Notas Bibliotecarias

Perspectivas sobre la bibliotecologia cubana

Library included in Restoration Plans by the Office of the City Historian, Eusebio Leal

Eusebio Leal: Everything can be rectified
By Arianna Barredo Ramos*

An old city which is being revived little by little, where a cultural space lost in rubble and abandonment is emerging into the light. This has been the objective over the years for Havana’s historic district.

Eusebio Leal

Diverse tourism and social projects, under construction and already restored, are making Havana a required destination, for both national and foreign travelers.

“Perhaps this is the moment when we have more and more complex works,” affirmed City Historian Eusebio Leal, leader of the rehabilitation of Old Havana, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

In the Avenida del Puerto area, highly prioritized because, to a large extent, it determines the fate of the old city, the major undertaking is making the Bay of Havana ecologically healthy once again, and it has been possible to eliminate a whole series of facilities and functions, which at one time opened up the port to the world.

This is a state project, closely related to the investment in the Port of Mariel and thus the first step is planning the entire perimeter of the bay; second, making this compatible with the needs of workers, entities and agencies in the area, which has already been organized.

Third is the monumental restoration work of the City Historian’s Office, which currently covers the shoreline running from the La Punta Castle to Atarés Castle.

This area takes in works like the Cubo de Cristal virtually at the entrance to the Plaza de Armas; the Cámara de Rejas of the tunnel which provides hygiene for the old part of the city; meanwhile, another project consists of introducing new networks, the most important of which are precisely water and drainage networks.

Work is also ongoing to recover the port’s historical piers: San Francisco, Santa Clara and La Machina, in the new Regla terminal, which should be completed by the end of next year and, as a result, the clearing of the entire port shore in the Alameda de Paula area.

Other piers in reparation include El Tobaco and la Madera, known for their exports of tobacco and timber. The new project for these is a large beer factory, already concluded, with a large dining room and a lookout over the bay, located on the top floor of the plant.

The San José warehouse has been completed, as has Paula Church, now a musical center, and the Jesús Montané community sports school, and work is now beginning on the Atarés Castle and the railroads to the Railroad Museum in Calle Cristina, whose 40 engines are now being placed on the tracks.

On the other hand, a major restoration project in process is the national Capitolio, a colossal under-taking, divided into segments of diverse arts: its bronze, plaster and gold statues, carpentry and work on the cupola.

On a secondary level is the completion of the Martí Theater, highly significant for Havana and the city’s traditions; work on the Manzana de Gómez block; and the City Historian’ Office is cooperating with a Ministry of Culture project on the Gran Teatro.

Another series of works within the Historic District include a new hotel for students, scheduled for completion at the end of this year; a major housing complex, large public monuments such as those to the Calixto García and Antonio Maceo; the monuments and gardens dedicated to the victims of the Maine battleship; and that dedicated to General Henry Reeve.

Following the line of the Malecón and within the Historic District thousands of people are to benefit this year, both in individual and social terms.

Service facilities include schools, orphanages, gender attention centers, and centers for at-risk sectors of the population, such as the elderly and those with disabilities.

Two large hotels are to go up on the Malecón, one being the former Packard, of which only the façade integrating the structure remains. On the other side, on the corner of the fork formed by the Malecón and San Lázaro, a second hotel is to be built, presiding over both streets like Hercules Columns, the beginning of a Prado Boulevard which is rapidly being restored.

On the margins of these major works, dozens and dozens of homes have been restored, given that it is expressly forbidden by the City Historian’s Office to undertake any work related to image which is not primarily committed to interiors.

The benefits have three dimensions: habitat; image, because it is also important for people to live in a dignified manner; and the need to recompose ways of life within this area. This is why homes have been mixed with building and cultural projects, in an attempt to respect what Cubans have as the “Havana smile” which is the Malecón.

The works are basically focused on Havana’s Historic District. Why is this?

In personal terms, it was like planting a seed, the starting point. Sometimes, and I think too often, I took the example of the wise Ancient Greek, “Give me a lever and I will move the world.” It was necessary to first show a clear example of what was possible and what was unjust, damaging to the image of Cuba and disproportionate damage to future generations, the loss of Havana.

For that reason, the work of the Office is named after the Historic District, it doesn’t say either Old Havana, or the Casco Viejo, because both forms are a bit minimizing; but afterward I realized that Havana had many central districts at distinct points, and all of them had to be subjected to restoration, and which form eclosions within which the possibility emerges.

Thus, we have repaired buildings which are emblematic of its culture or have contributed to it, such as the University of Havana – I call it the city of knowledge – where we have restored the rector’s office, the Aula Magna, the library, including the restoration of murals by Domingo Ravenet, which a whole generation never knew; the Faculty of Law; and we’re now working on the Chemistry Faculty.

The other is the grand cemetery [Colón] which has suffered a lot from neglect, the assumption that it is artistic but not historic. Without what is there, the history of a nation cannot be written.

So we are working on restoring these values, seeking out the disappeared, restoring what has been stolen – let’s talk frankly –and finally place there a legion of young people from the workshop school who, with some professionals, have dedicated themselves to all the large pantheons, the entrance arch to the cemetery and the great figures of history.

What projects does the City Historian’s Office have for the future?

There is a master plan which, in the medium and long terms, is studying the use of the ground and development. Now something new is happening, it is the emergence of new actions, in this case positive ones, and in many cases directed by us, or at least accompanied, looked after by people who have acquired houses, or who have asked for bank loans, or received family support and are founding businesses in the Historic District compatible with this.

The discourse that that the Historic District Center is going to enjoy this has been understood and that destroying it would be a banality and a serious error.

In various places, such as the stretch of Aguilar which runs from the Avenida del Puerto to Cuarteles Street, a transformation has come about with the leadership of community actors and this is inimitable, a kind of positive leaning toward collecting, restoring and putting a final point to that sad and difficult period and, as we know, inevitable, in which things were going; now things are coming back, or at least remaining.

Recently, you were appointed coordinator of the network of offices of Historians and Creators of Cuba. Can you tell us about this new responsibility which extends to other cities in the country?

Legitimate movements are emerging and have emerged, some with a great tradition, like Trinidad, which has had its historians for many, many years.

There is an extremely interesting project in Camagüey; the City Historian’s Office is very like ours and has promoted a process, which as I say, is throwing a stone on a mirror of water, and a very significant restoration movement is emerging from Plaza Agramonte to Plaza del Carmen.

Now what is needed is for everyone to capture this signal and realize that the city is valuable insofar as and as much as it preserves its elements of identity, which is also valid for Havana.

There are two currents, one which restores, which we must immediately prize and recognize, and one which deforms and changes everything in accordance with a kind of nouveau riche fashion. Suddenly, facades are filled with glazed tiles; if only it looked something like what Gaudi did, but it’s like a caricature of his work; plaster lions begin to appear, the weirdest gargoyles, bottles repeated everywhere, colors which do not correspond with Havana, and I believe that all of this must be directed.

