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Baptiste journeys to Cuban Caribbean Cultural Festival

Baptiste journeys to Cuban Caribbean Cultural Festival

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Former Minister of Culture René Baptiste and this country’s Ambassador to Cuba Dexter Rose attended the 30th Annual Festival Del Caribe, Fiesta del Fuego, in Santiago de Cuba as this country’s delegation to the Cuban Caribbean Cultural Festival.{{more}}

The Festival was held from July 3 to 9, 2011, in Cuba’s second largest city. This year the Cuban Ministry of Culture and La Casa del Caribe dedicated the Festival to Trinidad and Tobago.

The Festival was dominated by Colloquiums; visual art exhibitions, and cultural performances. The Marquis Events of the Festival were the Serpent’s Parade and the Parade of Fire.

Artists, academics and personalities from 30 countries acclaimed this International Caribbean Festival as one of the best attended in Cuba. The organizing Committee hosted the First Ever Forum Internacional de Solidaridad Latino Americana y Caribeña on 5th July, 2011, just before the Parade at which Cuban Culture Minister Abel Prieto presided.

Baptiste and Ambassador Rose attended many of the events, including the Gala Inaugural de Festival del Caribe at the Heredia Theatre; the inauguration of the Casa de Trinidad and Tobago; the Forum Internacional for solidarity; the Serpiente Parade; the Presentation of the Book Fair 2012 dedicated to the Caribbean; wreathlaying visit to the mausoleum of National Hero Jose Marti; visit to the complex of the Cimaroon at El Cobre, and the Antonio Maceo Monument in the Plaza, as well as the Moncada Barracks.

Baptiste had discussions with the Ambassador of Suriname; Trinidad Delegation; the Barbados Delegation; the St. Martin delegation and established a network for future collaboration as well as with personnel from Casa del Caribe.

Notable Caribbean scholar Norman Girvan delivered the Opening keynote address on the subject of “C.L.R. James, Caribbean Integration and Independence of the Caribbean” which was given prominent media coverage in Cuba.

The other keynote address was given by James Millette on the topic “Cuba and Trinidad and Tobago: Sister Islands at two ends of the Caribbean”.

Both presentations were tour de force on History, Sociology; Political Evolutions; Emancipation and Independence and the impact on the Caribbean. The Colloquium Theme was “The Caribbean that unites us”.

The Trinidad delegation was led by Minister of Art and Multiculturism-Hon. Winston “Gypsg” Peters and H.E. Ambassador Dr. Jennifer Jones and consisted a contingent of masqueraders, the Valley Harpo Steel Orchestra; Indian dancers; Poets;

Ministrels; a Chutney Singer; Afro-Caribbean Dancers; cultural professionals.

As Girvan has observed, “Culture is to Cubans what shopping is to Americans”.

Next year’s Festival is dedicated to Martinique.

Baptiste’s participation was privately funded.

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