Sunday, September 18, 2016

Santiago Hosts International Conference on African and Afro-American Culture

Dedicated to: Africa and its influence on the countries of the region
From 12 to 16 April 2017

The Fernando Ortiz African Cultural Centre, the Romulo Lachatañeré Chair of Afro-Caribbean Studies, the Provincial Directorate of Culture, the DirectorateÑ International Relations of the CAP, the Centre for Applied Linguistics, University of Oriente and the UNESCO Chair in Afro-Ibero American Studies ofthe University of Alcalá, announce the XVI International Conference on African and African-American Culture, to be held in Santiago de Cuba from 12 to 16 April 2017.
The event aims to bring together experts, scholars and people interested in African and African American issues, open a space for reflection on the most pressing problems of the subject, from a multidisciplinary perspective.
Researchers from the social sciences, artists, doctors, filmmakers, musicians, choreographers, dancers, priests and practitioners of folk religions of African origin and the general public are called upon to establish a discussion on the following topics.

ü  Pre-colonial Africa: social, political and economic structures.
ü  Colonial Africa. Major European establishments. Formation of countries and nationalities in Africa. Wars of Liberation. Africa's relations with the world.
ü  The Atlantic slave trade. Its treatment in the current historiography. The slave and forms of manumission. Palenque and maroons. African attitude to trafficking.
ü  The African contribution as a component of the national identity of the peoples of the Americas and the Caribbean for recognition of our historical subject.
ü  Diachrony and synchrony in linguistic, philosophical, historical and literary studies on Africa, Afro-America and Afro-Caribbean.
ü  Gender, race and identity.
ü  Africans and people of African descent in the New World.
ü  Multiculturalism, acculturation and re-Africanization as current trends to provide treatment to the African component in the New World.
ü  The political and cultural relations between Africa and the peoples of the Americas and the Caribbean
ü  Contemporary African and American religions.
ü  Africa in the twenty-first century. The current cultural problems of the continent.
ü  African Diaspora in the Caribbean. Diachrony and synchrony of the African presence


A- Workshop, "Colour and Shape"
Dedicated to all manifestations of the visual arts in which the African influence becomes apparent. Painters, sculptors, ceramists, engravers, photographers may participate with theoretical works about the following topics:
ü    The African influence in the visual arts of the New World. Spheres of contacts and influence
ü    The visual arts on the African continent.
ü    The artist's concept in Africa and America.

They may also participate with an exhibit of their work, with no more than three pieces, which will be displayed in a collective hall. Or, prior coordination with the management of the event, they may participate with a personal exhibition.
Registration regulations comply with the general regulations of the event. For these cases, the application  must be made before 30 October 2016 and pictures of the proposed pieces must be sent.

B- Workshop "Images"
Dedicated to ethnological film and video, to collect the image and treatment given to the African influence on American culture and African cinema.
Participants can show films, videos and present theoretical work on topics such as:
ü Literature, film and video. Treatment of African descendants in the media.
ü Ethnological video. Its contribution to the knowledge of African reality and the process of transculturation thereof in the New World.
Participants must enter on the deadline for submission of papers, the technical means necessary for their exhibits. Videos and other film materials may not exceed 30 minutes. In the case of producers who wish to present their works, they will be exhibited in theatres in the city and debates on them may be organised.
Registration regulations comply with the general regulations of the event.

C- Workshop "The Ancestral Rhythm"
Dedicated to the music and dances of African origin.
Choreographers, musicians, dancers, musicologists and scholars in general may participate; they will discuss the following topics:
ü  African music: history, evolution and current situation on the continent.
ü  The African influence in the music and dances of the New World. Analogies, differences, changes and creation process up to the creation of national music.
ü  The African element as a basis for staging musical and dance works.
Performanes not exceeding 10 minutes, with no more than 4 dancers may be presented. In cases of groups that decide to participate in full, they will be provided scenic areas of the city to perform, it being understood that these functions are part of their exposure in the event and will not be charged.
Registration regulations comply with the general regulations of the event.

