Welcome to what is a very special issue for us: the 20th which marks five years of publication. This is an achievement not only for us but for all our readers and advertisers who have made this possible. A special thank you for all!
This issue presents the first of a series of articles on Cuban education - a top priority for Cuba. In our magazine, you'll learn why Cuba has one of the most dynamic and comprehensive educational systems in the world. And in Luciano and Lansky you'll find the second instalment of our Mafioso in Cuba series, which reads like a thriller. But in this case, the bad guys are real and the dastardly deeds they did hurt real people gambling, game control, drugs and more drugs.
As is customary in our editions, here you can read about the latest in Cuban art, music and literature. Meet Ramón Víctor Casas and his abstract works in metal into which he now incorporates woodcarving and scenography. Or learn about Vladimir León Sagols, whose painted works are strongly influenced by his love of engraving and his desire to show the human being as is, or ceramist Fernando Velázquez Torres who knows the secrets of making beauty from clay. And if its photography you love, read about Roberto Salas, one of Cubas iconic photographers who immortalized Cuba's post-1959 revolutionary process in unforgettable images. Rounding out our coverage on art is a panorama of this year's International Crafts Fair (FIART), taking place this month in Havana under the motto Art, utility and skill. If you want diversity, good taste and exciting offers, this is the place to go.
For music lovers, check out the charming interview with Ivette Cepeda, who went from teaching to becoming one of Cuba's most admired popular singers. You can also read about this month's 27th Jazz Plaza Festival, an annual event that brings together the best of Cuba and from the world, or the first international OASIS Jazz U Festival taking place in Cancun in May next year, with a lead-up of electronic and dance music from January to April. Just think: warm sand, glorious sun and music from some of the best!
One of my favourites is the International Book Fair, with the 21st edition scheduled for February next year and which this year honours our many Caribbean cultures. If you're here at that time, I urge you to attend as it's always an exciting event that includes art, talks, book launchings, poetry and fiction recitals, and the Paper Treasure Pavilion especially organized for children.
In Canada in Cuba's Trade Fair, you can read about Havana's 29th International Trade Fair (FIHAV), which this year witnessed a significant increase in the presence of Canadian business firms. Not only is Canada the main source of tourists to Cuba, but it is its third largest trading partner and second largest investor after Spain. And in this edition you can read about some of the places that Canadians like to visit in Cuba: beautiful and peaceful Cayo Coco with its water sports, sandy beaches and nature exploration; Playa Girón ' or perhaps you know it as the Bay of Pigs ' which in addition to history, beaches and excellent diving sites has one of the largest and best preserved wetlands in the Caribbean; Cayo Santa María which, for is sugar sand beaches and crystal-clear waters is called the White Rose. There's also the Hemingway International Nautical Club, which in 2012 will celebrate its 20th anniversary to which all clubs worldwide are invited to attend. Read more about this in our next issue or check www.cubaplusmagazine.com for more information.
Our habitual fashion pages focus, this time, on innovative Cuban designer Josê Riverón-Benedí, whose fashions are taking Europe by storm. And our health section covers Cuba's latest developments in shoulder prosthesis plus an overview of the recently-created Comercializadora Servicios Medicos Cubanos (Cuban Medical Services Marketing Agency).