This week's stories focused on non-traditional public diplomacy tools.
President Barack Obama's act of restoring diplomatic relations with Cuba at the end of 2014 could drastically change the cultural and artistic course of the island. But Cuban artists have used video and new media to explore its past and contemplate its future for decades. The new exhibit “Hope,” which opens to the public Sunday, Sept. 17, at the art laboratory ESMoA (El Segundo Museum of Art), looks at Cuban society through new media art, from the 1970s to present day with apps, projections and other installations.
A Venezuelan army plane carrying 7.3 tons of humanitarian aid arrived in Havana on Tuesday, becoming the first foreign relief to arrive in Cuba after Hurricane Irma battered the island over the weekend. The Chinese-made Y-8 plane touched down at Jose Marti International Airport with a message of solidarity from the people and government of Venezuela, Havana's main political and economic ally in the region.
The Ruth Page Center for the Arts and Cuba's National School of Ballet continue their collaborative and historic programming with a joint performance. [...] The result marked the first official exchange between two eminent cultural institutions since the normalization of relations between Cuba and the U.S.A. After obtaining official permission from the Cuban Ministry of Culture, the RPSD initiated the first step in the landmark cultural exchange program that would focus on the sharing of knowledge on dance, especially ballet and contemporary dance.
Cuba has emerged an unlikely victor in health care. The Cuban Revolution served as a catalyst for improved medical services and universal treatment on the island. Although Fidel Castro’s vision for a Cuba mejor stemmed from his political mantra, the country’s most successful social program can ultimately be credited to the medical training of former revolutionary Che Guevara.
Featuring Mexico’s opportunity to update NAFTA and Cuba’s new agreement with Google.
The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival began planning to feature Cuba in its Cultural Exchange Pavilion two years ago, well before then-President Barack Obama lifted the embargo against the island nation in October 2016. Since travel to and from Cuba has opened, there's a full slate of music, craft and cultural displays in the Cultural Exchange Pavilion tent, located between the Congo Square Marketplace and the major food areas.
In another step towards diplomacy, Cuba has opened its doors to the outside world by making an agreement with Google. Users in Cuba will now have the GGC to assist in content storage from Google owned services. Cubans can take full advantage of popular services, such as Gmail and YouTube, that can be used on servers owned by ETECSA, the state’s telecommunications company.