Cuban Print Shops Turn Out 70 Million Books Annually
Since 2003, this figure has been greatly exceeded, as an average of 70 million books have come off the presses during the last five years. The figure represents a 40 percent increase, stated Rolando Alfonso, head of the Ideological Department of the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party. He spoke at the re-inauguration of the "Friedrich Engels" print shop, and the celebration of its 35th anniversary and the 5th anniversary of the "Alejo Carpentier" print shop.
"This," he added, "was the resounding response by the countrys printing industry, which in these difficult years has continued to recover its professionalism and tradition, and has given ample demonstration of its commitment to the Revolution, the Party, to Fidel and Raul."
Under the umbrella of the Council of State and directly supervised by the Ideological Department of the Central Committee, both print shops work in cooperation. They are currently working on the production of 100,000 Spanish dictionaries, another book of synonyms and antonyms, and other important texts that make up a new installment of the Family Library. This collection, of which Fidel has been its staunchest supporter, will shortly be available in libraries and schools throughout the country.
The "Friedrich Engels" is equipped with top notch technology and is considered by specialists as a publishing reference point in Latin America. In its start up process, it has produced 42,931,085 books, out of which 10.3 million were destined to the International Book Fair. Together with the Alejo Carpentier, they were responsible for producing 94 percent of the books sold at the Fair. Other titles were for the programs of the Bolivarian Alternative of the Americas "ALBA" and educational programs undertaken abroad in 15 countries. Moreover, the two centers were in charge of printing 826,000 copies of One Hundred Hours with Fidel, in its three editions.
Yailena Martinez, head of the pre-printing department of the "Alejo Carpentier," and Zunilda Fernandez, of the "Federico Engels" binding department, said that what has been accomplished has not only been the result of new technology, but also of the determined effort and dedication of their staff.
The ceremony was presided over by politburo members Esteban Lazo and Abel Prieto; Victor Gaute, a member of the Communist Party Central Committee Secretariat; and other party and government leaders. Representatives of mass and students organizations, publishing houses, scholars, print shop workers and guests.