Monthly Archives: August 2010

Polish Culture in Cuba

The 58th edition of “Poland Today”, a periodical written and edited by the Polish Embassy in Havana, is already in libraries and national institutions. It is structured in specific sections such as current events, culture, politics, the Man and society, economics, science and Polish cooking. It is published three times a year, the 58th edition is the second of 2010.

In the January-March issue we learned about the celebration for the 200 year anniversary of Polish composer and pianist Frederic Chopin (1810-1849) who is considered one of the greatest creators of music for the piano of all time.

As part of the festivities honoring the musician, the Wielki-Opera Ponznan theater put on a show titled “Waiting for Chopin” at the San Felipe de Neri church. The show is inspired by the desire to visit and present little known works of the composer; his poor state of health prevented him from traveling to many countries.

The performance also welcomed the exhibit titled “Chopin in Cuba” which includes nine portraits of the artist by nine contemporary Cuban painters. The exhibit had already been shown for the first time at the Amadeo Roldan Theater during Frank Fernandez’s concert, which inaugurated the Chopin Year in Cuba.

The Numismatic Museum was able to present the “Numismatic Exhibit” due to a loan from the Polish Mint. The exhibit included the institution’s most interesting coins. One could see coins from Poland, Russia, Armenia and Andorra. The exhibit also included one of the smallest coins in the world, which weights a mere gram and holds a portrait of Frederick Chopin. Other novelties included pieces with encrusted amber and other precious metals and some that depict reproductions of famous paintings from Van Gogh and Leonardo da Vinci.

From the April-June edition of the bulletin we also learned about projects for public buildings in Poland, whose advanced technological design will make them paradigms of reference in the cities where they are erected.

In this latest edition, much to the dismay of Caribbean male chauvinism, we found out about an activist for male rights. This person has a unique way of making his claims. With a long beard and a machista attitude, without being a homosexual or a transvestite, he dresses in a petticoat and high heels, even inside his home. And so he makes fun of the stereotypes associated with the male gender in society.

The relationship between Poland and Cuba can be traced back to the 19th century. Let’s remember that Carlos Roloff from Poland participated in our independence struggles and reached the rank of general. Later, when the Republic was formed he was conferred Cuban citizenship.

In keeping with this historical precedent, every year Poland organizes a week of cinema in Cuba which includes exhibits, conferences, theater workshops and other events. Their socio-cultural projects are a valuable contribution to the development and consolidation of civil society in our country.

Translated by: Lita Q.


To My Compatriots in the Diaspora and Friends of Promoters of Democracy and to the Emergent Civil Society in our Country.

Jehova is among those who help me.  – Psalm 118:7

On Saturday, July 24, I received a letter from the Postal and Shipping Customs Center, belonging to the General Customs of the Cuban Republic.  With that letter, I was notified that a process was underway to confiscate a package from the US that had been shipped to me.

The documents that I received were not the original ones, they are copies on carbon paper.  Apparently, the objects which were confiscated are divided into three groups:  1) Digital equipment and media, 2) Office materials, and 3) Hygiene and Medicinal products.

In the section titled “Report”, they specified the causes for the confiscations on behalf of the Customs Department:  “Upon carrying out the physical inspection, we found certain articles that go against the general interests of the nation, which is taken care of through confiscation according to the established and current law”. The Resolution of the confiscation is number 1130.  The number is written with dark ink so that it can be legible.  The Cuban system guides itself by resolutions that leave individuals defenseless.

The Resolution number 1187 also arrived written for Maida Martinez Perez, a resident of April 9th Street and Calzada de Luyano and Agramonte, of the 10th of October Municipality in the city of Havana.  This lady is the mother of Joisy Garcia Martinez, a member of the Liberal Party of Cuba, who usually receives her mail in that address.  The confiscation of the package under the name of the mother suggests that it seems as if they are doing so because of the data from the issuer in the US.

The government has found itself forced to release the last 53 political prisoners and prisoners of conscience of the Black Spring of 2003.  It was made possible thanks to the internal and external demands made.  Such experience should serve to unite us in a coordinated fashion, both those of us in the island and in the diaspora, together with international support, to shift our efforts to repealing the laws that make our nation an island prison.  In that same manner, we must demand that they sign and abide by the Covenants of the United Nations.

With much gratitude for those who support us, these suggestions are for you:

On our part, we request that Dr. Wilfredo Vallin, president of the Independent Judiciary Association of Cuba, effect this demand with his organization.

Translated by Raul G.