In the same way, there is a very interesting and new movement in Sancti Spíritus; another after the hurricane – they were doing it before, but with more strength now – in Santiago de Cuba, an excellent job in Baracoa.

The responsibility lies in organizing the seven cities which are part of the national heritage, to exchange experiences, lend each other mutual aid, create colloquiums for training personnel and capable people and inspire new generations in this kind of pedestrian city.

There is a political will on the part of the nation, the country wants everything, rather than to lose its cultural heritage, but there is always someone who serves as a procuress and is lost and there is always someone who serves as a guide so that she is saved.

President Raúl Castro dedicated his speech in the 1st Ordinary Session of the 8th National Assembly Legislature to order, discipline and rigor in Cuban society. “The most sensitive aspect is the deterioration – real and in image – of Cubans’ rectitude and good manners. It is unacceptable to identify vulgarity with modernity, or vulgar talk and impudence with progress; in the first place, living in society involves assuming norms which preserve respect for others’ rights and decency.” You have worked precisely for this for years. How much remains to be done?

His speech was very brave and takes into account what deterioration is, this loss of the concept of beauty and ways of conducting oneself which are incompatible with the real spirit of a Revolution.

There are certain kinds of behavior which have become legitimized and are unacceptable. There is a confusion between the vanguard and the elite; I do not work for elites, but I do work for the vanguard.

I believe, as a recently deceased great friend of mine, Alfredo Guevara, said, that beauty is the most important thing for humanity, like bread, beauty is its relation with the ideal, with what one wants and feels as an aspiration to live better, in a life which, by its nature, is always brief.

So this disparagement of social works, this wasting of time and energy on restoring a sculpture and the next morning, an unknown appears and writes something barbaric on it, in the name of his incompatibility with whatever, let him do it in his house, but not on public assets.

There is a moment in life for everything, there are moments for laughter, for silence and those for weeping, and this is legitimate, you cannot have partying when you have to weep, there cannot be vulgarity when what is required is to be an example of the finest ways of acting.

We have a rich, beautiful language, and in moments of desperation it is legitimate and almost a consubstantial aspect of language and its history, to use a strong word. But not even on television should we accept as established custom that, in the name of talking like ‘the people,’ that there is a profound confusion.

I fight because everything can be rectified, if I believe in architecture, I believe in human order. I believe that we must educate, there is the way toward the restitution of the founding role of schools, there is a way – and this is in Raúl’s speech – of the value of the family as the appropriate counterpart to schools.

His words must be very much taken into account and we must be really concerned about their being converted into slogans. We must try to make it a daily practice, the daily decalogue of Cubans living positively. (PL)

*Prensa Latina national office journalist.

Saul Landau — Presente! Su archivo de peliculas se preserva en la biblioteca de la Universidad de California, Riverside

Democracy now,  SEPT 10, 2013      Saul_landau_2003

Journalist & Filmmaker Saul Landau, 77, Dies; Chronicled Cuban Revolution For Decades

The award-winning journalist, filmmaker, author and professor Saul Landau has died at the age of 77. His death was confirmed by the Institute for Policy Studies where he was a senior fellow and vice chair of the IPS board. Landau made more than 45 films and wrote 14 books, many about Cuba. “He stood up to dictators, right-wing Cuban assassins, pompous politicians, and critics from both the left and the right,” IPS Director John Cavanagh said in a statement from the group.

“When he believed in something, nobody could make him back down. Those who tried would typically find themselves on the receiving end of a withering but humorous insult.”

Landau’s recent film, “Will the Real Terrorist Please Stand Up?” exposed U.S. support for violent anti-Castro militants. Last year, Landau appeared on Democracy Now! to discuss the history of the Cuban Five and U.S. support for a group of anti-Castro militants who have been behind the bombing of airplanes, the blowing up of hotels and assassinations. Today, they are allowed to live freely in the United States. “What did Cuba do to us?,” Landau asks. “Well, the answer, I think, is that they were disobedient, in our hemisphere. And they did not ask permission to take away property. They took it away. They nationalized property. And the United States … has never forgiven them.”

Landau is survived by his wife, Rebecca Switzer, his first wife, Nina Serrano, and his five children, seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

The Institute for Policy Studies released the following statement:

The Institute for Policy Studies Mourns the Loss of Filmmaker and Author Saul Landau

(Washington, D.C., September 10, 2013) Institute for Policy Studies staff and friends are mourning the loss of Saul Landau, an award-winning filmmaker, author, poet, and fearless human rights activist. Saul was an IPS Fellow from 1972 until his death on September 9, 2013, from cancer at age 77.

Saul produced more than 40 films and TV programs, 14 books, and thousands of newspaper and magazine articles and reviews. Among his numerous accolades, Saul received an Emmy and a George Polk Award for “Paul Jacobs and the Nuclear Gang,” a film he directed with Jack Willis in 1980 about the cover-up of health hazards related to 1950s atomic bomb testing.

Beyond his extensive body of work, Saul will be remembered for his steely nerve and caustic wit. “He stood up to dictators, right-wing Cuban assassins, pompous politicians, and critics from both the left and the right,” said IPS Director John Cavanagh. “When he believed in something, nobody could make him back down. Those who tried would typically find themselves on the receiving end of a withering but humorous insult.”

Saul constantly mocked the hypocrisy he saw in U.S. policies, particularly in Latin America. His last film, “Will the Real Terrorist Please Stand Up?” tells the history of U.S.-Cuban relations through the lens of the Cuban 5, a group sent to infiltrate right-wing terrorist organizations in Miami. When the spies turned over evidence of U.S.-based terrorism to theFBI, they themselves were arrested and convicted while the anti-Castro terrorists continued to live freely in Florida. Several times in the last years of his life, Saul joined actor Danny Glover in driving hours across the California desert to visit one of the Cuban 5 prisoners.

Over the course of his career, Saul made six films about Cuba. His most popular was the 1968PBS documentary “Fidel,” shot during a week-long jeep tour of the country that allowed him unprecedented access to the controversial Cuban leader. New York and Los Angeles premieres of the film were both canceled after firebomb attacks on the theaters. “These right-wing Cubans had, how shall I say it, ‘strong views’ on free speech,” Saul later commented. At the time of his death, he had yet another Cuba film in the works, this one on the fight against homophobia in that country. The Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP) awarded him the Medal of Friendship on August 7, 2013.

In 1971, Saul released two films about the election of Chilean President Salvador Allende, Latin America’s first democratically elected socialist leader, including one with singer/songwriter Country Joe McDonald. Chilean ambassador Orlando Letelier invited him to screen one of the films at the embassy in Washington and they became friends. Two years later, a military junta led by General Augusto Pinochet overthrew the Allende government and imprisoned Letelier.

Saul worked with other international supporters to secure Letelier’s release and to arrange a job for him at IPS, where he became one of the most prominent critics of the Chilean dictatorship. In 1976, agents of Pinochet used a car bomb to assassinate Letelier and IPScolleague Ronni Karpen Moffitt on Massachusetts Avenue in Washington, D.C.

