Cuba's Int'l Book Fair to pay tribute to Fidel Castro

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The 2017 edition of the Cuban International Book Fair (FIL) will pay tribute to the late former President Fidel Castro for his contributions to the island's culture and literature as well as his efforts to making the FIL a popular event around the world.

In a press conference on Thursday, Juan Rodriguez, president of the Cuban Book Institute, said that the literary event in February will present a collection of 30 books dedicated to the historical leader of the Cuban Revolution as well as a symposium on Fidel's contribution to literature and his reading habits.

"We will present a special collection that was prepared for Fidel's 90th birthday and will hold an event where intellectuals, artists and writers can share ideas and anecdotes about the role of the Cuban leader in the country's culture," he said.

Rodriguez affirmed that Castro was always one of the greatest promoters of the FIL, attending inaugural events or spending long meetings with intellectuals from around the world while it was on.

The 2017 edition of the Cuban International Book Fair will take place Feb. 9-19 at the San Carlos de la Cabaña Fortress, east of Havana.

Four million books from different Cuban and foreign authors will be printed for the fair, while 700 new publications will be featured.

"The guest nation at the fair will be Canada which commemorates the 150th anniversary of its founding this year. We will also dedicate the event to the Cuban intellectual and revolutionary, Armando Hart," said the director.

Hart was the first Minister of Culture of the revolutionary governments, and during the last two decades, has dedicated himself to directing institutions that investigate the ideas and works of Cuban national hero, Jose Marti.

"It will be a significant fair, one of the biggest in recent years, not only because the books that Cuban publishers are proposing but also because of the important foreign presence the event will have," said Rodríguez.

Meanwhile, Canada's ambassador to the island, Patrick Parisot, thanked Cuba for inviting his nation to be the guest country and promised the visit of a large cultural delegation.

"The ties between our countries, with millions of Canadians who travel to Cuba each year, have led to strong relations and the expansion of cultural, literary and academic collaboration," said the diplomat.

Parisot confirmed the assistance to the FIL of distinguished Canadian writer, Margaret Atwood, as well as other important intellectuals and artists from his nation.

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