The second annual Conch Republic Cup/Key West Cuba Race Week set for Jan. 22-to Feb. 3 is the only triangle race to Cuba [...] “We include buoy racing in Havana which allows Cuban racers to take part,” said Karen Angle, the event’s executive director. “Also, there is built-in down time to allow the participants to enjoy Cuba in this ‘Cultural Exchange Through Sport.’”
For Monasterio and others, the visit merges soft diplomacy through cultural and student exchanges with state diplomacy. "It's in the people-to-people world ... where Canadian-Cuban relationships are the most significant," said Karen Dubinsky, who teaches in a joint Queen's University-University of Havana course that brings Cuban students to Canada and sends Canadian students to Cuba.
There have been wonderful, detailed accounts of this historic visit, and its function (cultural diplomacy), nature (friendly and collaborative), and outcomes (artistic and financial commitments), so I won't rehash those here. What I'll focus on instead is the immeasurable component of art itself in the rebuilding of relationships at a people-to-people level.
Together O’Neal and Canales became the first official U.S. Department of State Basketball Sports Envoys to Cuba, taking U.S. diplomacy to new heights by forging positive ties with the people of Cuba through the unifying power of sports.
An exchange between the infinitely rich cultures of Cuba and Harlem is surely a marvelous idea. Afro-Cuban jazz was born in Harlem, the uptown neighborhood has been home to generations of immigrants from the Caribbean country and it shares a history with the island nation.
What began two and half years ago as a dream cultural connection between Harlem and Havana, Cuba, is practically a reality.[...] Lloyd Williams, president and CEO of the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce, said, “We have worked out an agreement with the Cuban Ministry of Culture that on an annual basis, in winter, it will be Harlem going to Havana … and during the summer months, it will be Havana coming to Harlem. During that appearance here, they will participate in Harlem Week.”
Governor Andrew Cuomo and U.S. Representative Charles Rangel announced the first-ever annual Harlem/Havana Music & Cultural Festival, an international visual and performing arts, fashion, education and culinary exchange celebrating the rich artistic connection between iconic cities Harlem, New York and Havana, Cuba.