Saul immediately launched an IPS investigation into the murders. He was suspicious of theFBI, which had conducted extensive surveillance and infiltration of IPS during the Nixon era. In the course of the investigation, however, Saul developed a close working relationship with the lead FBI agents and maintained strong friendships with them for decades after the crime.

In 1980, Saul co-authored (with former Washington Post reporter John Dinges) a book on the Letelier-Moffitt case, Assassination on Embassy Row, which was nominated for an Edgar Allan Poe Award.

In 1995, Saul and his former IPS colleague Joan Garces co-authored the book Orlando Letelier: Testimonio y Vindicación to help revive efforts to bring Pinochet to justice. Three years later, Saul was thrilled when a case Joan had filed in the Spanish courts resulted in the former dictator’s arrest in London.

While Pinochet ultimately avoided prosecution, Saul celebrated this measure of justice and the precedent it set for international human rights law. With obvious glee, he wrote that as a result of the arrest, “rumors abound that Henry Kissinger makes discrete inquiries before he travels abroad, to assure himself that he won’t get ‘Pinocheted.’”

“Saul’s commitments were forged of steel,” said Isabel Letelier, the widow of Orlando Letelier and a former IPS staff member. “He was an impeccable and exemplary revolutionary.”

Saul also helped keep the pursuit of justice alive through his support of the Institute’s annual Letelier-Moffitt human rights awards. For 36 years, this event has lifted up new heroes of the human rights movements in the United States and Latin America. Saul received the award himself in 1992. In 2008, the Chilean government presented him with the Order of Bernardo O’Higgins, the highest civilian honor awarded to non-Chilean citizens.

Saul’s other books and films and articles covered the gamut, from the U.S. Congress to Nicaragua, Mexico, Jamaica, and a final set of articles against U.S. policy in Syria. He worked with IPS up to the day of his death, helping to set up two year-long fellowships for young public scholars.

Saul also taught classes at the California Polytechnic University in Pomona, the University of California-Santa Cruz, and American University. He used his vast repertoire of vivid stories and off-color jokes to engage his students and open their minds to alternative perspectives.

“A large part of his legacy will be that he mentored countless young people and instilled in them the importance of history and the radical idea that we can make our own history,” said IPS Co-Founder Marcus Raskin.

In his 2007 book A Bush and Botox World, Saul railed against the shallowness of American political and consumer culture, appealing to readers to “stop allowing the message senders to keep us in the sucker role and instead play a role during the course of our short passages in the long historical drama.”

He is survived by his wife, Rebecca Switzer, his first wife, Nina Serrano, and his five children, Greg Landau, Valerie Landau, Carmen Landau, Julia Landau, and Marie Landau and seven grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

The Institute for Policy Studies will host a public memorial service at the Liaison Hotel in Washington, DC, on Saturday, October 12, at 6 pm. Another service will be held in San Francisco on a date to be determined.

Saul’s final film on the Cuba 5:

Will the Real Terrorist Please Stand Up: Saul Landau on U.S.-Aided Anti-Castro Militants & the Cuban 5

From Juventud Rebelde, Sept. 11, 2013
Por la digna amistad de Saul Landau

Saul Landau, el amigo de Cuba, el defensor de conciencia y corazón de los Cinco, murió el lunes 9 de septiembre, en su casa de California, tras 77 años de fructífero paso por la Tierra

Juventud Rebelde
11 de Septiembre del 2013 0:25:42 CDT

Saul Landau, el amigo de Cuba, el defensor de conciencia y corazón de los Cinco, se ha ido; y deja un vacío en la lucha que solo puede ser llenado por muchos con la voluntad y la decisión de seguir su ejemplo valeroso en la búsqueda de la justicia.

En el combate permanente por la verdad de los pueblos, lo hizo desde su prestigio académico como Profesor Emérito de la Universidad Politécnica del Estado de California en Pomona, donde enseñó Historia y Medios digitales; está ese actuar en sus bien conocidas y celebradas conferencias en altos centros de estudio de todo el mundo; lo encontramos en cada una de las obras de su prolífica trayectoria autoral —14 libros—; se lee también en sus innumerables comentarios y artículos periodísticos, y se palpa en sus premiados filmes entre los más de 50 documentales donde están presentes las historias no contadas por los grandes medios.

Apenas algunos títulos de la cinematografía dirigida por el norteamericano bueno y honesto, indican cuánto homenaje y reconocimiento permanente se merece: Paul Jacobs and the Nuclear Gang (1980) galardonado con el Emmy, y el Premio Edgar Allan Poe 1981 por Assassination on Embassy Row, sobre el asesinato de Orlando Letelier y Ronnie Karpen-Moffitt.

El tercer filme de Landau inició una línea de trabajo que lo convirtió en un cronista de la Revolución Cubana, se tituló Fidel (1968), luego trajo Castro, Cuba and the US (1974), y Bill Moyer’s CBS report on CIA and Cuba (1977). Con su última historia fílmica mostró una vez más ese compromiso con la justicia: Will the Real Terrorist Please Stand Up (2012) —Que se ponga de pie el verdadero terrorista—, revelación y denuncia del apoyo de las administraciones de Estados Unidos a la contrarrevolución terrorista anticubana.

Cuando fue entrevistado por Democracy Now para debatir la historia de Gerardo, René, Ramón, Antonio y Fernando y su derecho a monitorear las agrupaciones de esa mafia miamense para evitar sabotajes y atentados, Landau denunció que los organizadores de la voladura del avión en Barbados y de las bombas en hoteles de La Habana podían caminar libremente por las calles de Estados Unidos.

«¿Qué nos hizo Cuba?», se preguntó Saul en ese encuentro con la publicación radial y digital progresista, y se respondió: «Bueno, la respuesta, yo pienso, que ellos (los cubanos) fueron desobedientes en nuestro hemisferio. (…) Y Estados Unidos nunca lo perdonarán».

El activista por los derechos humanos se convirtió en uno de los estadounidenses que llevó la solidaridad en visitas personales, especialmente a Gerardo, atravesando el desierto californiano junto al actor Danny Glover para llevarle la necesaria porción de calor humano.

Cuba, agradecida del hombre digno, lo distinguió con la Medalla de la Solidaridad, hoy lo recuerda para siempre. Saul Landau murió el lunes 9 de septiembre, en su casa de California, tras 77 años de fructífero paso por la Tierra. Solo perdió la batalla frente al cáncer.
Manuel Yepe Sep 11 08:25PM -0400


Por Manuel E. Yepe

En la noche del lunes 9 de septiembre falleció en California Saúl Landau, un gran americano que luchó, hasta su último aliento, por el honor y la dignidad de los Estados Unidos de América y por evitar que el hegemonismo que el desarrollo imperialista había engendrado en su patria norteamericana siguiera aislándola del resto América y de la humanidad.

Cuando viajó a Cuba por primera vez en 1960, Saúl Landau ya era graduado de historia y comenzaba la maestría en la Universidad de Wisconsin-Madison, identificada entonces como una de las tres con
estudiantado más progresista en Estados Unidos. Allí proyectaba su activismo político como editor de la publicación Studies on the Left de la cual había sido cofundador.

