Every December 3rd, Saint Bárbara’s eve is celebrated by many with joy and devotion. Those who believe in her sing, dance and ask her for the strength they need to move forward. The atmosphere is full with syncretism. The so called sons of Shangó pay their respects, and share with friends and family a soirée that intends to bring participants closer to their African roots. At el Rincón de los Milagros, in Nuevo Vedado, Cuba24Horas lived unforgettable moments.

In the Afrocuban religions, there is a strong syncretism of African traditions and the Spanish Catholicism. Nowadays many of the original elements brought by the slaves are kept. In spite of having been under subordinating conditions for a long time, the religions of African origin practiced in Cuba play a fundamental role in the national syncretic panorama.

Roberto Carillo Ferrer

Cuba is a country of great religious plurality. Catholic cult is among the most widespread in the island. Cuba24Horas brings you the story of a devote man born in Camagüey.

The Catholic religion closely related to the History of Cuba. With more than 6 million baptized people in Cuba, it is one of the mostly professed cults in the Island. It has a fundamental place for the society and the national culture, position that dates from the discovery of Cuba by the Spanish settlers. During the Colony, the Church developed a hegemonic role as official religion.

Every orisha, Yoruba deity, has a date to be worshiped and payed tribute. These celebrations are parties full of joy, happiness and faith in the orisha the festivity is being made to. These saints are offered sweets, deserts, fruits, flowers and animals, among other things that represent them. But, without doubts, the biggest and most enjoyable tributes that can be made to the orishas are the so called Drum or Violin performances.

The cultural Cuban melting pot (ajiaco) is also manifested in the national religiosity. Many of the religious manifestations of the world are represented in Cuba. A small island of the Caribbean Sea, invites us to decipher its so mythical and aphrodisiac cultural flavor. Cuba is a country of deeply rooted feelings and of very spiritual people, as product of a strong cross culture process, which has become a national powerful and diverse religiosity. 

The ceremony of the French Thumb is the stronghold of the mixing between the Cuban and Haitian roots. This festivity is still kept in the Eastern part of Cuba. The first combination happened in the island of Santo Domingo. The slaves learned by imitation the dances with which their French masters tried to reproduce the parties of the Palace of Versailles.

The faithful Jews in Cuba have a beautiful building in the heart of Vedado municipality. The Great Synagogue Beth Shalom houses the Patronage of the Hebrew Cuban Community. The house of the Patronage of the Hebrew Community opened its doors officially in the year 1955, until the present time as a fundamental focus of religious activities.

The Cuban religious syncretism is manifested in the blend of the African and Spanish roots. The catholic cult was brought by the Spanish settlers, already syncretic and superstitious. They brought their god, their saints and rites, at the same time blended with the traditions of the Muslims. In Cuba, from the foundation of the first village in 1510, the Catholicism was the predominant religion. 

The Orthodox Church in Cuba has two important communities: the Greeks and the Russians. That is why there are in the whole country several temples of orthodox devotion. A great community of Russian, Slavs and Greeks inhabited Cuba from before the victory of the Revolution.

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  • The Cuban government has begun to pay ahead of schedule the debt which was renegotiated with more than a dozen international creditors, in a first step to settle outstanding accounts that historically has been dragging, reported Reuters. Havana sealed in December 2015 an agreement with the Paris Club countries and managed to get 14 governments to forgive him 8,500 of 11,100 million still pending. The repayment of the remaining amount was structured over 18 years and the first payment of about $ 40 million, was made before October 31. "The Cuban government has paid the first installment and has done soon", said the French Ambassador to Cuba, Jean-Marie Bruno. Under the agreement with the Paris Club the 14 countries had a year to sign restructuring pacts that could include the establishment of local accounts, where a percentage of the money owed would be earmarked for development projects.

  • At the fairgrounds Expocuba more than 75 countries and 4 500 exhibitors have gathered since this Monday to seek business opportunities in the Caribbean largest shopping bag. Until November 4 Cuban entrepreneurs can showcase their results in the production of goods and services and present their interests in the search of foreign investment. Aiming for this, the Ministry of Tourism has arranged a larger exhibition area at the fair, for which presents a portfolio of 127 investment projects, including 25 for the construction of hotels, 97 in the form of hotel management with or without external financing and five dedicated to marine management. United States, Spain, France, Italy and Japan increased their participation, and Venezuela, China and Russia are the partners of the island most represented at the meeting.

  • The Roswell Park Cancer Institute, based in the city of Buffalo, will hold in the United States a clinical trial of a Cuban vaccine against lung cancer. The goal is to test the CimaVax-EGF, a treatment developed by the Molecular Immunology Center in Havana. The institute, one of the most important of its kind in the world, becomes the first American medical institution to receive approval from the Food and Drug Administration to test a Cuban medical therapy in that country. The clinical trial is expected to begin in November and to involve roughly 60 - 90 US patients. Although CimaVax-EGF does not provide a cure of the disease, it contributes to slow the growth of tumors and is less toxic than chemotherapy. In this regard, it has already shown promising results in Cuba, and other countries like Peru, Colombia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

  • One of the most important groups in the contemporary world scene will tour Cuba. Odin Teatret will carry out from October 30 to November 25 a tour through several provinces. Based in the Danish town of Holstebro, Odin Teatret is led since 1964 by the Italian master Eugenio Barba. During his stay in Cuba they will present eight shows, which include one-person and group shows as well as a program of lectures, workshops, work demonstrations, audiovisual presentations, master classes and other exchanges. The tour will cover the cities of Las Tunas, Sancti Spiritus, Matanzas, Santa Clara, Camagüey, Pinar del Rio, Bayamo, Santiago de Cuba and Havana.

  • 25th edition of International Ballet Festival of Havana Alicia Alonso has started. The event, one of the most prestigious in the world of dance- will take place until November 6. Among the guests are the company Buenos Aires Ballet, under the direction of Federico Fernández; Dance Americanana -group composed of figures of the New York City Ballet and the Miami City Ballet-; Ballet West, also American, and the Canadian company Les Grands Ballets Canadiens. Also integrate the list Vlovajob Pru, led by François Chaignaud & Cecilia Bengolea; Martha Graham Dance Company, founded in 1929 by the celebrated dancer and choreographer Martha Graham; and Irene Rodriguez’s (Cuba). Also attending the Festival are choreographers Daniel Proietto and Demis Volpi, both Argentinian; Colombian-Belgian Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Cuban Alberto Mendez and Ely Regina Hernandez, who created especially for the event, the pas de deux Winter.

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