

The Foundation’s international relations person said the events to take place in Havana as part of the celebration include a colloquium on the thoughts of Fidel Castro; a concert at the Jose Martí Anti-imperialist Bandstand and an exhibition of Guayasamin’s paintings at the National Museum of Fine Arts.

The announcements were made on the nightly TV and Radio program The Round Table. Important intellectuals have confirmed their presence at the celebrations, among them, sociologist and journalist Ignacio Ramonet, Ecuador’s former president Rodrigo Borja, writer and essayist Luis Britto, and author Atilio Boron.

Foundation Vice-president Saskia Guayasamin, told the Round Table that convening the event was a task achieved on short notice, as a result of the great admiration for Fidel and his father Oswaldo, "who dedicated his painting to the defense of the poor and dispossessed of the Americas."

Vera added that the colloquium will run from November 29 through December 1. He said three commissions will delve into Fidel’s views on solidarity, internationalism and the need to forge a new type of human being. Discussions will also focus on the leader of the Cuban revolution’s concepts of justice, equity and humanity’s most pressing problems.

Round Table host Randy Alonso announced that all the debates will be taped for further broadcast on the program.

Guayasamin´s grandson, Alfredo Che Vera, provided details on the concert Todas las Voces Todas, scheduled to take place on November 30, with the participation of renowned musicians and singers from Cuba and Latin America.