En el período inicial de la revolución cubana fue el más brillante entre los muchos jóvenes intelectuales marxistas estadounidenses que se movilizaron para apoyar a Cuba frente a la hostilidad de su propio gobierno e identificarse con los jóvenes dirigentes cubanos. Fue durante la primera y única estancia en Cuba del destacado sociólogo estadounidense C. Wright Mills, para entrevistar al entonces primer ministro Fidel Castro en 1960, que Landau conoció a Mills aunque ya ambos eran activos miembros del Comité de Trato Justo para Cuba (Fair Play for Cuba o FPCC). Pronto Landau se convirtió en el asistente de Mills para las investigaciones y una de las personas que más contribuyó a la radicalización del pensamiento de este sabio.

Landau conoció personalmente a Fidel Castro en 1968, cuando ya había realizado un documental para la televisión pública de Estados Unidos,titulado Report from Cuba.

Este primer contacto personal con el jefe de la revolución cubana dio lugar al documental “Fidel” que poco después también exhibió la televisión pública de Estados Unidos.

Junto al fotógrafo y activista revolucionario Lee Lockwood, autor en 1965 de un libro gráfico sobre Fidel, Saúl participó en la fundación de un Centro en Nueva York destinado a ofrecer cultura e información de la realidad de Cuba, tan distorsionada ya por la propaganda de los medios corporativos de información.

Cuatro décadas después de su primer encuentro con Fidel Castro, Saúl Landau tuvo nuevamente la oportunidad de reunirse con el líder revolucionario cubano en septiembre del 2009, esta vez junto con otros destacados artistas estadounidenses: Harry Belafonte, Danny Glover y James Early.

Con Danny Glover, Saúl visitó en varias ocasiones a Gerardo Hernández, uno de los cinco antiterroristas cubanos prisioneros políticos en Estados Unidos, en la cárcel de alta seguridad donde cumple desde hace 15 años una cruel e injusta condena perpetua. Saúl Landau fue profesor, periodista, politólogo, poeta y cineasta. Era además, y sobre todo, por su larga historia de intenso activismo político, un revolucionario verdadero.

Saul Landau publicó 14 libros; produjo y dirigió más de 50 filmes documentales y escribió una notable cantidad de vibrantes crónicas, ensayos y otros artículos publicados en medios impresos, radiales y digitales de Estados Unidos, América Latina y Europa, todos incluidos en su blog.

Como activista abrazó la lucha por los derechos civiles en su país que encabezó Martin Luther King y se identificó con la defensa de los derechos de los inmigrantes en Estados Unidos y los independentistas de Puerto Rico. Participó activamente en la condena popular contra la guerra de agresión en Vietnam.

Con pasión defendió a la revolución cubana durante más de 50 años y con igual intensidad apoyó la lucha de los sandinistas en Nicaragua y la revolución bolivariana en Venezuela. Se entregó por entero a la solidaridad con el pueblo chileno, victorioso con Salvador Allende y sufrido bajo la dictadura de Augusto Pinochet.

Condenó abiertamente los golpes militares contra los países con gobiernos incómodos para Washington y apoyó los movimientos de liberación nacional de los pueblos en todo el planeta.

No ha habido en el mundo contemporáneo de Landau una injusticia que no haya condenado ni una causa honorable que no haya merecido su inteligente solidaridad.

Toda la obra de Saul Landau se caracteriza por su profundidad y por su ingeniosidad; la originalidad de sus enfoques sorprende hasta a sus más asiduos seguidores. Eso explica que el formidable historiador y novelista estadounidense Gore Vidal haya confesado que “Saul Landau es un hombre de quien me encanta robar ideas (is a man I love to steal ideas from)”.

Se fue este gran americano, ¡pero quedan sus ideas!

Septiembre de 2013.

El libro electronico en Cuba — E-Books in Cuba

1 de Agosto del 2013 10:20:02 CDT

From: Diario de la juventud cubana, edición digital

¿E-books cubanos? ¡Sí!

Una veintena de libros electrónicos, que por primera vez recogen obras literarias de autores cubanos, son una propuesta esperanzadora para escritores y lectores

Jaisy Izquierdo
31 de Julio del 2013 21:04:37 CDT

Más de 20 libros de escritores cubanos se encogieron hasta el formato de un dispositivo electrónico, haciéndoles un pícaro guiño a las montañas de libros de papel que por todas las carpas y vericuetos de la Ca-baña se acomodaron durante la última Feria Internacional del Libro celebrada en Cuba.

Esta iniciativa es fruto de la labor de Ruth Casa Editorial y su creador, el escritor Carlos Tablada, que a través de su oficina representativa en Cuba ha sumado al empeño de su equipo a diversas instituciones culturales para apropiarse de los beneficios de las nuevas tecnologías en el ámbito de la literatura.

Con ello luchan por proporcionarles una visualización a nivel mundial a nuestros autores y a su calidad literaria, que pasa inadvertida en otras partes del mundo por el bloqueo cultural que impera en los medios de comunicación.

Cuenta Tablada que siempre tuvo «el sueño, después que desaparece el campo socialista y el imperio lanza el neoliberalismo como única salida, de contar con una casa editorial que pusiera su granito de arena en la vinculación de escritores, intelectuales, movimientos sociales e instituciones de todos los confines de la Tierra».

Ese anhelo se materializó en 2004, cuando se funda Ruth Casa Editorial, «una institución sin fines de lucro, que se alimenta de mis derechos de autor, así como de las contribuciones de otros escritores y grupos de intelectuales, quienes como Martí pensamos que una idea poderosa, aun dentro de una cueva, es más potente que un ejército», explica.

«En nuestro catálogo tenemos 77 libros impresos, entre los cuales se incluyen alrededor de 40 coeditados con editoriales e instituciones cubanas como el Instituto Cubano del Libro, el Centro Juan Marinello, el Centro de Estudios Martianos, la editorial Capitán San Luis, Ediciones Cubanas, la Casa Editora Abril y el Cenesex, entre otras.

«Les ponemos el libro listo en las manos y ellos se encargan de la impresión», explica el ganador del Premio Casa de las Américas 1987 por su obra El pensamiento económico de Ernesto Che Guevara y también autor de Guerra global, resistencia mundial y alternativas.

Así también dan su aporte en Venezuela, para apoyar la Revolución Bolivariana; en Ecuador, o junto al movimiento de los Sin Tierra en Brasil, entre otros.

A fines de 2011 a Ruth le nació otra hija: una tienda virtual donde posicionar sus libros en la Internet, proyecto que finalmente terminó por acoger, junto a importantes firmas internacionales, a los autores cubanos, cuyas obras ya se pueden adquirir en

A escasos dos años de ardua labor, en la pasada Feria Internacional del Libro de Cuba se vislumbraron los primeros frutos: fueron presentados más de 20 títulos, entre estos La victoria estratégica. Por todos los caminos de la Sierra y La contraofensiva estratégica. De la Sierra Maestra a Santiago de Cuba, ambos de Fidel Castro Ruz; Cartas desde la pasión, de Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda; Canción de Rachel, de Miguel Barnet; Polo Montañez, de Fernando Díaz Martínez; Fidel Castro Ruz, guerrillero del tiempo, de Katiuska Blanco; y las novelas de Daniel Chavarría Príapos, Joy y su más reciente, La piedra de rapé; los cuales ya los internautas de cualquier rincón del planeta pueden descargar por precios mucho más bajos.

