This year's cultural exchange at The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival promises to be special. As festival producer Quint Davis put it, Cuba comes to Jazz Fest! Davis says it's a project that has taken time and resources. "We been working on this for two years," he explained. "We went to Senator Landrieu's office in Washington to say we want to do this. [...] We're bringing 150 people from Cuba. That means 150 visas and interviews, which has never been done."
There’s still plenty of charm in the streets of La Habana Vieja and on all those unblemished beaches that necklace the Caribbean island. But tapping it will depend on the ability of Havana’s floundering regime not just to adapt to the disruptive global economy, but also to write a new narrative that promotes the island’s future as much as its past. This is not the first time Cuba has tried soft power to rescue the revolution.
Russia worked to take down Hillary Clinton in 2016, but it may have been Cuba that delivered Donald Trump the White House. Cuba brought the world Trump? It’s hard to imagine Cuba had anything to do with the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Contemporary America seems so far away for anyone sitting on a Havana tourist rooftop overlooking renovations of its Capitol, listening to the street sounds of rhythmic music, or watching lumbering ’50s Chevys cruise down seaside boulevards.
Markos Kounalakis argues that Cuba played an important and overlooked role in the 2016 presidential election.
The Fair will hold numerous activities in secondary venues in the Vedado district of the city such as the Dulce María Loynaz Center, the Casa del Alba Cultural and the Cuban Association of the United Nations. The Cuba Pavilion, the headquarters of the National Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba and the University of Havana will also offer opportunities for cultural exchange and enrichment.
Cuba is proud of its government-run health care system and its skilled doctors. But even with a raise two years ago, the highest paid doctors make $67 a month, while nurses top out at $40. That leaves many feeling demoralized — and searching for ways to improve their lives.
“There’s something young happening here,” DJ Walshy Fire says late into the sprawling, inspiring concert documentary Give Me Future. [...] They’re talking with reverent awe about Cuba’s music scene, and how rapidly it’s changing. A little over a year after President Obama eased the 54-year trade sanction against Cuba, Major Lazer went to Havana for an unprecedented mega-scale outdoor concert.