Hellish transportation, impossible prices and little literature at the Havana Book Fair

Hellish transportation, impossible prices and little literature at the Havana Book Fair

The queue this Thursday to take a bus to the fortress of San Carlos de La Cabaña, an area for the XXX Havana Book Fair (FILH) until April 30, was long and full. Almost an hour had to wait for transportation, which, once again, is experiencing a crisis in Cuba.

“This year things are worse than last time,” observed a woman from Havana as she covered herself from the sun with her hand. “There are very few buses.”

During the wait, the visitors were filling the bags they carried in their hands with food. They would eat upon arrival, in the gardens surrounding the fortification, from where you can see, in the distance and with the sea in between, the advanced construction of the so-called “López-Calleja tower” competing for the first time in more than 63 years to the profile of the emblematic Habana Libre hotel.

At the gates of the fairgrounds, the waiting time multiplied: hundreds of people lined up for up to two hours. “Fortunately there is something cool,” commented an old man with a snort.

Once inside, visitors milled around and crowded around the counters, but they didn’t buy much. In the first FILH after the launch of the so-called Ordering Task, complaints about high prices were widespread. Miniature books (ranging from literary classics such as The little Prince even titles of jokes for adults or self-help) at 650 pesos, glitter at 400 pesos, markers at 1,200 pesos… “Not to mention, even water and soft drinks are expensive here,” protested a young man who asked about the price of a backpack.

The guest country, Mexico, aroused some expectation, judging by the queue that had to be waited to enter its pavilion, located in room A. However, people left soon, dissuaded by the more than 400 pesos on average that copies cost, almost all of them, edited by the state publishing house Fund of Economic Culture.

Once inside, visitors milled around and crowded around the counters, but they didn't buy much.  (14ymedio)

Among the few Mexican private publishers represented were Planeta, Almadía and Sexto Piso, all of them at small tables covered with a precarious tablecloth and colored “papel picado”, typical of the traditional Day of the Dead in Mexico.

Precisely the books of those publishers were at a more accessible price, which was understood by looking at the publication dates: none was new and there were titles from 2012 and 2013. Balances.

One of them highlighted: Commander. The Venezuela of Hugo Chavez, by Rory Carroll and the Sixth Floor publishing house (2013). It is a report that illustrates the rise of authoritarianism in Venezuela and the failure of the social programs of Bolivarism, something that would surprise the authorities who allowed it to be exposed if they knew. Such a thing is doubtful: the two copies that were on display were closed, and the public passed by when they saw the face of the deceased president.

Among the few Mexican private publishers represented were Planeta, Almadía and Sexto Piso.  (14ymedio)

Outside the fairgrounds of La Cabaña, in the Casa Benito Juárez (known as Casa de México), in Old Havana, Paco Ignacio Taibo II, director of the Mexican state publisher Fondo de Cultura Económica (FCE), presented Nine nights with Violeta del Ríoby Leonardo Padura.

The author from Havana was not in person, but he sent a video message from Madrid, where he is, as he said, “for work.” In it, he thanked the FCE for the presentation and expressed his wish that the Fair be successful and bring reading closer to the Cuban public.

Taibo, for his part, highlighted the relationship between the two since they met in the International Association of Police Writers in the 1980s and referred to Padura as a “critical author on the Cuban reality that he lives.”

Assistants in the gardens that surround the fortification, from where you can see, in the distance and with the sea in between, the advanced construction of the so-called "Lopez-Calleja tower".  (14ymedio)

The director of the Fund explained that the new book, which he defined as a “long love story”, will be included in the collection Winds of the Peoplea series of books launched by the Mexican state publisher at a very low price (and edited with very low quality).

________________________

Collaborate with our work:

The team of 14ymedio is committed to doing serious journalism that reflects the reality of deep Cuba. Thank you for joining us on this long road. We invite you to continue supporting us, but this time becoming a member of our newspaper. Together we can continue transforming journalism in Cuba.

};

(function (d) { var js, id = 'facebook-jssdk', ref = d.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) {return;} js = d.createElement('script'); js.id = id; js.async = true; js.src = "https://connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js"; ref.parentNode.insertBefore(js, ref); }(document));

function loginFacebook(returnTo) { FB.login(function (response) { if (response.authResponse) { var ret = returnTo.split("&"); window.location.href = "/usuarios/facebook-success.html" + "?accessToken=" + response.authResponse.accessToken + "&returnTo=" + JSON.stringify(ret); } }, {scope: 'email'}); }

Source link

Previous Story

Owners of Nissan, GM and Honda cars suffer most from vehicle theft

Latest from Ecuador