Pre-Xmas Gift Fair at Havana’s La Cabana Fortress

The bottom line is that the national industry needs to be rethought according to Cuban people’s domestic needs.

Irina Pino

HAVANA TIMES – The 22nd edition of FIART, an international arts and crafts fair that used to be held every year at the Pabexpo, takes place from December 7th to 23rd.

They moved the fair this time to the La Cabana that overlooks Havana Bay, I imagine to help alleviate the crowding that would always take place at the old venue. Now, there are several exhibition rooms and trade areas in open spaces.

Dedicated to Mexico this year, 19 countries are participating including Argentina, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Spain and India.

Under the slogan Art and Utility, visitors can enjoy art and design in its many different forms, ranging from native to more sophisticated styles.

The beauty of this historic space also invites visitors to have a good time with their friends and families. You can sit on the grass, on the walls between buying something which livens up your visit somehow. There are plenty of fried foods, cheap sweets and also soft drinks in CUC (Cuba’s US $ equivalent).

Anyone can go, entry costs 5 regular pesos, however, I heard drivers complaining because they now need to pay 20 to park.   (1 CUC = 25 pesos)

The busiest rooms are those that sell clothes, costume jewelry and goldsmith work, and the crowd is mostly female. It’s normally the women who go and buy and the men keep them company.

Colored pieces are laid out on stands, with decorative pieces and other useful things, many people amuse themselves by having a wander about and only buy what they can afford because some prices are through the roof. For example, there weren’t many people at the furniture stands because a dining table set could cost between 300-500 CUC, which any ordinary Cuban couldn’t fork out.

Cuban craftsmen stand out with their creative designs for the sake of beauty and commodity. Something which needs to be taken into consideration when analyzing national production and distribution. Not resorting to expensive imports that only result in losses and don’t exceed these national products.

We are tired of seeing furniture stores full of ugly designs that don’t last. We have everything here and for every taste, it just needs to be exploited and these makers need to be given the materials they need to work.

The bottom line is that national industry needs to be rethought according to the Cuban people’s domestic needs, enabling people to buy on credit (when they don’t have the cash they need), facilitating payments like other countries do. It would create better social balance and brighten up the lives of many Cuban families with lower incomes.

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Irina Pino

Irina Pino: I was born in the middle of shortages in those sixties that marked so many patterns in the world. Although I currently live in Miramar, I miss the city center with its cinemas and theaters, and the bohemian atmosphere of Old Havana, where I often go. Writing is the essential thing in my life, be it poetry, fiction or articles, a communion of ideas that identifies me. With my family and my friends, I get my share of happiness.



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