Posted by: ivetteromero | August 8, 2014

Fidel Castro’s Daughter Alina Fernandez Visits Cuba

7/10/02,  Alina Fernandez Revuelta,  in Miami. photo by PEDRO PORTAL......

Alina Fernandez, author of Castro’s Daughter: An Exile’s Memoir of Cuba and often referred to as “the rebellious daughter of Fidel Castro,” has traveled to Havana to be with her mother, who is seriously ill. It is her first trip back since 1993, when she left the Cuba.

Max Lesnik, a Miamian who has friends high in the Cuban government and regularly travels to Cuba, reported in his El Duende column Tuesday that Fernandez, 58 and a Miami radio personality, has been spotted in Havana. The visit by Fernandez, a regular and strident critic of Castro and his government, could mark another advance in the long-hostile relations between the Cuban government and Cubans abroad who oppose the communist system.

Her visit was presumed to have been approved by the Cuban government, whose security services control all who enter and leave the nation. Among other recent visitors have been wealthy exile businessmen Paul Cejas, Carlos Saladrigas, and Alfie Fanjul.

In her 1998 autobiography, Castro’s Daughter: An Exile’s Memoir of Cuba, Fernandez criticized her father as a distant dictator and wrote that she was closer to his brother, current Cuba ruler Raúl Castro, describing him as a good family man.

“He was the person to whom you could go to and ask for help every time you had a practical problem,” she added in a 2008 interview with Foreign Policy magazine. On personal issues, she added, “Fidel was totally unhelpful.”

[. . .] Fernandez was born in 1956 after Revuelta, a Havana beauty then married to Orlando Fernandez, had an affair with Fidel Castro, then a young revolutionary and lawyer married to Mirta Diaz-Balart.

She was raised by her mother but knew from the age of 10 that Castro was her father and worked variously as a model in a combination clothing shop-nightclub in Havana and as public-relations director for a clothing line.

[. . .] Fernandez moved to Miami with her daughter, Alina “Mumín” Salgado. Fernandez wrote columns for El Nuevo Herald from 2009-2010, and for many years hosted a program on WQBA radio called Simplemente Alina (Simply Alina). She now has a short segment weekdays during the 3-5 pm slot on WWFE-670 AM.

Juanita Castro, sister of Fidel and Raúl, won a $45,000 judgment against Fernández in a Spanish court, arguing that the autobiography’s portrayal of the Castros’ parents, Angel Castro and Lina Ruz, libeled the family. [. . .]

For full article, see

Posted by: ivetteromero | August 8, 2014

Neal Farinah to Judge Miss T&T Universe


US-based Trinidadian Neal Farinah, who has styled the hair of music divas like Beyoncé, Kelly Rowland, Florence and the Machine and Mary J Blige will be a judge at the Miss T&T Universe pageant on Sunday. He will join a panel that includes former ESPN vice president Bernard Stewart and former Miss T&T Anya Ayoung-Chee. The event will be held at the Hilton Trinidad and Conference Centre beginning with a pre-show soiree at 6:00pm, which will feature the launch of Tribe’s 2015 Monday Wear Collection, designed by Rhion Romany. The Miss T&T Universe show beings at 7:00pm.

Farinah has collaborated with Beyoncé on countless projects and has travelled all around the world creating her unforgettable hair styles. In the seven years he worked with the award-winning singer, he has been on five world tours.

Some of Farinah’s upcoming projects include his own hair line and tool line, which he will be showcasing soon. He also plans to establish a hair salon in Trinidad. A fierce Trini, he believes regardless of his fame, his loyalty lies within the place that moulded and shaped him into the phenomenal person he is today.

Bernard Stewart, is a former television executive with wide experience in finance, entertainment and sport. His company Bart World Communications, is poised to become a leader in global content development and investment enterprises. The company currently serves as a strategic adviser to the WICB, providing services for the development of cricket throughout the United States.