Chavarría se alegra de la novedad, pues sabe que un libro suyo en Chile o en Uruguay ronda los 30.00 USD, y que por este medio los lectores tendrían que abonar tres veces menos su costo. Pero más aún los ojos se le desbordan ante la posibilidad de tener toda una biblioteca de Alejandría, contenida solamente en un aparatico que entre sus dedos alcanza el tamaño de un libro mediano.

«Padecí mucho cuando se desintegró mi primera biblioteca, y cuando logré armar una segunda con miles de trabajos, pues sufrió igual suerte. Confieso que la idea de tener más de 4 000 libros, en lo que aparenta ser uno solo, me encanta».

En el mundo del ciberlibro

Conocido también como libro digital, ciberlibro y hasta ecolibro, el e-book es una versión electrónica de un texto publicado en diferentes formatos electrónicos.

Al dispositivo usado para leer estos libros que no precisan de papel, se les conoce como e-reader o lector de libros electrónicos, cuyo costo se abarata cada vez más en el mercado mundial.

En la tienda virtual de Ruth Casa se puede comprar por el mismo precio un libro en tres formatos diferentes: el .pdf, para leer en computadora o en una laptop —pero que va en desuso por las facilidades de leer con e-readers—; el ePub, que es el formato estándar para leer en la mayoría de los dispositivos móviles de lectura, smartphones o teléfonos inteligentes y tablets; y el Mobi (KF8), utilizado por los dispositivos Kindle y el tablet KindleFire, ambos de Amazon, que ahora mismo es la puntera en la comercialización de lectores digitales de textos.

Para el licenciado en Bibliotecología y Ciencias de la Información, Enrique García, son innumerables las ventajas que los libros electrónicos brindan, tanto a autores como a lectores.

«Descargar e-books de la red cuesta menos que gastar en una librería, se resuelven los problemas de almacenamiento y distribución,y hasta son ecológicos, porque no hay que talar miles de árboles para obtener el papel. Permite establecer una lectura social, en la que compartes frases o fragmentos con tus amigos en las redes sociales o por correo electrónico. Además están a disposición de más lectores, porque son más los internautas que diariamente se conectan en el mundo, que las personas que visitan una librería. Y ni hablar de la portabilidad de los e-readers, que pueden almacenar miles de documentos; sumándole a ello las facilidades de lectura que permiten, como aumentar la letra y emular las páginas de un libro impreso para que no se afecte la vista con la irradiación de la luz de la pantalla», argumenta el también responsable de la colección de e-books de Ruth Casa.

Para los autores las ventajas se acumulan en el área de la difusión, puesto que aumentan sus potenciales lectores, a la par que las ventas también repercuten en un por ciento de ganancias.

Los ciberlibros además se convierten en una alternativa para obtener mayor retroalimentación del impacto de sus obras, casi instantáneamente. Con estos pueden a la vez promocionar sus otros títulos, sus blogs personales, y así generar discusiones con sus seguidores.

Mientras tanto las editoriales se benefician con un ahorro importante en los costos de impresión y distribución, tanto que las empresas más grandes apuestan por producir hasta un 40 por ciento de su catálogo en formato digital.

Como en la vida, los riesgos no están ausentes, y el peor es la piratería, un fenómeno que afecta a la mayoría de los negocios en internet, y en el que el único vencedor sería, por supuesto, el ciberlector.

«Ante este problema generalizado hay varias propuestas, pero en sentido general se apuesta por una cultura comercial on line y por nuevas leyes que amparen la distribución de contenidos», indica García.

La presentación de libros digitales con textos de autores cubanos es una gran gota de agua, la cual refresca y augura un buen chaparrón, que ojalá no demore en caer.

A partir de este primer paso son muchas las ideas que comienzan a llover. Así se valora la de una librería especializada en la venta de libros digitales, y hasta de llevar esta tecnología a las bibliotecas públicas, lo cual ayudaría en gran manera a la preservación de los textos, y al sistema de búsqueda y consulta de los mismos. Un área hacia la cual ya se han extendido los primeros puentes de trabajo con la Biblioteca Nacional José Martí.

Sueños que atrapan como un imán y que por lo pronto dirige al equipo de Ruth Casa Editorial hacia una meta concreta: «Trabajar para que en el año próximo ocurra una masiva presentación de libros digitales, con autores cubanos; y que el mismo público nacional que abarrota la Cabaña y carga hasta sus casas un sinnúmero de volúmenes, tenga también la oportunidad de adquirir muchas de nuestras propuestas, en moneda nacional, y llevarlas colgando de su cuello, en una ligera memoria flash», asegura Carlos Tablada.

Pero, más allá de la batalla que libran por alcanzar tales resultados, otros dilemas acaso más complicados les pisan los talones: la necesidad de lograr la metamorfosis, desde una mentalidad analógica hacia la digital, que impone el avance tecnológico. Un cambio que afecta no solo al lector como individuo, sino también a las editoriales, las bibliotecas, las instituciones y la sociedad en su conjunto.

Pero de una cosa está convencido Tablada: «No vamos a esperar a que estén todas las condiciones; vamos a luchar para crearlas en la medida de nuestras posibilidades, porque este es el sueño de la cultura cubana habitando en el mundo a través de nuestra literatura».

Enviar por Email

Victor Fernández – 1 de Agosto del 2013 7:42:17 CDT
En 1993 se depositó en la Biblioteca Nacional el primer libro electrónico cubano, contenía una novela policíaca (Caballo de Troya) recreando un intento de la CIA para introducir en Cuba virus para computadora. Fue fruto de la colaboración entre el autor y la Casa Editora Abril, la cual se encargó de su reproducción y venta en formato digital. en cuanto a la publicación en Internet, a través del sitio Cubaweb, se puso a disposición de los visitantes otra novela policíaca (La red de araña) que trataba en ficción sobre un intento para impedir la presencia de Cuba en Internet. Como puede apreciar, lo que apareció en la Feria del Libro de este año, ya viene caminando por la isla hace unos 20 años.

bell – 1 de Agosto del 2013 8:30:23 CDT
Todo muy bonito pero de donde se pueden descargar?? claro que sea dominio .cu

This article describes one of the better-known ways the US conducts its media intervention and propaganda campaign against the government, the people and the country of Cuba! They fly over the nation of Cuba (violation of its sovereignty) and beam unwanted US-developed TV and Radio Marti broadcasts into the country. While hardly anyone listens to these outlets, it is just another way the US violates international law, violates the national sovereignty of Cuba, and hopes that these things will destabilize the government of Cuba. Hasn’t worked so far, won’t work today either.