D - Workshop "Mask"
Dedicated to the theatre. The African influence and African descendants on stage, for a contemporary view thereof.
Actors, theatre directors, set designers and students of theatre in general may participate; they can exchange experiences from the following topics under discussion:
   Presence of African elements in theatrical productions
   African descent on stage, both as subjects of history and as playwrights
   The theatre in Africa
In cases of groups that decide to participate in full, they will be provided scenic areas of the city to perform, it being understood that these functions are part of their exposure in the event and will not be charged. Registration regulations are those general regulations of the event. In the case of theatre groups who wish to participate and prior coordination with the management of the event, a special registration fee may be established per group.

III- SYMPOSIUM: Medicine and Culture
A space dedicated to the relationships established between the medical sciences and disciplines of social sciences from the practice of the Cuban internationalist medicine and other health agencies on the African continent, which also set intercultural contacts through the medical channel. This space allows to present their experiences both in the field of medicine with works of the specialty and the challenges that the experience that the culture shock provided them with.
Papers could be presented on:

ü  Psychiatry and religion
ü  Traditional African medicine. Its evolution and relationship with others in the New World
ü  Tropical Medicine in Africa and Afro-America
ü  The Cuban medical experience in Africa. Relations between medicine and culture
ü  Doctors without Borders and other similar organisations in their practice of medicine and culture
ü  The World Health Organisation and its role in Africa
ü  AIDS and other epidemic diseases in Africa
ü  Disease and ethnicity in the black population
ü  Medicine, medical policies and human relations
ü  Endemic diseases in Africa and America
ü  Epidemics, viruses and control of the spread of disease


A- Reception of Abstracts of papers and communications
Abstracts up to 2 pages should provide general information on the main topic of the papers and will include: title, full name of the author or authors, scientific degree, educational category, institution and country of origin, address, phone, fax, e-mail.
The papers may not have more than two authors and they may not appear in more than two publications.
The author or co-author who cannot attend the event will receive their diploma of speaker and their disc with the publication if they pay the registration fee.
In the case of the workshops, both theoretical works and photographs of art exhibitions, abstracts and records of filmic works and data of the exhibit must be submitted for inclusion in the Proceedings of the Conference.
They will be received no later than 30 October 2016.

They may have a maximum length of 10 pages – if this length is exceeded, the paper will not be published – and 15 minutes of presentation. They papers will be published on a CD, for which they must be delivered in digital format: double spacing, Arial 12 for the text and Arial 10 for bibliography and notes (the latter will be placed at the end of the document and its extension does not count in the number of pages).
Papers will be accepted until 30 December 2016.

Only the papers that meet the above requirements will be published. The Organising Committee is not responsible for the publication of the works which, despite being accepted, arrive after the deadlines provided as admission or do not meet the requirements of this announcement.

Participants in the workshops. In the case of visual artists, they should send a short CV of no more than two pages and photographs of the exhibit that they will present for inclusion in the Proceedings; also, playwrights and dancers will accompany the synopsis of their works, if they will submit them, with a curriculum no more than one page; and if it is a group, information about its history no more than three pages.
The Organising Committee reserves the right to accept the papers or not. In all cases, it will inform the interested parties on the matter until 15 January 2017.

D- Registration fee
Speakers and delegates            200.00 USD / MN
Students                                  100.00 USD / MN
It will be paid at the time of their accreditation upon arrival at the event.

E- Accommodation
There will be modules of affordable accommodations in hotels in the city, which may be requested through the Organising Committee or the tour operator working for the event.

F- Languages ​​
English, French and Spanish

G- Contacts
Dra. Marta E. Cordiés
Director: Fernando Ortiz African Cultural Centre
General Coordinator of the Ninth Conference
Ave. Manduley No. 106 esq. A 5ta
Reparto Vista Alegre, Santiago de Cuba, CP: 90400
Telefax: (53-22) 642487
(53-22) 623893 (nights)
Lic. Maria Liduvina Bergues
Esp. / Relaciones Internacionales

Lic. Martha Martinez Verges
President Scientific Committee
Dr. Luis Mancha
International coordinator
UNESCO Chair in Afroiberoamericanos Studies

Professional Congress Organizer (PCO):
Commercial Specialist
Paradiso  turismo cultural
Santiago de Cuba
Phone: 53 22 620214/654814

Note: Please send communications and acknowledgment through the three e-mail addresses to facilitate prompt communication.