Also on Sunday’s panel is fashion designer and former Miss T&T Anya Ayoung-Chee. She is globally known as the winner of popular fashion reality show, Project Runway, in 2011. Ayoung-Chee has shown her fashion lines in London, New York and South Africa and is also a designer for the Carnival band Tribe. She also launched her Canyaval line which features clothing, accessories and Monday wear for Carnival.

Ayoung-Chee has been the spokesperson for The Tallman Foundation for the past three years. The Tallman Foundation is an organisation that focuses on bringing art and music education to the underprivileged youth of Trinidad.

Tickets for Miss T&T Universe are priced at $300 and $500.

For tickets and more information about the show, contact Tribe Mas Camp at 625-6800 or 624-2245.

For full article, see

Photo from

Posted by: ivetteromero | August 7, 2014

“Fuego Cruzado”: Live Transmission from Beta-Local

Fuego Cruzado Invite-OUT

Beta-Local presents “Fuego Cruzado” [Crossfire] a program that will be transmitted live from its headquarters, located at 208 Luna Street (corner of San Justo) Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, this Friday, August 8, 2014, from 5:00 to 7:00pm. “Fuego Cruzado” will be broadcast live on 1320 AM.

Last June Beta-Local was invited to participate on the radio program “Fuego Cruzado” (Radio Isla 1320 AM) and in the short duration of the conversation, someone posed a question that is a recurring topic of discussion at Beta-Local: “What is art good for?

Beta-Local decided to invite panelists Ignacio Rivera, Nestor Duprey, and Carlos Gallisá to discuss this issue in more depth. “Fuego Cruzado” will be broadcast live on 1320 AM from the physical space of Beta-Local. They also extend an invitation to the public to join them that afernoon.

At the end of the transmission, there will be a special edition of the traditional Comedor [the “dining room”] where they will be sharing a meal with the panelists. Food also is a good excuse to continue the conversation.

Fridays evening Comedor events is a result of an initiative where food enthusiasts cook, the general public comes to dine as a group and, in exchange, they donate funds for visiting artists.

For original post (in Spanish), see


Art historian Christoph Singler’s Génesis de la pintura negra: La obra parisina de Guido llinás [Genesis of Black Painting—The Parisian Works of Guido llinás] was published in December 2013 (Valencia: Aduana Vieja) and launched at this year’s Caribbean Studies Association Congress in Merida, Mexico. This fascinating book centers on the work of self-taught Cuban artist Guido Llinás and his resignification of African elements and exploration of color through an expressionism steeped in the history of Cuba, the Caribbean, and the legacy of trans-Atlantic displacement. Cuban writer Zoé Valdés says, “Only Christoph Singler could write a book so extraordinary, brilliant and truthful about the work of Guido Llinás. Thank you.” This is a truly engrossing read and an important contribution to our interrelated fields.

Book Description: Guido Llinás (Cuba, 1923 – France, 2005), painter and engraver, is best known as a founding member of Los Once [The Eleven], a Cuban vanguard art group of the 1950s. This first monograph on his work in exile reconstructs the development of his Pintura Negra [Black Painting] and delves into its main dimensions: the vindication of blackness as a color, references to the historical violence and the memory of the African continent. The Llinás’ Black Painting is a constant reflection on the stability and legibility of the sign, the fragility of the image, and the multiple layers of memory. It is a diasporic art—a profoundly trans-Atlantic one—that combines and displays African influences through Expressionism, in all its manifestations, from street aesthetic and new French realism to Jean-Michel Basquiat.