U.S. Spends $24 Million On ‘Propaganda Plane’ Few Can See or Hear
Foreign Policy – Jul 28, 2013
By John Hudson

It’s difficult to find a more wasteful government program.

For the last six years, the U.S. government has spent more than $24 million to fly a plane around Cuba and beam American-sponsored TV programming to the island’s inhabitants. But every day the plane flies, the government in Havana jams its broadcast signal. Few, if any, Cubans can see what it broadcasts.

The program is run by the U.S. Broadcasting Board of Governors, and for the last two years, it has asked Congress to scrap the program, citing its exorbitant expense and dubious cost-effectiveness. “The signal is heavily jammed by the Cuban government, significantly limiting this platform’s reach and impact on the island,” reads the administration’s fiscal year 2014 budget request.

But each year, hard-line anti-Castro members of Congress have rejected the recommendation and renewed funding for the program, called AeroMarti. Now, under the restrictions of government-wide belt-tightening, AeroMarti may finally die, but its fate has yet to be sealed.

“It’s hard to believe we are still wasting millions of taxpayer dollars on beaming a jammed TV signal – that fewer than 1 percent of Cubans can see – from an airplane to the island,” Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) tells The Cable.

For Flake and fellow critics of the program, AeroMarti has called into question America’s decades-long information war against the Castro regime. But other Castro critics say the U.S. must continue to find ways to disseminate messaging onto the autocratic island.

At the moment, the AeroMarti twin-engine Gulfstream 1 plane is grounded in Georgia due to the automatic spending cuts known as sequestration. But the program’s ultimate fate will be determined by the House and Senate Appropriations Committees.

Under ordinary circumstances, the plane flies a figure eight pattern near the Communist island beaming hours and hours of TV and Radio Marti, a U.S.-financed broadcaster akin to Radio Free Europe. From 2006 to 2010, AeroMarti burned through $5 million every year. In 2010, its budget was reduced to around $2 million per year. One iteration of the program involved a C-130 military plane and another involved a blimp attached to a cable 10,000 feet above the Florida Keys. All told, the flights have racked up a tab well over $24 million to U.S. taxpayers.

“Proponents of the program say we can’t stop doing it because it would send a bad message to the Cuban government that we’re capitulating,” John Nichols, a communications professor at Penn State University, tells The Cable. “That’s bogus: It’s ineffective, it wastes a huge amount of money and the compromise we make to keep it on air, knowing it violates international law, is not at all worth it.”

Resources for the Study of Cuba — April 2013

Allard, Jean-Guy. Miami-FBI Terrorist Connection. Bogota, Colombia: Mas Alla Publishing. [2008?]

Arboleya, Jesus. The Cuban Counterrevolution. Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Center for International Studies. 2000.

August, Arnold. Cuba and its Neighbors: Democracy in Motion. Halifax/London: Fernwood Publishing; Zed Books. 2013.

Bolender, Keith. Cuba under siege: American policy, the revolution and its people. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. 2012.

Brenner, Philip, A Contemporary Cuba Reader, Reinventing the Revolution. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield. 2008.

Castro, Soraya M, and Ronald W. Pruessen, editors. Fifty years of revolution: perspectives on Cuba, the United States and the world. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, c2012.

Calvo Ospina, Hernando; Katlijn Declercq. Cuban Exile Movement:Dissidents or Mercenaries. Melbourne:Ocean. 2000.

Chomsky, Aviva; Barry Carr and Pamela Maria Smorkaloff, editors. Cuba Reader: History, Culture, Politics. Durham: Duke Univ. Press. 2003.

Cuba: Interpreting a Half-Century of Revolution and Resistance. Latin American Perspectives. Three thematic issues examine the Cuban revolution at its 50th year anniversary. Vol.36, no. 1-3 (2009). Prior issues also cover Cuba.

Elizalde, Rosa Miriam. Los disidentes, agentes de la seguridad cubana revelan la historia real. La Habana: Editora Política. 2003. [English: The Dissidents. Available at:

Espin Guillois, Vilma and Aselan de los Santos. Women in Cuba: the making of a revolution within the revolution. New York: Pathfinder, 2012.

Farber. Samuel. Cuba since the Revolution of 1959: a critical assessment. Chicago, Ill.: Haymarket Books, 2011.

Fernandes, Sujatha. Cuba Represent! Cuban Arts, State Power, and the Making of New Revolutionary Cultures. Durham and London: Duke University Press. 2006.

Goodman, Carole. Soy Cuba: el cartel de cine en Cuba después de la revolución = Cuban cinema posters from after the revolution / Carole Goodman, Claudio Sotolongo ; foreword by Steven Heller. México D.F: Trilce Ediciones.

Gott, Richard. Cuba, a New History. New Haven, Conn.: Yale Univ. Press. 2004.

Gray, Alexander I. and Antoni Kapcia (eds.) The Changing Dynamic of Cuban Civil Society. Gainesville: University Press of Florida. 2008.

Guerra, Lilian. Visions of power in Cuba [electronic resource]: revolution, redemption, and resistance, 1959-1971. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, c2012.

Haney, Patrick Jude and Walt Vanderbrush. The Cuban embargo : the domestic politics of an American foreign policy. Pittsburgh, Pa: University of Pittsburgh Press. c2005.

Henken, Ted A. Cuba; a Global Studies Handbook. New York: ABC-Clio. 2008.

Hernandez-Reguant, Ariana, editor. Cuba in the Special Period: Culture and Ideology in the 1990s. New York: Palgrave MacMillan. 2009.

Hernandez, Rafael. Looking at Cuba: Essays on Culture and Civil Society. Gainesville: University of Florida. 2003.

Johnson, Sherry. Climate and catastrophe in Cuba and the Atlantic world in the age of revolution [electronic resource]. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, c2011.

Lamrani, Salim. The Economic war against Cuba: a historical and legal perspective on the U.S. Blockade. New York:Publisher: Monthly Review Press. 2013.

Latin American Working Group. Retreat from Reason: US-Cuba Academic Relations and the Bush Administration. Washington, DC: LAWG. 2006.

Lockpez, Inverna. Cuba: my revolution/artist, Dean Haspiel; colorist, José Villarrub. New York: DC Comics/Vertigo. c2010.

Morales Dominguez, Esteban. Race in Cuba: essays on the revolution and racial inequality. New York: Monthly Review Press; NYU Press. 2013.

Morales Dominguez, Esteban; Gary Prevost. United States-Cuban relations: a critical history. Lexington Books. c2008.

Perez, Louis A. Cuba in the American Imagination: Metaphor and the Imperial Ethos. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. 2008.

Prevost, Gary. Cuban-Latin American relations in the context of a changing hemisphere / edited by Gary Prevost and Carlos Oliva Campos. Amherst, N.Y.: Cambria Press, c2011.

Prevost, Gary. Social movements and leftist governments in Latin America [electronic resource] : confrontation or co-optation? London; New York: Zed Books; New York: Distributed in the USA by Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.

Reid-Henry, Simon. Fidel and Che: a Revolutionary Friendship. New York: Walker & Co. 2009.

