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  • Cuba’s President Miguel Diaz-Canel (L) and Algeria’s Minister of Culture Azzedine Mihoubi (R) in Havana, Cuba, Feb. 7, 2019.

    Cuba’s President Miguel Diaz-Canel (L) and Algeria’s Minister of Culture Azzedine Mihoubi (R) in Havana, Cuba, Feb. 7, 2019. | Photo: EFE

Published 8 February 2019

The 2019 book fair will be in Havana until Feb. 17, before embarking on a fifteen-city tour throughout the country.

Thursday Cuba inaugurated the 28th edition of its International Book Fair (FIL 2019), which has Algeria as the guest of honor, more than 4,000 titles on sale and 400 authors and publishers from 44 countries.

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"The attendance of so many national and foreign guests confirms that this fair is one of the region's most important cultural events," Juan Rodriguez, the president of the Cuban Book Institute, said at the opening ceremony, which was chaired by Cuba's President Miguel Diaz-Canel.

The 2019 Cuban book fair will be in Havana until Feb. 17, before embarking on a fifteen-city tour throughout the country, finishing on Apr. 14, in Santiago de Cuba.

Javier Couso, a member of the European Parlament; Ricardo Koon, the only South American biographer of Ernest Hemingway; Beatriz Gutierrez, wife of Mexicos's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador; and Azzedine Mihoubi, the Minister of Culture of Algeria, attended the fair's first staging.

The Algerian dignitary conveyed his government's gratitude to Cuba for turning its biggest cultural event into a showcase for exposing the best of Algerian literature, in Latin America.

"For this book fair, Cuba translated for the first time books and subtitled several Algerian films into Spanish, which will show the richness of our culture to new audiences," Mihoubi said and highlighted the historically good relations between Cuba and Algeria, which is Havana's main business and energy partner in Africa.

FIL 2019 will pay tribute to the National Literature and Edition Award Eduardo Heras Leon, a storyteller and teacher to several generations of young narrators, and the 60th anniversary of the Triumph of the Cuban Revolution.

The Cuban state celebrates the literary event with the "commitment to bring literature closer to the people", for which it subsidizes the majority of national editions, whose average price is US$0.40 since 2018.

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