Cuban American voters support Obama policy and ending embargo

2016 FIU Cuba Poll

Florida International University

Question text and data tables

Please click on questions to see tables

Over the past few years, people have been talking about the possibility of political changes in Cuba. When do you think that major political changes are likely to occur in Cuba? Would you say within one year, in two to five years, in six to ten years, over ten years, that change is already occurring, or never?

First, allow companies to sell medicine to Cuba, do you strongly favor, mostly favor, mostly oppose, or strongly oppose this?

Allowing U.S. companies to sell food to Cuba. Do you strongly favor, mostly favor, mostly oppose, or strongly oppose this?

Some U.S. companies have managed to establish limited business relations with Cuba to sell grain, other agricultural products, and medicine. Should this kind of trade be expanded, kept the same or stopped?

Should unrestricted travel by all Americans to Cuba be allowed or not?

Overall, do you think the U.S. embargo of Cuba has worked very well, well, not very well, or not at all?

Do you favor or oppose continuing the U.S. embargo of Cuba?

Did you favor or oppose the U.S. re-establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba?

Currently, all Americans can travel to Cuba in People-To-People trips organized by special travel agencies and designed to encourage communications among citizens of the US and citizens of Cuba. These trips are usually organized for educational, religious or research purposes. Do you strongly favor, mostly favor, mostly oppose or strongly oppose this type of People to People travel?

During the last few years the Cuban government has allowed more of its citizens to start their own small private businesses. Do you think people living in the US should be allowed to invest in these new independent small businesses in Cuba?

Would you invest in a private business in Cuba if given the opportunity?

As it stands, Cubans who leave by raft or boat are sent back to Cuba if they are intercepted before they reach U.S. soil. If they do reach U.S. soil they are allowed to stay in the U.S. Do you agree or disagree with this policy?

Since 1966, the entrance of Cubans into the United States has been regulated by the Cuban Adjustment Act. This law stipulates that Cuban citizens and their accompanying spouses and children are immediately eligible to receive federal public assistance in form of welfare, food stamps and Medicaid, and can get a green card and become residents of the US one year after arriving in the country. These benefits are not automatic for other immigrant groups. Do you strongly favor, mostly favor, mostly oppose or strongly oppose the current policy of accepting Cubans into the US?

Some members of Congress are promoting a law that changes the current policy towards the entrance of Cubans into the United States. The proposed law would require residents of Cuba entering the United States to prove political persecution before they can receive federal public assistance in form of welfare, food stamps and Medicaid. Would you strongly favor, mostly favor, mostly oppose or strongly oppose such a change in the current law?

Did friends or relatives living in Cuba visit you during this past year?

Do you or your relatives in Miami send money to relatives in Cuba?

Have you ever traveled to Cuba [add if born in Cuba:] since you left?

Are you registered as a Republican, a Democrat, an Independent, or with some other party?

In political elections, how important is a candidate's position on Cuba in determining your vote - would you say it is very important, moderately important, not very important, or not at all important?

In general do you support or oppose the new policies taken by the U.S. Government towards Cuba? Do you strongly favor, mostly favor, mostly oppose, or strongly oppose?

If the election for President were held today with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump as candidates, who would you vote for?

Are you registered to vote?

support or oppose new policies of US Government towards Cuba  
Are you registered  to vote?    
                                            Yes     No  Total
                  strongly favor |  35.5   63.3   37.3
                    mostly favor |  20.0   25.0   20.4
                   mostly oppose |  12.1    7.2   11.7
                 strongly oppose |  32.5    4.5   30.6
                           Total | 100.0  100.0  100.0

support or oppose new policies of US Government towards Cuba            
Are you registered to vote?              
                                                Yes        No         .  don't kn  no respo     Total
                  strongly favor |     31.0      58.1      59.9       0.0     100.0      38.2
                    mostly favor |     17.5      23.0      17.1       0.0       0.0      17.6
                   mostly oppose |     10.5       6.6       1.9       0.0       0.0       8.6
                 strongly oppose |     28.4       4.1       6.0       0.0       0.0      22.5
                               . |      1.8       0.0       0.4       0.0       0.0       1.4
                      don't know |      6.1       6.4       6.8     100.0       0.0       6.5
                     no response |      4.7       1.7       7.9       0.0       0.0       5.2
                           Total |    100.0     100.0     100.0     100.0     100.0     100.0