Guido Llinás taught elementary school in Pinar del Río, Artemisa, and Havana. He graduated in pedagogy from the University of Havana. He exhibited his artwork as part of the group Los Once, who defended abstract art. He traveled around the United States (visiting major galleries and museums in New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and Washington, DC, as well as Europe, visiting the museums of France, Italy, Spain, England, and Germany. In 1959, he moved to Paris, where he lived and worked for some time. The Cuban government awarded him with a scholarship to return to Paris and work on engraving at the Hayter atelier. In 1963, he became a visual arts professor at the School of Architecture at the University of Havana. He later moved back to Paris and worked at the Denise René Gallery for several years, where he was in charge of the inventory for the paintings and serigraphs. This position allowed him to meet artists such as Sonia Delaunay, Jean Arp, Vasarely, and Richard Montesen.

As Edward Sullivan writes, his paintings blend the gestural qualities that link him to Abstract Expressionism, with veiled references to Afro-Cuban ritual. Sullivan explains: “Circles, arrows, the suggestion of an axe or a cross motif make their appearances in these pictures. None of these references specifically refer to a particular cult or form of worship. There is no instance of folkloric or primitivist self consciousness.”

Christoph Singler is a professor of Latin American literatures and arts at the University of Franche-Comté, Besançon, France.

[Image above: Llinás’ 1967 “Hasta aquí” (Up to here).]

For purchasing information, see,%20Christoph

Also see more on llinás through and

For more on the author, see

Also see

Posted by: ivetteromero | August 7, 2014

“Flow”—Caribbean Artists Critique Image-Driven Culture

lipsMiranda Katz reviews art exhibition “Flow: Economies of the Look and Creativity in Contemporary Art from the Caribbean,” which is on view at the Inter-American Development Bank Cultural Center (located at 1300 New York Avenue NW in Washington, DC.) through August 29, 2014. [See previous post IDB Presents “FLOW: Economies of the Look and Creativity in Contemporary Art from the Caribbean”.]

Katz writes: ‘A thought-provoking commentary on image-obsessed societies, “Flow” defies easy definition. These artists subvert stereotypes of the Caribbean, revealing complexities that go far beyond the paradisiacal image of the region propagated by the tourism industry. Do not be deceived by its title: The exhibition does not encourage going with the “flow” of commoditization and beautification; rather, it pushes back against that current, acting as a critical check to contemporary Caribbean culture.’

“Flow: Economies of the Look and Creativity in Contemporary Art from the Caribbean” addresses the region’s shifting culture, critiquing archetypes of beauty, gender, race and power. Featuring 27 works by artists from more than a dozen islands and nations — Aruba, the Bahamas, Barbados, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Panama, Puerto Rico, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago — the exhibition is a commentary on today’s image-driven pop culture, particularly in an increasingly globalized Caribbean.

The exhibition is broken into three categories: “Surfaces,” “Acces(sories)” and “Vanity Fair.” The first category deals primarily with themes of beauty and aesthetics, looking at the role appearance plays in society, from tattoos to fashion. The second explores the significance of brands and personal decorations: What, exactly, do they tell us about a particular reality? The latter category is concerned with the image of the Caribbean itself and juxtaposes the ideal of a beach paradise with a reality that can be the antithesis of paradise.

Though the gallery does not make explicitly clear to which category each piece belongs, this is no detriment; rather, this ambiguity allows viewers to contemplate the myriad messages each piece might convey. For example, Jessica Lagunas’s three video performances — “The Better to Caress You With,” “The Better to Kiss You With” and “The Better to See You With” — belong to the category of “Surfaces,” yet speak to more than just the theme of idealized beauty. In the videos, Lagunas applies nail polish, lipstick and mascara, respectively, until each container is fully emptied, resulting in grotesquely over-painted nails, lips and eyelashes. This series addresses cosmetics and the ideals to which women aspire, yet it also comments on the commoditization of the beauty industry itself; as such, it treads the line between “Surfaces” and “Acces(sories),” calling into question the relationship between aesthetics and economics. [See photo above.]

