[Ccs] FW: La Alborada cuba newslist: Bacardi's image soured; Venezuelan trade; Murals; Enlaces

Barrios, Maura barrios at iac.usf.edu
Mon Apr 12 16:20:55 EDT 2004

See article on restoring murals in Old Havana........

>The Observer
>April 11, 2004
>Bacardi's smooth image soured by charges of death plots and terror
>Mark Townsend
>For decades young drinkers have been seduced by Bacardi's promise of Latin
>hedonism. Its carefully cultivated image, synonymous with glamorous
>nightclubs and slinky dancers, has ensured that the drink remains the
>world's most popular spirit. Even the dismissal of Vinnie Jones as the
>brand's face failed to dent its appeal.
>Yet a new investigation into a former head of the secretive dynasty that
>acquired vast fortunes from the rum has levelled fresh allegations 
>links to international terrorists, assassination attempts and a plot to
>overthrow Fidel Castro's communist regime.
>The revelations come soon after Jones, the former football hardman, became
>the latest victim of the drink's quest to protect its reputation following
>his air-rage assault. Yet Jones's reputation pales alongside the latest
>claims. They include accusations that a former head of the Bacardi family
>bought a fighter-bomber to target Havana, plotted to kill Castro and is
>linked to a terrorist outrage that killed 73 air passengers.
>At odds with Bacardi's carefree image, the investigation details how a
>member of the Bacardi family was involved in plots to overthrow the Cuban
>government in the 1960s. It also alleges that some members of the Bacardi
>family supported economic sanctions against Cuba, a policy blamed for
>leaving thousands in poverty.
>The unwanted publicity comes amid speculation that Bacardi - the world's
>fourth-largest drinks company - plans to transform itself from the world's
>second-largest private firm, controlled by more than 600 family
>shareholders, into a public company.
>Claims, to be screened tomorrow on BBC3, hint at the murky past of a key
>member of the family who tried to depose Castro throughout the 1960s. They
>detail how the late Pepin Bosch, former head of Bacardi, acquired a bomber
>in a plot to blow up a Cuban oil refinery. A successful attack, he hoped,
>would leave large parts of Havana without electricity, triggering a popular
>uprising that would topple Castro.
>A confidential CIA memo also claims that Bosch offered members of the Mafia
>more than £60,000 to assassinate the dictator. He allegedly became so
>embroiled in the Cuban underworld that the FBI believed he was connected to
>two of the most important terrorists in the western hemisphere.
>Orlando Bosch - no relation - and Luís Posada Carriles allegedly received
>aid from the Bacardi boss as they mounted military operations against Cuba
>in the 1960s. Eventually they were implicated in the bombing of a jet
>carrying the Cuban fencing team from the 1976 Central American Games. No 
>survived the attack.
>Although no evidence directly links Pepin Bosch to the outrage, and while 
>is accepted he wound down his involvement in extremist politics by the end
>of the 1960s, families of victims claim the Bacardi name is tarnished by
>Ileana Rodríguez, whose father was killed in the atrocity, said: 'I
>understand they [members of the Bacardi family] were involved in financing
>groups that have carried out actions like these. I think they should be
>In a rare interview, Manuel Cutillas, chairman of the company from 1990 to
>1998, tells BBC3's Outrageous Fortunes programme that he rejects 
>any member of his family was involved in the airline bombing. 'Of course,
>it's totally false. I am against any and every act of terrorism. There are
>no justifications for an act like that.'
>However, he admitted that individual family members may have done things he
>did not know about. He added: 'I really object to considering the Bacardi
>corporation and the Bacardi family as one. Members of the Bacardi family,
>acting independently and of their own free will, might have done whatever.'
>Further allegations aired tomorrow include the involvement of members of 
>Bacardi family with the controversial Cuban American National Foundation.
>Based in Miami, where many of the Bacardi family fled after Castro
>nationalised their firm's assets in 1959, the foundation is mired in
>During the 1980s Posada Carriles walked out of a Venezuelan jail disguised
>as a priest after being sentenced over the 1976 aircraft bombing. It has
>been claimed that foundation money was used to bribe the guards.