Favor or oppose continuing the U.S. embargo of Cuba  |    
Are you registered to vote?    
                                             |   Yes     No  Total
                continue embargo |  42.5   23.8   41.3
                     end embargo |  57.5   76.2   58.7
                           Total | 100.0  100.0  100.0

Favor or oppose continuing the U.S. embargo of Cuba      |              
Are you registered to vote?              
                                             |      Yes        No         .  don't kn  no respo     Total
                continue embargo |     36.9      19.9      15.8       0.0       0.0      31.6
                     end embargo |     50.0      63.8      66.9     100.0     100.0      54.3
                      don't know |      8.2      16.3      12.3       0.0       0.0       9.4
                     no response |      5.0       0.0       4.9       0.0       0.0       4.7
                           Total |    100.0     100.0     100.0     100.0     100.0     100.0

The full poll data is here:

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Trump Flip Flops on Cuba, Cuban Reaction Update

Trump, Pence seek Cuban American vote, vow to repeal Obama's Cuba deal
Joseph Weber

By Joseph Weber  Published November 05, 2016

Trump and Pence outline their plans for America

Donald Trump and GOP running-mate Mike Pence this weekend made final-hour pitches in Florida to critical Cuban-American voters, vowing if elected to repeal Democratic President Obama’s executive order that removed Cuba from the federal government’s list of state sponsor terrorism.

Cubans who fled Cuba for southern Florida and other parts of the United States in the 1980s to escape the communist Castro regime have been solid Republican supporters since the era of President Reagan and his fight to end communism around the world.

But in the past several decades, the children and grandchildren of that first wave of Cuban exiles, known as Cuban-Americans, have settled in many U.S. cities. And like their fellow urban residents, they have voted more for Democrats.

“Big story, Cubans endorsed me,” Trump said Saturday in Tampa, referring to an endorsement recently in Miami from the Bay of Pigs Veterans Association, a group of retired U.S. military members that in 1961 launched a failed attack on the Cuban bay.

Trump also stopped the rally to hold up a sign that read: “Cuban Women for Trump” and said, “I love all of these signs.”

Trump, the 2016 GOP presidential nominee, and Hillary Clinton, his Democratic rival, are in a tight race in Florida and in the handful of other battleground states that on Tuesday will decide their White House contest.

Clinton and other Democrats have for decades held the minority vote, largely black and Hispanic residents. But Trump, a first-time candidate, like other Republican presidential nominees before him, has tried desperately to appeal to both voting blocs in an effort to upset Clinton, who has led from the start of the race.

A new Fox News national poll shows Clinton leading Trump by 2 percentage points, 45-to-43 percent.

Obama this spring used his Executive Office powers to remove Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism in an attempt to “normalize relations” with Cuba, which means opening up more trade and tourism between the countries to put an end to their Cold War-era standoff.

However, Republican leaders largely disagreed with the president’s move, particularly over continuing human rights violations, but failed to block it.

Early voting so far in the Clinton-Trump race among Hispanics, a voting bloc in which Cuban-Americans are typically included, suggests strong support for Clinton. However, early voting among blacks appears significantly lower for Clinton, compared to the historical levels for Obama, the county’s first African-American president.

Clinton, in her effort to win over the Hispanic vote in Florida, Nevada and even Republican-leaning Arizona, has tried to portray Trump as opposed to almost all immigrants.

“If you are Latino, you know what life would be like because we’d have a president who doesn’t see you as American,” Clinton said Thursday in Las Vegas.

On Friday, Pence said Miami that Obama -- “with Clinton’s support” -- re-opened the U.S. embassy in Havana and suggested that the president, if possible, would have lifted the entire trade embargo on Cuba.

“Well let me make you a promise: When Donald Trump is president of the United States, we will repeal Obama’s executive orders on Cuba,” Pence said. 