Saney, Isaac. Cuba; a Revolution in Motion. New York: Zed Books. 2004.

Sawyer, Mark Q. Racial Politics in Post-Revolutionary Cuba. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2008.

Watson, Jack. Hidden Cuba: a photojournalist’s unauthorized journey into Cuba to capture daily life 50 years after Castro’s revolution / by Jack Watson. Ocala, Florida: Atlantic Pub. Group, c2011.

Cuban Internet Resources, current events, lists and blogs on Cuba:

Cuban Internet Resources ( Developed by Librarian Dana Lubow (LAVC), this web-based database is the place to go for information on Cuba from the Cuban perspective. This site provides a comprehensive, annotated, searchable collection of Internet resources that are produced in Cuba, offering a look at Cuba from the inside. As of April 2013, the database has over 6,100 entries with new ones added weekly. Annotations are searchable, as are keywords, names, titles, publishers and URLs. Each entry has subject headings based on either Library of Congress or National Library of Medicine headings. The database, primarily in Spanish, contains resources about Cuban attitudes and culture. All areas of the sciences (including medical sciences), social sciences and humanities are covered including the history, politics and economics of the region. Many recent additions consist of Cuban blogs from Cuba, supplying new access to personal insights about issues and events of the day.

CubaNews list ( This list brings to the attention of people concerned with Cuba a wide range of news and information about the island, the Cuban community abroad, Cuba’s international relations, and related topics. On a daily basis, this list provides many resources to facilitate learning about Cuba, its politics and society. Walter Lippmann, Los Angeles progressive activist, founded and has managed and led the Cuba-News Listserv for many years. The daily content consists of email and webposts on Cuba, Cubans, Cuban-Americans and US policy related to Cuba and Latin America.

Cuba-L ( This list, founded and administered by Nelson Valdes (Professor, UNM), is produced daily by a non-profit research organization made up of academics, analysts, intellectuals, artists, professionals and people who are committed to collecting and making available information on Cuba. Their commitment is to provide current, up-to-the-minute, information and analysis. They also seek to become the resource-of-record that would serve the needs of researchers, academics, journalists, policy makers, activists and the informed public.

EthnoCuba ( Developed and managed by Anthropologists Paul Ryer (UCR), Ariana Hernandez-Reguant (UCSD) and Grete Viddal (PhD candidate, Harvard), the blog Ethnocuba/etnocuba, is for and by ethnographers working in Cuba and its diaspora.

Notas bibliotecarias: perspectivas sobre la bibliotecologia cubana ( Ground-breaking new blog about Cuban librarianship contains reports on the professional projects, activities and publications of Cuban libraries and librarians. Developed by Rhonda Neugebauer, Dana Lubow, Miguel Viciedo.

Pacifica Radio Archives Sound Recordings on Cuba (Audio CDs) at the UC Riverside Libraries (Location is behind Rivera Circulation Desk):

“Panel Discussion on Cuba, moderated by Elsa Knight Thomas. Interviews with Paul Baran, Richard Brody, Saul Landau. [Audio CD], KPFA broadcast, Oct. 24,1962. Radio Pacifica Archives, [200-?].

Cuba, the United States and crisis in Latin America [Audio CD]. Hollywood : Pacifica Radio Archives, [200-?] KPFA broadcast, Jan. 21, 1962. Summary “Various perspectives of U.S. policies toward Cuba and Latin America” [just days before the full trade embargo was declared by the U.S.].

U.S./Cuba Friendshipment [Audio CD]: produced by Pamela Burton. Hollywood, CA : Pacifica Radio Archives, [200-?] KPFK broadcast, July 29, 1993. Summary: Interview with Blase Bonpane and Tom Hansen, director of Pastors for Peace. Interview includes request that the school bus with 12 aboard be allowed to continue the journey to Cuba.”

Media Resources on Cuba in the University of California Riverside Libraries:

Cuba and Fidel / by Saul Landau. In 1974, Fidel Castro felt optimistic about the Cuban Revolution. As he tours a newly-built apartment complex, he accepts a neighbor’s invitation, sips rum in her apartment and listens to her daughter sing “Que Linda es Cuba”. Fidel also meets Vietnamese women and tells them “it is almost as hot here today as it was in Quang Tri”, revealing that he had visited the war zone in 1973 In his office, he discusses his conception of democracy and how it differs from the western notion.

Fidel / a Documentary Film Company Ltd. production; Saul Landau, writer and producer; directors, Saul Landau and Irving Saraf. Publisher New York : The Cinema Guild, [199-?]. Media Video Tape 3429 1 videocassette (96 min) : sd., col., ; 1/2 in. Notes Originally produced as motion picture in 1969. Summary: This documentary is a personal profile of Fidel Castro and a view of the developments since the revolution 10 years before. There is a lot of images of Fidel: listening to complaints, arguing, laughing and philosophizing. As he is traveling the countryside in a jeep with the filmcrew, he is trying to explain the Cuban revolutionary experience. There is beautiful footage of the Bay of Pigs invasion, and of Fidel and Che Guevara in the mountains. Also there are interviews with political prisoners.

Fidel / a film by Saul Landau. [San Francisco]: Round World Media, [2005?]. Media DVD 2142 Description 1 DVD (48 min.) : sd., col.; 4 3/4 in. Originally produced in 1968. Summary Fidel Castro talks about his revolution, his relationship with the people of Cuba.

The uncompromising revolution / a production of the Center for Documentary Media ; producer, writer and director, Saul Landau. San Francisco : Round World Media. 2005? Media DVD 1888. Description 1 DVD (55 min.) : sd., b&w sequences, col. ; 4 3/4 in. Originally produced in 1988. Summary: Explores these issues: nationalization of American businesses, Soviet aid and weapons, Cuba’s role in Latin America, Nicaragua, Angola. Castro comments. Interviewed workers either praise the absence of social classes, socialized health and educational systems, or worry about corruption, cronyism, sloppiness in construction and other industries, theft of state property. Women imprisoned for latter offense in a model jail praise the prison and denounce their offenses.

Sin embargo = Never the less / Leaf Productions; produced by Katherine Cheng and Eva Orner; directed by Judith Grey. Publisher Watertown, Mass: Documentary Educational Resources, c2003. Media DVD 1577 Summary: After the Cuban revolution in 1959 and the U.S. embargo that followed it, the Cuban people were left to their own ingenuity to survive. Deprived of the most basic goods, the people scavenged the island and reworked what they found in creative ways to fill their needs. Shot entirely in Cuba, this documentary film is a look at the indomitable and resilient spirit of the island’s inhabitants. DVD.