Nail polish makes another appearance in Nicole Awai’s “Specimen from Local Ephemera: Castle Nut and Drama Queen Series,” a mixed-media piece that blends standard materials — graphite, acrylic paint — with the less traditional, such as glitter and the aforementioned nail polish. “Specimen” offsets classical portraiture and architectural precision with a legend detailing the colors of the nail polishes she has painted with — “Pool Party” blue, “Dream Queen” pink and so on. With the brands of each polish written clearly on the surface of the piece, it is ambiguous whether Awai is critiquing commodity culture or embracing it as a new medium.

galindo[. . .] Set off from the main room are two of the most striking pieces of such criticism: Regina Galindo’s “Cut through the Line (Recorte por la línea)” and Kelly Sinnapah Mary’s “Vagina, Jyoti Singh Pandey.” The former is a video performance in which a plastic surgeon draws on the artist’s naked body with marker to indicate the surgeries that would be necessary to render her physically perfect. As Galindo’s body becomes covered with marker ink, the overlapping shapes and lines blur and overlap, losing their meaning while highlighting unattainable ideals of beauty. The piece was filmed in Venezuela, which has some of the highest rates of cosmetic surgery in the world and an entire industry built around beauty pageants.[See photo, left.]

Mary’s piece, on the other hand, is a chromogenic print that depicts a woman sitting in a sensual pose and holding out scissors. Written on her headdress are the words “castrate rapists.” Here, archetypes of female beauty come into conflict with sexism and gender violence. [. . .]

For more information on the exhibit, call (202) 623-1410 or visit

For full review, see


Tara Donaldson (for CNN Travel) gushes over the Crop Over Festival of Barbados [also see previous post The Barbados Crop Over]. She offers a brief explanation of the summer festival and its significance, but the most wonderful part of the article is the photo gallery, which highlights the most colorful details of the festival; I have included two of the photos here. Donaldson writes:

Think the only world-class Caribbean carnival takes place in Trinidad and Tobago? Not even close.


Barbados’ vibrant Crop Over summer festival, which once marked the end of the sugar crop harvest and a celebration for slaves, has evolved into the greatest representation of the island’s saucy spirit.

This year’s party wrapped on August 4, with the usual smash of color, costumes, music, food and unique history from one of the Carib’s easternmost islands.

Crop Over events range from historic remembrances such as the Ceremonial Delivery of the Last Canes, where plantation-era traditions are on display, to Foreday Morning, in which participants slather each other in mud, paint and powder, to Grand Kadooment, in which revelers wine the day away in scanty costumes of feathers and beads, grooving to soca music. [. . .]

For original article and photo gallery, see

Posted by: ivetteromero | August 7, 2014

Eco-Designs for Caribbean Airports and Hotels

Binishells: inflatable, dome-shaped concrete homes - 01 Aug 2014

The Mail-Online focuses on architectural designs for the Caribbean proposed by Binishells company, which claims that its structures may be the greenest way to build ever invented. The article underlines that “from inflatable ‘bubble’ airports to Hobbit-style Caribbean hotels” these eco-designs “show how we will travel in the future.” See excerpts here; the full article and series of astounding designs in the link below:

These unusual, domed buildings could be the hotels and airports of the future. Designs have been released showing how these ‘bubble’ buildings could be used to create environmentally sustainable hubs around the world.

With a design for an airport and even a curved Caribbean resort with trees growing up through the centre, these Binishells buildings could be the affordable way to build in the future. The structures are created by covering a flat balloon-like bladder with reinforcing bars and wet concrete before gently inflating it to form a dome. And the company behind the Hobbit-like designs say it could be the ‘greenest way to build ever invented’.

Developers will be particularly interested in the price tag, with a basic structure said to cost as little as £2000. [. . .] Beyond homes, Binishells, plans for resorts, wellness retreats and even airports using the unique designs to create sturdy, environmentally-considered structures.

Of its Caribbean resort design, the company says: ‘A unique, highly environmental solution which enhances the natural beauty of the site but is also strong enough to withstand even the most punishing winds.’ It claims the ‘sinuous, flowing environments’ help to relax and soothe the visitor, while the cluster of different smooth ‘cells’ can create an Eden-like setting. [. . .]