“We will support continuing the embargo until real political and religious freedoms are a reality for all the people of Cuba. Donald Trump will stand with freedom-loving Cubans in the fight against Communist oppression.”

Trump threatens to reverse diplomatic relations with Cuba

By David Wright, CNN

Updated 1:36 PM ET, Mon October 24, 2016 

(CNN)Donald Trump criticized the Obama administration's move to normalize relations with Cuba as a "very weak agreement," though he said some sort of a deal is "fine," in an interview with a local CBS station in Miami over the weekend.

The Republican nominee also said he would do "whatever you have to do to get a strong agreement," even if that meant breaking off the recently-resumed diplomatic relations.

"I just want to press -- would you break off diplomatic relations, though, on day one?" CBS4's Jim Defede asked Trump. 

"I would do whatever you have to do to get a strong agreement. And people want an agreement, I like the idea of an agreement, but it has to be a real agreement. So if you call that for negotiation purposes, whatever you have to do to make a great deal for the people of Cuba," Trump said. 

"Look, Cuba has to treat us fairly and it has to treat the people of Cuba fairly, and the people living here that were from Cuba or their families were from Cuba," he argued, saying the deal President Barack Obama "signed is a very weak agreement. We get nothing. The people of Cuba get nothing, and I would do whatever is necessary to get a good agreement. An agreement is fine."

Trump also responded to charges leveled in a Newsweek report from earlier this year, which alleged that he violated the US-Cuban embargo in 1998 by sending associates to explore business opportunities on the island. Further reporting from Bloomberg purported to show that additional Trump associates went in 2012 and 2013 to look at potential opportunities for a golf resort. 

The Republican nominee appeared to confirm parts of the reporting, saying that he would "have to find out" if they had in fact traveled to Cuba in violation of the embargo, while acknowledging that "they had some meetings." 

"I don't know exactly where they were. I can tell you that Cuba wants to, you know, really negotiate with us. They've said, 'We want to negotiate.' They want to make some kind of a deal. I've said, I don't want to make any deals unless we know we have a deal with Cuba. I think it's appropriate," he said.

"But you think they did, in fact, go to Cuba?" Defede asked.

"Well, know that Cuba wants us to go there. I'm not interested in going," Trump replied.
Defede countered, "No, I meant as emissaries -- did those individuals travel there to have those discussions?"

"I would have to find out," Trump said. "I know they had some meetings, but I would have to find out."

Under the five-decades-old US-Cuban trade embargo -- which can only be lifted by Congress -- US citizens are banned from spending any funds on the island. But while the US and Cuba restored relations in July of last year, and Obama has eased some sanctions to allow more US travel and commerce with Cuba, the embargo remains in place. 

At a rally in Miami earlier in September, Trump had also blasted the Cuba policy changes, an apparent shift from past statements in which he supported the reopening of diplomatic relations after more than 50 years.
© 2016 Cable News Network. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
CNN Sans ™ & © 2016 Cable News Network. Terms of service | Privacy guidelines

Donald Trump threatens to end U.S.-Cuba relations without more Cuban freedoms

By Eric DuVall | Sept. 17, 2016

MIAMI, Sept. 17 (UPI) -- Donald Trump at a rally in Miami on Friday night said he would reverse President Barack Obama's reopening of diplomatic ties with Cuba if the island nation did not meet his demands for a more open society.

Trump told about 2,500 supporters he would require the Cuban government to allow freedom of speech and religion, and for them to free political prisoners, or he would reverse Obama executive orders that re-established diplomatic ties after a 50-year embargo.

The announcement by Trump is a change from his position on the Cuba issue during the Florida primary earlier this year, when he said Obama's new policy was "fine," though he thought the United States could have made a stronger deal with the Cubans.

Now, Trump said he will undo Obama's changes, including opening a U.S. embassy in Cuba and normalizing travel between the two nations.

"All of the concessions Barack Obama has granted the Castro regime were done through executive order -- which means the next president can reverse them. And that I will do unless the Castro regime meets our demands. Not my demands -- our demands," Trump said. "Those demands will include religious and political freedom for the Cuban people, and the freeing of political prisoners."