Information about the Bookmobile to Cuba Project

Bookmobile Blogs: Project Bookmobile to Cuba: from Gentry to Granma (

Travel Log, Bookmobile on the Road to Cuba (

This bibliography was prepared by Rhonda L. Neugebauer, Bibliographer, Latin American/Iberian Studies, UCR Libraries, to accompany her presentation on the Bookmobile to Cuba Project. April 30, 2013

Presentation on Bookmobile to Cuba April 30, 2013

Bookmobile Postcard oct 2007 BACK

Bookmobile Postcard oct 2007 FRONTBookmobile to Cuba Libros para Granma

Presentation by
Rhonda Neugebauer
and Dana Lubow

2:00 pm-3:30pm
Science Library (240)
Tues. April 30, 2013

UCR Latin Americanist librarian Rhonda L Neugebauer will describe her work with librarian Dana Lubow to purchase, repair, equip, and fill a bookmobile with Spanish-language titles for donation to the 1868 Library in Bayamo, Granma Province, Republic of Cuba. After two years of planning, the bookmobile departed from Los Angeles with the Pastors for Peace Caravan in July 2008. The bookmobile arrived in Cuba weeks later and was put into operation in October 2008 – after an inaugural community gathering to introduce the bookmobile to the people of Bayamo. Librarians in Bayamo worked with a local drama troupe to develop and perform a play that they derived from a book included in the bookmobile holdings (The Most Important Building in the City—of course, in this nation of readers, it’s the library!). In 2010-2011, Neugebauer and Lubow conducted research in Cuba by accompanying the bookmobile and librarians on daily trips to schools, rural communities, trade union centers and urban and rural neighborhoods that were far from the central public library.

On the site visits, Neugebauer and Lubow gained valuable information about the needs of the reading public in Cuba, and confirmed also that the Bookmobile had become an integral component of the provincial library’s Outreach Services. You are invited to attend this presentation about the impact of the bookmobile in rural outreach services in Bayamo Cuba. Neugebauer and Lubow published their research in Cuban Intersections of Literary and Urban Spaces, edited by Carlos Riobo, SUNY Press, 2011.

Bookmobile to Cuba: from Gentry to Granma Project Blog (2006-2008): This is the story of how we organized the project (and who helped). Also contains the beautiful scrapbook and list of books donated.
Travel Log: Bookmobile on the Road to Cuba Blog This is the story of the trip and logistics of the Bookmobile to Cuba with the bookmobile, driven and reported by Dana Lubow.

La Biblioteca Nacional de Cuba José Martí reabre sus puertas/ The José Martí National Library of Cuba reopens its doors

La Biblioteca Nacional de Cuba José Martí reabre sus puertas

English follows below

Por: Miguel Viciedo Valdés

Vicepresidente de ASCUBI
Especialista principal
Biblioteca Pública Provincial Rubén Martínez Villena

La Biblioteca Nacional de Cuba José Martí reabrió sus puertas de manera oficial después de 42 meses de intenso trabajo en la remodelación interior de su inmueble y el reordenamiento interno de sus Fondos Patrimoniales. El acto oficial, que además celebró el aniversario 111 de la fundación de esta institución, contó con la participación de importantes personalidades del gobierno y la cultura cubana como: Miguel Díaz Canel, Vicepresidente del Consejo de Ministros; José Ramón Fernández y Abel Prieto, asesores del presidente de los Consejos de Estado y de Ministros; Rafael Bernal, Ministro de Cultura, Eusebio Leal Spengler, Historiador de la ciudad de La Habana; Miguel Barnet, presidente de la Unión Nacional de Escritores y Artistas de Cuba y el Dr. Eduardo Torres Cuevas, director de la Biblioteca Nacional de Cuba José Martí quien tuvo a su cargo las palabras de apertura.

En su alocución, el Dr. Torres Cuevas se refirió al proyecto arquitectónico de remodelación interior del inmueble que contempló la instalación de un nuevo sistema de prevención, detección y extinción de incendios, la reconstrucción y pulido de los mármoles de pisos y paredes, la red hidráulica y sanitaria, así como la instalación de 3 nuevos ascensores para el traslado del personal, 4 montacargas para la distribución de los libros en el servicio a los usuarios y la eliminación de las barreras arquitectónicas para facilitar el acceso a las personas discapacitadas. También destacó el importante trabajo realizado por los bibliotecarios de esta institución en el reordenamiento e inventario de los fondos bibliográficos y la limpieza técnica a las colecciones de documentos.

El acto concluyó con la entrega de diplomas de reconocimientos por el propio director y Nancy Machado, subdirectora general de la biblioteca, a personalidades y artistas plásticos que colaboraron en la realización del proyecto de remodelación de la biblioteca. Además fueron distinguidas con el “Diploma de Oro por la obra de toda una vida” las bibliotecarias Dra. Araceli García-Carranza y la Lic. Noemia Romero, por sus 50 años de labor ininterrumpida en la Biblioteca Nacional de Cuba.

Otro emotivo momento fue la entrega al Dr. Torres Cuevas por Jean Mendelson, embajador de Francia en Cuba, de la “Orden de Caballero de la Legión de Honor de Francia”, otorgada recientemente por ese país al distinguido director.

View Entrega a Noemia Romero del Diploma de oro por sus 50 años de trabajo en la Biblioteca Nacional.jpg in slide show


The José Martí National Library of Cuba reopens its doors

Author: Miguel Viciedo Valdés

Vicepresident of ASCUBI
Principal Specialist
Rubén Martínez Villena Provincial Public Library
Office of the Historian, City of Havana, Cuba

The José Martí National Library of Cuba officially reopened its doors after more than three and a half years of intense work in remodeling the building’s interior and the internal rearrangement of the [Cuban National] Heritage Collection.  The official Opening Ceremony, in addition, marked the 111th anniversary of the founding of this institution, and involved important Cuban government and cultural officials like: Miguel Díaz Candel, Vice-president of the Council of Ministers; José Ramón Fernández and Abel Prieto, advisors to the President of the Council of State and Ministers; Rafael Bernal, Minister of Culture;  Eusebio Leal Spengler, Historian of the City of Havana; Miguel Barnet, President of the National Union of Writers and historian of Cuba; and Dr. Eduardo Torres Cuevas, director of the José Martí National Library of Cuba who delivered opening remarks.

In his address, Dr. Torres Cuevas referred to the project of the interior remodeling of the building which involved the  installation of  new systems of fire prevention, detection, and extinction; hydraulics and plumbing; reconstruction and polishing of the marble floors and walls; as well as the installation of three new elevators for personnel, four freight elevators for movement of books to users, and the elimination of architectural barriers to facilitate access for the disabled. He also emphasized the important work done by the National Library’s librarians in the complete inventorying and reorganizing of the bibliographic collections and the cleaning of the documents collections.

The Opening Ceremony ended with the presentation of Certificates of Recognition by the Director Torres Cuevas and Nancy Machado, the Assistant Director of the Library, to individuals and artists who collaborated on the Library’s remodeling project.  In addition, librarians Dr. Araceli García Carranza and Lic. Noemia Romero, were awarded the distinguished “Certificate of Gold for their Lifetime of Work,” for their fifty years of continuous service to the National Library of Cuba.

Another emotional moment was the presentation of the “Order of Knight from the Legion of Honor of France” to Dr. Torres Cuevas by Jean Mendelson, Ambassador of France to Cuba, awarded recently by that country to the distinguished Director.