Cuba’s 27th International Book Fair 2018, this year dedicated to the People’s Republic of China as the Guest Country of Honor, was officially inaugurated this Thursday, February 1, at Havana’s San Carlos de la Cabaña Fortress, to the rhythm of traditional Asian drums.
The ceremony was presided by Party Political Bureau members Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, first vice president of the Councils of State and Ministers, and Esteban Lazo Hernández, president of the National Assembly of People’s Power; as well as Abel Prieto Jiménez, minister of Culture; Zhou Huilin, Chinese vice minister of State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television and the National Copyright Administration; and Chen Xi, ambassador of China to Cuba; among other politicians and intellectuals.
The documentary Eusebio, leal y espléndido, featuring several personalities commenting on the extraordinary work of the Havana City Historian, as well as interviews with Leal himself, to whom this year’s Fair is also dedicated, was screened as part of the inauguration.
Zhou Huilin spoke of the honor of being able to lead the Chinese delegation to the event, and expressed his hope that the Fair be a resounding success, while thanking Cuba for the invitation to participate. He also stressed that this is the most significant event of its kind in Latin America.
“While in many parts of the world, the hope that peoples read has been lost, in our country we believe in the edifying role of reading,” stated Juan Rodríguez Cabrera, president of the Cuban Book Institute.
He also recalled Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro, a tireless reader, who dreamed up this Fair and “made it as great as it is today.”