Cuba: an Enriching Encounter with Readers at a Cuban Cigar Factory
The Jose Marti Cigar Factory, located in the Havana neighborhood of Vedado, hosted a delegation of the Cuban Journalists Union (UPEC) and workers of Granma newspaper. This gathering with cigar makers occurred at the factoryґs working areas and among blades, and tobacco leaves. …
Cigar makers gave their opinions about the work of Cuban media while hand-rolling, shaping and packing their product according to varieties and brands, such as H.Upmann ( name given to the center years ago), Montecristi, Hoyos de Monterrey and Partagas, which are very prestigious all over the world. They also referred to the way journalists reflect — or don't— everyday problems in the newspapers and called them to be more critical when approaching these issues. They also talked about the need to improve the quality of the Cuban newspapers, when it comes to printing and distribution.
The meeting enriched our background knowledge. Thanks to readers at the cigar factories, cigar makers are regular “listeners” of the news we read them from the newspapers. “We read newspapers, magazines, books, foreign and national publications every day. All the departments listen to us through a local audio system. Cigar makers pay close attention to every piece of news and are severe critics of these materials,” said Gricel Valdes-Lombillo Perez, who has played this role for nearly two decades.
No wonder, the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Preservation of the Immaterial Heritage will evaluate late in September the Cuban experience of people employed as cigar factory readers— among the 111 candidates presented by 35 member states to join the list. This Cuban experience is considered an achievement of the national working class and a popular and cultural tradition, the only one of its kind all over the world.
Friday, September 25, 2009