>In 1997 a wave of bombings, which killed an Italian tourist, was launched 
>Havana hotels. Again Posada Carriles emerged as a suspect, claiming that he
>was bankrolled by the foundation. He later withdrew the claim and the
>foundation denies all charges.
>By the 1980s - when actor Telly Savalas was the face of Bacardi - the brand
>was dominating the world rum market. Two decades later, it was posting
>operating profits of more than £1.5 billion a year and selling more than 
>million bottles in 170 countries. As the £250,000-a-year face of Bacardi 
>three years, Jones helped the trendy drink to reach a 10-year high in 
>Such growth is all the more astonishing for a company still locked in a
>fierce row that threatens an international trade war. At the centre of the
>dispute are the rights to the Havana Club label, which Bacardi claims it
>bought from the original pre-revolution Cuban owner, a fact contested by
>Cuba and Pernod Ricard, the French drinks group which produces rum in Cuba
>under the name.
>Last month Bacardi said it was seeking to end the dispute by filing a
>lawsuit granting Bacardi exclusive US rights to the Havana Club brand.
>A spokesman for Bacardi would not comment on allegations made by the
>programme, but said there was nothing new in the claims.
>· 'Outrageous Fortunes' will be screened on BBC3 on 12 April at 9pm
>Times of India
>Reuters - April 9, 2004
>Venezuela - Cuba set to bolster economic ties
>HAVANA : Venezuela is looking at options to further economic ties with Cuba
>which includes the possible purchase of an oil refinery and opening a bank
>branch in Havana to expand trade.
>The new Venezuelan ambassador Adan Chavez, the elder brother of Venezuelan
>President Hugo Chavez said at his first news conference in Havana that he
>had come to strengthen economic and ideological ties between the two
>political allies.
>Chavez said the purchase of the unfinished Soviet-built oil refinery in
>Cienfuegos was being studied as part of an oil supply agreement signed in
>October 2000 under which Venezuela ships Cuba 53,000 barrels a day on
>generous terms.
>Venezuela 's state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) has for
>several years been considering involvement in the Cuban refinery built with
>outdated Soviet technology.
>The ambassador denied reports that Venezuela was sending Cuba more oil than
>stipulated, and said Cuban payments of its oil debt were on schedule. "We
>are not giving the oil away...there are no problems. Everything is flowing
>as established in the agreement," he said.
>Venezuela also plans to open an office of its export finance bank, Banco de
>Comercio Exterior, in Havana , he said.
>He revealed Cuba will help Venezuela build low cost housing and will also
>build a plant to produce medicine in Venezuela.
>Cuban sugar industry technicians have helped Venezuela restart abandoned
>refineries and build a new one in the state of Barinas, Chavez said.
>Cuban has sent 12,000 doctors, teachers and sports instructors to 
>raising concerns among opponents of the Venezuelan president that he is
>seeking to establish Cuban-style communism in the oil-producing nation.
>The ambassador said the social programs manned by Cubans have produced
>tangible results: more than eight million people have received medical
>attention and one million illiterate Venezuelans have learned to read.
>April 11, 2004
>Old Havana restoring hidden treasured murals
>Vanessa Bauza
>HAVANA · Painstakingly recovered from under 27 layers of paint, the
>colonial-era murals at 12 Tacon St. are known to local art historians as 
>"Sistine Chapel of Old Havana."
>Located halfway between Old Havana's cathedral and the port, the colorful
>floor-to-ceiling murals offer a window into the city's past. Almost all
>homes, government buildings and stores in Old Havana's majestic but badly
>deteriorated historic quarter were once decorated with wall paintings that
>were obscured for a century or more under successive layers of paint.
>Now they are gradually being rediscovered and restored as Old Havana
>undergoes a vast reconstruction effort aimed at rescuing its architectural
>treasures and drawing tourist dollars. So far about 500 houses with murals
>have been identified in Old Havana. Because much of this colonial capital
>remained frozen in time until recently, Cuba is thought to have one of the
>world's widest collections of 18th- and 19th-century murals.
