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Judi Lynn

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 149,397

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Cuba's Capitol reopens after years of restoration

MARCH 1, 2018 / 4:58 PM / UPDATED 6 HOURS AGO

 Nelson Acosta, Sarah Marsh

HAVANA (Reuters) - After eight years of restoration work, Cuba on Thursday re-opened to the public the doors of its Capitol, an imposing neoclassical gem previously shunned as a symbol of U.S. imperialism now to become the seat of its national assembly.

Built in 1929 to house Cuba’s Congress and inspired by Washington’s Capitol, it was swiftly repurposed after Fidel Castro’ 1959 leftist revolution along with other buildings seen as testament to corrupt governments too cozy with the Americans.

Most recently used for the Science and Technology Ministry, its restoration was started in 2010 as part of the Office of City Historian’s revamp of Havana, one of the architectural treasures of Latin America.

Four years later came the landmark announcement of a U.S.-Cuban detente by Cuban President Raul Castro and former U.S. President Barack Obama, although that is now under threat from the more hostile stance of the administration of Donald Trump.


To understand slavery, listen to the descendants

To understand slavery, listen to the descendants
By Michael Blakey February 23

Michael Blakey is National Endowment for the Humanities professor of anthropology, Africana and American studies and director of the Institute for Historical Biology at the College of William & Mary.

Since Charlottesville, we’ve heard more discourse around race, diversity and historical symbols, much of it focused on how to realize justice and equality for all Americans. We’ve arrived at an inflection point about the ways our collective past is reflected in our culture and in our public and educational spaces.

Amid the events Charlottesville spawned and the ensuing rhetoric about Confederate statues and what they represent, I have reflected on a different seminal moment: my time at Coolidge High School in Northwest Washington in the late 1960s. Well before “stay woke” became a mantra, students across this country were awakened to the need to include African and African American history and cultures in the curriculum. We were successful at Coolidge.

However, when I returned to Coolidge a decade ago and asked students about the hard-fought changes we achieved, I was told that they had been removed. Sadly, throughout this nation, the history curriculum remains an explicit promulgation of white privilege, exclusion and hoarding. Where is the equality in that?

What equality does one have if American and world history are taught as a white history with sidebars for the full spectrum of humanity? The Founding Fathers commanded and watched the work of our ancestors, writing histories that omitted their accomplishments. The lives of the enslaved people who actually built our country and produced its initial resources are left unacknowledged — one does not give credit to a mule for pulling the plow.


Listen to the new single by Herencia de Timbiqu with Rubn Blades

Listen to the new single by Herencia de Timbiquí with Rubén Blades

The Colombian group seeks to raise awareness among its fans about the environment and technology


"Climate change is not a mystery, we are all seeing the consequences it brings. There are natural phenomena that are happening more and more, "says William Angulo, Herencia singer.

A couple of years ago, Herencia de Timbiquí opened a concert by Rubén Blades in Bogotá. The Cauca group was in their dressing room and the Panamanian came in unexpectedly to get the typical photo of the main artist with the opening act. The members of Herencia began to explain that they were a Pacific music band. "He said, 'No, no, I already know them, I've already heard their music. I really like how the Cuban son mixes with the rhythms of the Caribbean and the Pacific, "recalls vocalist Begner Vázquez in an interview with ROLLING STONE.

Blades left Colombia and continued his tour. Heritage did the same. A week later, the Panamanian wrote in his Twitter account that he liked to meet a group like Timbiquí's. "We were very happy and surprised," says Vázquez. "We told him that we would love, one day, to record with him. And after two months he said, 'If Timbiquí's Heritage wants to record, I'm ready. [He rubs his hands] We settle in and we think what to do. "

Vazquez wrote the song, Herencia entered the studio and in a week the subject was ready. "We sent it to him and we said, 'Teacher, record what you want, what you do is fine'", recalls the singer. Everyone was on tour, so they could not do it in person. Thus was born What will be , the new single of Herencia de Timbiquí with Rubén Blades, a song that talks about some very specific topics, such as the care of the environment and the technological impact on society.

"Climate change is not a mystery, we are all seeing the consequences it brings. There are natural phenomena that are occurring more and more, "says William Angulo, the other Herencia singer. "But from home we can start with the separation of waste and education of children." This last point is one of the most important for Herencia, that is why Vázques says that "education solves all social problems", including those generated by technology.

Vázquez gives a very clear example. People who arrive at their homes and, instead of eating with their family, go directly to the computer or to talk on the cell phone. Those moments are the ones that are getting lost.

. . .

"They do not pay us, nor do we have where to 'get wet'," says Angulo. "We live in a country where social classes have an immense division. There will be children who can have an education, but there are others who do not have the opportunity to have a guide in life. "

But, in the end, the change must be done by each person. "Sometimes you have to stop along the way to start rethinking the actions," says Vázquez. "Here we want to propose solutions". For this reason, Herencia has several social projects, such as an annual gift giving in Timbiquí to low-income children.

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