[Photo courtesy of Binishells, from the same article.]

For original post, see

Also see

justice-delayed-barbadosCalling it the toothless Caribbean Court of Justice, this Barbados Free Press article speaks about the mounting embarrassment due to unending incidents and the chaos and corruption surrounding the entity:

Ask anyone on the B’town streets and you’ll find that few Bajans realise that the vaunted Caribbean Court of Justice carries no actual power or authority even in Barbados – one of the few countries to sign on with the CCJ. Compliance with Caribbean Court of Justice decisions, you see, is still voluntary.

That’s not what has the CCJ in chaos though – it’s a series of recent incidents that some say threatens the court’s continuance. News 7 in Belize put forth an excellent summary, but the news articles just keep coming including corrupt conduct by a Justice…

Check out the following:

Trinidad ExpressCCJ faces internal battle

Stabroek News: CCJ judge gets $$ to hire driver

Stabroek News: CCJ problems sadden former Chief Justice

Jamaica GleanerFormer CCJ Employee Says Jamaica should be cautious with Court

The Caribbean Court of Justice is the highest Court in Belize, Barbados and Guyana but right now the court is under pressure at its headquarters in Trinidad. News reports from Port of Spain say that the court is facing internal legal battles resulting from a series of dismissals, resignations and suspensions of senior managers. The Court says it is restructuring after 10 years, but half of the 72 employees have joined a union to lodge grievances against the court – mainly about a change in the salary payment system.

On top of that, the court’s senior managers have hired an attorney who is preparing to file suit against the court according to the Trinidad Sunday Express.

Perhaps most damning is the account from the dismissed acting registrar of the Court, Jamaican Dr Leighton Jackson, who was escorted out of the Court’s Headquarters in May. He told the Jamaica Gleaner, quote, “Based on the incidents of mismanagement, arbitrariness and judicial misconduct, I think the current structure of the court is incomplete and insufficient” end quote.

His predecessor Paula Pierre had resigned at the end of 2013 citing what she called a toxic atmosphere to work in. Jackson is also contemplating legal action against the CCJ. [. . .]

For full article, see

Posted by: lisaparavisini | August 6, 2014

Caribbean chefs bring the heat to NY’s Fifth Avenue


OCEAN Style is excited to present the best of Caribbean cuisine to the Big Apple with culinary treats from acclaimed chefs of the Caribbean. The event will take place Thursday, August 7, 2014 at the Penthouse at 267 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY from 7pm and will benefit the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) Foundation and The American Friends of Jamaica Inc. (both 501c(3) organizations).

RESERVEDnyc: Chefs of the Caribbean will be a night of culinary excellence that will feature acclaimed Caribbean chefs from some of the most highly regarded resorts and restaurants in the Caribbean and the New York area.

This year’s chef lineup includes: Chef Purmessur of Coconut Bay Resort in St. Lucia, Chef Brian Lumley of 689 by Brian Lumley in Kingston, Jamaica; Chef Sean John of Spur Tree Lounge in New York City; Chef Shorne Benjamin of ShorCulinaire in New York City; and Chef Tim Tibbitts of Flying Fish Modern Seafood Restaurant in Freeport, Bahamas).

“We are excited about the chefs that are participating” says OCEAN Style Editor-in-Chief, Douglas Gordon. “Each chef will prepare and serve 2-3 exquisite dishes and guests will have the opportunity to interact directly with them. Our goal is to create an enjoyable, dynamic and engaging experience for the guests and chefs” he states.

Guests will also be treated to an elegant evening of traditional and modern Caribbean cocktails, entertainment, and a silent auction. The auction will include luxury Caribbean vacations, designer apparel, Brooklyn Nets memorabilia and much more. Live music will be provided by R’Kardo St’Von and his band. Fresh off his recent performance at the Tobago Jazz Experience, the Trinidadian promises a richly entertaining evening.