>The murals at Tacon Street are unusual in that they cover all the walls,
>rather than selected portions, of a small room in a former colonial
>residence, giving art historians a unique pictorial depiction of a bygone
>"It is not a story board, but a series of scenes describing the customs of
>the 18th century," said Roger Arrazcaeta Delgado, director of the city
>historian's archeology department, which is now housed in the former
>"Havana's high society of the time is there. The clerics, a damsel with her
>mulatta slave, the young courtiers are all enjoying a beautiful garden,"
>Arrazcaeta Delgado said.
>Painted in the 1760s, the murals depict manicured, Versailles-style gardens
>inserted into a tropical setting. They include schooners docking at the
>harbor, colonial buildings with graceful arcades, habaneros riding in
>carriages and minstrels serenading passers-by with violins and flutes.
>One frame shows a religious procession leading to a small chapel, likely
>reflecting a popular pilgrimage of the time. Another includes a small 
>painted in the middle of Havana Bay. It has since slid underwater because 
>repeated dragging in the bay.
>Restoration of the 12-by-12-foot room of murals had been stalled for years
>due to a lack of materials. But earlier this year the city historian's
>office received a donation of paintbrushes, scalpels, natural pigments and
>other supplies from a British art lover, allowing the restoration to move
>forward this fall.
>Across Old Havana a small team of specialists is busy meticulously
>uncovering and restoring similar though less elaborate murals.
>"Every house is different. We've never found one where a mural has been
>repeated," said Sandra Paez, a restoration specialist. "You can find up to
>20 decorated layers, one on top of the other."
>The most common motifs were bouquets of roses, cornucopias and garlands.
>Early 18th-century murals were hand painted. Artisans later used stencils 
>apply geometric or floral patterns. By the early 1900s the tradition faded.
>Little is known about the artists behind these unsigned works, but
>restoration specialists say they were likely part of a large artisans guild
>and some may have even been freed slaves whose trade was poorly paid and 
>valued as art at the time. Still, they were in high demand. The murals were
>frequently painted over in colonial days to keep up with changing trends
>just as outdated wallpaper might be replaced today.
>"All the houses we have investigated had murals, no matter how poor they
>were," said Juan Mendez Ramos, who heads the team of mural restoration
>specialists. "In all the economic spheres people would set aside money for
>this. I try to save what I can, be it a little piece [of a mural] or
>something big."
>Mendez Ramos' team is at work on a former 18th-century residence known as
>the Pratt Puig house, which is set to become an architecture museum once it
>is restored. Shrouded in scaffolding, and hidden behind piles of rubble and
>construction materials, it is one of the best examples of colonial
>pre-Baroque architecture.
>Due to Havana's serious housing shortage, the Pratt Puig house, like many
>others, had served for almost a half-century as a crowded dwelling for
>families who built their own ramshackle homes within its walls. Still,
>despite the wear and tear, portions of its original wooden roof and support
>beams remain intact.
>The murals inside the building are not only valued as examples of colonial
>art. They also offer archeologists hints as to the original rooms'
>configurations, which have been altered over the years. Fragments of murals
>running diagonally across one wall indicate that a staircase was once 
>another fragment floating near the top of a wall likely bordered a doorway
>that is no longer there.
>One interior courtyard wall facing west is covered with what restoration
>specialists think was a large mural of a landscape at sunset, although it
>difficult to see under layers of dust and dirt.
>"You have to train your eyes to see this," said José García, a restoration
>specialist. "Unfortunately some people don't appreciate it. Carpenters
>sometimes come here and say we should just paint over the murals. But 
>not the point. They have been there for two or three centuries."
>Rehabilitan cuenca del Cauto, el mayor río de Cuba. Holguín, Cuba, 9 abr
>(PL) Un programa de rehabilitación de la cuenca del río Cauto, implementado
>en 1997, ha posibilitado una mejora tanto en su ecosistema como en la
>calidad de vida de sus habitantes, publicó hoy el diario Ahora de esta
>provincia en su versión digital.
