The Trinidad Guardian / Los Angeles de San Miguel Parang Band recently concluded a short but successful cultural tour to Cuba and band spokesperson Ingrid dos Santos was only too willing to share the good news with T&T Guardian.

The band’s first official activity was a courtesy call at the T&T Embassy, which was followed by a historical educational tour of Havana City, made possible and organised by the Ministerio de Cultura, Cuba The main event was a concert on May 31, at the Centro Hispanoamericano de Cultura, under the auspices of T&T Ambassador to Cuba Dr Lancelot Cowie, supported by Jude Carasquero, representative of T&T’s Trade Mission to Cuba.

Dos Santos said that Cowie expressed his pride and satisfaction at the presentation of this band, which introduced to the diplomatic community of Cuba, its original compositions in the area of traditional parang music, as well as a sample of Parang Soca and traditional calypso music. In attendance were a number of diplomats and officials from Caricom countries accredited to Cuba, ambassadors from Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, United Arab Emirates, Czeck Republic, and Ecuador. Also present was Professor Dr Fidel Antonio Castro Smirnov, grandson of the late Dr. Fidel Castro, as well as the son of the current Cuban Ambassador to T&T, Guillermo Vasquez Jr.

Dos Santos added that staff from the T&T Embassy and Trade Mission were in attendance. Other significant persons in attendance were officials from the Cuban Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Higher Education and Health. The tour climaxed with the band performing on stage with Cuban band DecisiĆ³n Sonora, at the Casa de Cultura, Plaza, in nearby Vedado. The occasion was a celebration organised by the Ministerio de Cultura, in which the audience was composed of primary school children.

Said dos Santos: “The enthusiastic response of this group of Cuban children to our music will remain as the high point of the tour for many of our band members.

“Unforgettable moments in Havana, will include time spent in Habana Vieja, with spontaneous participation in roadside band performances.”

Los Angeles de San Miguel left Cuba, yearning for more of the warmth and passion of the Cuban people and the excellence of their art and culture.

Said dos Santos: “We would like to thank our sponsors here in Trinidad and Tobago, without whom we would not have been able to embark on this adventure.

“Our heartfelt thanks goes to the Ministry of Community Development Culture and the Arts, Phoenix Park Gas Processors Limited, National Flour Mills, Insurance Industry Credit Union Co-operative Society Limited, Export, Import Bank of T&T Ltd, and Stephen Encinas.

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