The Miami Herald conducted a poll of Cuban-Americans in Miami-Dade and found 56 percent support the Obama administration's Cuba shift.

See also

Trump's new Cuba position provokes anxiety on the island

Published September 21, 2016 

HAVANA –  Donald Trump's threat to undo President Barack Obama's detente with Cuba unless President Raul Castro abides by Trump's list of demands is provoking widespread anxiety among ordinary Cubans, who were paying little attention to the U.S. presidential campaign until now.

Trump had been generally supportive of Obama's reestablishment of diplomatic ties and normalization of relations, saying he thought detente was "fine" although he would have cut a better deal.

Then, in Miami on Friday, the Republican nominee said he would reverse Obama's series of executive orders unless Castro meets demands including "religious and political freedom for the Cuban people and the freeing of political prisoners." Castro said in a speech the following day that Cuba "will not renounce a single one of its principles," reiterating a longstanding rejection of any U.S. pressure.

While Hillary Clinton maintains an electoral college advantage, Cubans are suddenly envisioning the possibility of a U.S. president who would undo measures popular among virtually everyone on the island, from hard-line communists to advocates of greater freedom and democracy.

"I don't think he'd make such a drastic decision. Or would he?" Bernardo Toledo, a 72-year-old retired state worker, asked nervously. "It would be disgraceful."

While the detente announced on Dec. 17, 2014 has had limited direct impact on most ordinary Cubans, it has created feelings of optimism about a future of civil relations with Cuba's giant neighbor to the north. An Univision/Washington Post poll of 1,200 Cubans taken in March, 2015 found that 97 percent supported detente.

For most ordinary people in a country that's had only two leaders over nearly six decades, and where the president's word is law, Trump's unexpected reversal was a reminder that a single election might wipe away those closer ties.

"All we want is to be left in peace. Isn't he thinking about our families?" complained pharmacist Heidi Picot. "How could he do something like this, make everybody worried?"

Still, some Cuban experts on relations with the U.S. saw the candidate as merely pandering to anti-Castro Cuban-Americans in South Florida, and don't believe a President Trump would follow through with his campaign pledge. Detente is increasingly popular among Cuban-Americans and South Florida pollsters say Trump is not ahead with them by the margins managed by previous Republicans who've won Florida.

Hillary Clinton has declared her support for continuing Obama's policy, which has reopened the U.S. Embassy, re-established direct flights and removed Cuba from a list of state terror sponsors. It also has done away with most limits on cash remittances from the U.S and increased cooperation on topics ranging from law enforcement to public health.

"I don't think it will be very easy for Trump to reverse some things," former diplomat Carlos Alzugary said. "Break diplomatic relations? Put Cuba back on the list of terrorist states? Those things are almost impossible."

Cuba's state media had been virtually silent on the U.S. presidential campaign, seemingly uncertain of how to square the polarizing and highly competitive race with the oft-repeated Cuban assertion that U.S. democracy offers false choices between nearly identical corporate pawns.

Trump's statement generated an unusual amount of official coverage over the weekend. State radio stations and other government-run media accused the Republican of pandering to Cuban-Americans in an attempt to win Florida's electoral votes.

A Trump reversal would fit a historical pattern, started under Jimmy Carter, in which Democratic presidents build ties to Cuba and their Republican successors largely undo them.

Obama has worked hard to make the opening irreversible by building popular and corporate support at home. In Cuba, the government has welcomed some new ties, like scientific cooperation and commercial flights. It has stalled on others, like ferries from Florida. Some observers believe that's because Castro's government fears building ties that a hostile future U.S. administration could use in the interests of regime change.

The Cuban government has given no indication of whether Trump's statement will give new impetus to U.S.-Cuba normalization, or cause the process to stall in what could be its last three months.
Meanwhile, Cubans remain hopeful, but increasingly worried.

"It's a way to move the economy forward, to diversify," said Yenitsia Arango, a 34-year-old nurse. "The door's been opened to better relations and it's not a good idea to go in reverse."

_____ Correspondent Michael Weissenstein contributed to this report.
Andrea Rodriguez on Twitter:
Michael Weissenstein on Twitter:

Republican Platform on Cuba