>Cuba hace por el arroz. 9 abr.- A la vez que aumentan las áreas de cultivo,
>se ponen en práctica métodos avanzados del cultivo, con la asesoría directa
>de instituciones científicas, a fin de potenciar los rendimientos agrícolas
>y reducir los costos, todo con un solo propósito, el de llegar al
>autoabastecimiento nacional.
>Cuba recupera niveles cosecha cítricos y crecen exportaciones. La Habana, 9
>abr (EFECOM).- Cuba está recuperando los niveles de cosecha de cítricos y
>las exportaciones de ese rubro han crecido en un 21 por ciento, tras los
>daños ocasionados a sus plantaciones por el azote de tres huracanes en
>2001-2002, dijo hoy la prensa local.
>Cuba y EEUU lideran clasificación América en boxeo para Atenas. Río de
>Janeiro, 11 abr (PL) Cuba con equipo completo de 11 púgiles y Estados 
>con 10 serán los países de América más representados en las Olimpiadas en 
>torneo de boxeo amateur tras el tercer y último preolímpico, que concluye
>hoy en Río de Janeiro.
>Las parejas en Cuba tienen peleas por el béisbol y las novelas.  La Habana
>(EFE) 10 abr.- Las mujeres cubanas, que gozan de una marcada igualdad 
>en la isla, se declararon "al borde de un ataque de nervios", pues los
>partidos de béisbol se trasmiten por televisión en un horario que coincide
>con sus telenovelas de preferencia.
>Efemérides - 12 de abril
>1869 -  Alocución de Carlos Manuel de Céspedes        La Asamblea de
>Guáimaro redactó la primera Constitución cubana, formó un gobierno nacional
>que regiría por igual en toda la República y nombró un presidente encargado
>del Poder Ejecutivo: un patriota que simboliza el espíritu de los cubanos y
>la rebeldía de un pueblo que comenzaba a nacer en la historia. Y aquel
>primer presidente de la República en Armas, el mismo que protagonizó el
>levantamiento de La Demajagua llamando al combate, expresó un día como hoy
>en su vibrante alocución: "Cubanos, con vuestro heroísmo cuento para
>consumar la independencia. Con vuestra virtud para consolidar la República.
>Contad vosotros con mi abnegación".
>1895 -  Desembarco de Gómez y Martí por Playitas         "Bajan del bote.
>Llueve grueso al arrancar. Rumbamos mal. Ideas diversas y revueltas en el
>bote. Más chubascos. El timón se pierde. Fijamos rumbo. Llevo el remo de
>proa. Salas rema seguido. Paquito Borrero y el General ayudan de popa. Nos
>ceñimos los revólveres. La luna asoma, roja, bajo una nube. Arribamos a una
>playa de piedras, la playita al pie del Cajobabo, me quedo en el bote el
>último vaciándolo. Salto. Dicha grande." Martí reflejó en su diario los
>instantes sublimes de arribar a la patria querida y de nuevo en armas, en 
>guerra necesaria que él ayudara a gestar, sin discrepancias ni
>contradicciones. Con Gómez y Martí también tocaron suelo cubano aquel
>memorable día: Angel Guerra, Francisco Borrero (Paquito), César Salas y
>Marcos del Rosario. "Ya arde la sangre. Ahora hay que dar respeto y sentido
>humano y amable al sacrificio".
>1911 -  Fallece en París Enrique Piñeyro         Educador, periodista,
>crítico literario, abogado y destacado orador. En el destierro ocupó los
>cargos de secretario de la legación de Morales Lemus, agente general,
>ministro de Cuba en Armas y director del periódico "La Revolución" en
>Estados Unidos. Colaboró en las publicaciones más importantes de Cuba,
>Chile, Barcelona, Nueva York y Francia. Viajó por la América del Sur para
>obtener ayuda en dinero y armas para la causa. Durante su ausencia del país
>fue condenado a muerte por las autoridades españolas.

La Tampena
latampena at hotmail.com
Maura Barrios

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