Noted guests in attendance at the last event were, Third World front man, Cat Coore; actor, Leon Robinson; PR guru, Marvet Britto; fashion icon, Freddie Leiba; and celebrity stylist Phillip Bloch. A number of notable faces are expected at this year’s event.

“For those with an appreciation for fine cuisine and Caribbean talent, we feel confident they will leave this event highly satisfied. We look forward to producing a superb evening that is highly enjoyable, shines a positive light on the Caribbean and its talented individuals and is effective in raising funds for these two important organizations,” Gordon concludes.


This article by Nicole Akoukou Thompson appeared in The Latin Post. Here’s an excerpt, with a link to the full article below.

Deep-fried alcapurria (mixed-vegetable and spiced beef fritters), steaming pots of bacalao (fish stew), richly flavored mofongo (fried plantain mashed with pork cracklings and seasoning) and sweet and savory piononos (croquettes or pastries with a meat filling) are Puerto Rican dishes that present a bevy of flavors but also a variety of tradition. This is something that the creators and chief bloggers of the Afro-Latina lifestyle site Boriqua Chicks, Rebecca Dailey-Wooley and Raquel Dailey-Parham, are well aware of.

Raised by their Puerto Rico-born mother and African-American father in a bilingual household, Dailey-Wooley and Dailey-Parham enjoyed traditional Puerto Rican dishes (such as arroz con pollo, pasteles, carne guisada, tostones and plátanos maduros) and spent many summers in Puerto Rico. An early introduction to rich flavors inspired Dailey-Parham to open the Puerto Rican restaurant Maracas in the heart of Chicago’s south side Bronzeville neighborhood, an area that’s predominately African-American, but not before she and her sister launched the Afro-Latina blog,

Introduced to the term “Afro-Latino” during adulthood, the two sisters identified as “African-American and Puerto Rican” or “Black Puerto Ricans” since youth, largely because of their parents, who encouraged cultural pride and appreciation, and ingrained self-awareness.

“In the United States, people often think that if you are black, you are African-American. However, there are black people all over the world, such as in Latin America, the Caribbean, etc., who have African roots, but aren’t African-American. Many people are not familiar with black Latinos because the media doesn’t typically recognize or celebrate black Latinos and Latinas,” Dailey-Wooley told Latin Post during an interview.


The general lack of awareness in the U.S. has promoted the invisibility and misunderstandings of Afro-Latinos. In Chicago, where communities are racially and ethnically divided, it’s believed that if you live in a certain neighborhood, or you look a particular way, then “there was no way you could be Latina.”


Boriqua Chicks was launched as hobby to counter the absence of Afro-Latino voices but grew to become a meaningful platform that has inspired others.

“Since Boriqua Chicks launched, there has been a lot of editorial, documentaries, social media channels, and blogs to take on this topic. Some media outlets have openly acknowledged that they were inspired by our work,” said Dailey-Parham, who covers the latest entertainment news, highlighting African-American and Latino celebrities, with a focus on Afro-Latinos and Latinas. Hot topic series, such as violence in Chicago, vegan diets and natural hair live alongside stories on entertainment, lifestyle, special events, entrepreneurship and beauty.

Dailey-Parham’s restaurant, Maracas, also subtly promotes the idea of Afro-Latino identity by diversifying the restaurant options in an area that lacks Afro-Latino visibility. Authentic Puerto Rican cuisine is provided to patrons; they’re offered a “refreshing twist to Caribbean fare,” as well as access to workshops, special Caribbean cultural events, live musical performances and the artwork of local artists.


Visit and check out the Maracas Facebook page and on Twitter. If you are in Chicago, visit Maracas at 4317 S. Cottage Grove in Bronzeville, on the south side of Chicago.

For the original report go to

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