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      VCSC Brings Cuban Culture to Vancouver!

      By Janine Solanki

      People may know Cuba for the Cuban revolution, for Fidel Castro and Che Guevara, or Cuba’s renowned healthcare and education system. They may know of Cuba’s famous beaches, rum and cigars. They may follow the Cuban ballet, take Cuban salsa lessons, or listen to Cuban music. Whether politics, science, medicine, tourism, sports or the arts, Cuba is a place everyone knows something about.

      Vancouver Communities in Solidarity with Cuba (VCSC) brings a bit of Cuba’s warmth and flavour to Vancouver through Cuba film and cultural nights. February 15 was an opportunity to appreciate Cuba’s musical history, while also raising funds for the Canadian Network on Cuba – Tornado Relief Campaign. On January 27, 2019, Havana, Cuba was hit by a deadly tornado with destructive winds of more than 300 km/hour. All donations collected at the February 15 VCSC Cuba Film and Cultural Night went towards the worthy cause of the Canadian Network on Cuba – Tornado Relief Campaign.

      Participants started the evening enjoying Cuban expresso provided by Lorne from Skyline Expresso, with donations going to the fundraiser, and warmed up with delicious Cuban soup. Tamara Hansen, coordinator of Vancouver Communities in Solidarity with Cuba, welcomed everyone to the event and introduced poets Lucy Ortiz and Macarena Cataldo Hernandez from Proyecto Cultural Sur, who shared their beautiful poetry with the audience. Following the poets, Yasin Kiraga, President of the African Descent Society BC, spoke and gave greetings in recognition of African Heritage and Black History Month.

      The program then turned to the feature film of the evening, “El Benny.” This beautiful 2006 Cuban film tells the intriguing life story of Benny Moré, one of the greatest Cuban musicians of the 20th century. The film captivated the audience and gave everyone a greater insight into Cuba’s musical richness.

      If you have vacationed in Cuba and come back wanting to learn more, or if Cuba is too far of a trip to take, VCSC’s Cuba film and cultural nights are opening the doors of Cuban film, culture and politics here in Vancouver. To find out about upcoming events about Cuba visit www.vancubasolidarity.com or follow VCSC on Facebook and Twitter @VanCuba_VCSC

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