Members of at least 40 nations are taking part in Cuba's 27th annual International Book Fair, FIL, which kicked off Thursday.
At least 140 exhibitors from 22 countries will put up their stalls at the San Carlos de la Cabaña Fortress along with a few other locations in the capital city of Havana. Out of the 62 publishers exhibiting their publications, institutes from Peru, Spain and Panama have the largest concentration of representatives.
The fair, which began in 1937, also aims to build relations and bridge the gap between China and Cuba.
Cuba was the first Latin American nation to establish diplomatic relations with China in 1960.
More than 220 Chinese writers, artists, officials and representatives of Chinese publishers have confirmed their attendance. The South Asian country, which will be participating at the fair for the first time, has also been named the guest of honor by the FIL committee.
"It is a great opportunity to establish bridges and make the fair eternal between the two countries, where Cuban authors can have a greater presence in China and vice versa, because we have a history of brotherhood between both peoples for many years," Juan Rodriguez Cabrera, president of the fair's organizing committee, told Xinhua.
"The Cuban public, in general, is very eager to know and buy Chinese books and texts related to its history, culture, heritage and the economic development that has taken place in the last 40 years," he said. "The bridge we are building will not only strengthen bilateral relations but also China's ties with Latin America and the Caribbean."
Alongside books, the event also features a children's pavilion with rides and food stalls for a fun-filled family outing. The festival will also comprise of colloquiums, tribute-laden conferences, art and cinematic ventures, concerts and exhibitions.
"The idea is that the fair should be a place for the Cuban family," the vice president of the Cuban Book Institute, Edel Morales, told Quartz in February last year.
The Cuban New Year's Revolution
Reprints of the titles "Fiñes," "Light on the Mirror," "Children of My Time" and "Eternal Wisdom" will also be sold at the fair. The latter two are compendiums of speeches and lectures written by artists and intellectuals, the editorial director, Mario Cremata, told Cuba Net.
Fidel Castro books are the most sought after at the fair, Morales noted.
Cuba has a literacy rate of 100 percent, thanks to its amazing literacy program, which was started by the Cuban Revolution.
Havana, which has a population of two million, hosted nearly 500,000 attendees in its 2017 International Book Fair. This is higher than New York City's Brooklyn Book Fair, held in September last year, attended by 40,000 people. It even exceeded the attendance at the Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany, known to be the largest in the world.