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Bohemia Magazine Alongside the Cuban Nation Throughout History
Acosta Matos spoke during the closing session of the three-day colloquium on the 100th anniversary of Bohemia --the longest-running publication in Latin America-- held at the Havana-based Centro Hispanoamericano de la Cultura.

He stressed that Bohemia first saw the light in 1908, during the US military intervention of Cuba and highlighted that the magazine has always reflected the Cuban identity and reality. He praised both the texts and pictures, the design and even the gossip published before 1959, which he said reflected the economic, social, cultural and political life during that period of Cuban history.

"Any one who wants to have a clear picture of Cuban history, day after day, should consult Bohemia, since its articles reflect the nation's history, piece by piece," he said.

Elíades Acosta mentioned also how it was used as a propaganda machine by the CIA and other US intelligence agencies to psychologically affect the Cuban people. He pointed out for instance the publication in Bohemia of a picture of Segundo Curti in his underwear. Curti was one of the most progressive figures in the government under Cuban President Carlos Prío Socarrás and the publication of the picture seriously affected him personally and professionally.

He insisted that the different issues at the time reflected the objectives and interests of those who controlled the Cuban media.

He later praised the impact of the first issues of the magazine after the 1959 revolution, which reached a circulation of one million copies -the largest ever for this type of publication in the Americas. He pointed also to the publication of several pictures that reflected the warm welcome given to the guerrilla army commanded by Fidel Castro by the people in Havana, on January 8th, 1959.

He called attention to the propaganda war against progressive forces in the World today, using the technological advances and described the Internet as a challenge. "We must have a cultural sense of ideology," he said and continued "This is the era of audiovisual technology and just as our enemies do, we must use images and symbols to convey our messages. That is a challenge for Cuban jousnalism to face up to today."

He then pointed to the war of symbols waged by the United States in Iraq and highlighted how the ads of companies like MacDonalds and Coca Cola are already on view on the streets there. "Foreign symbols that have been imposed as part of the so-called 'democratization plan' --the psycological, cultural and commercial war launched by the Bush government against the Arab nation. The US government spends 400 million dollars daily on the Iraq war," said Eliades Acosta.

He expressed his confidence that Bohemia will overcome the new challenges, based on the professionalism that has always characterized the work of journalists throughout the magazine's history.

The final session of the colloquium was presided over by Pedro Hernández, who is in charge of the magazine's website. Also on hand were Alberto Alvariño, deputy head of the PCC's Ideology Office, José R. Fernández Vega, director of Bohemia and a broad representation of journalists and workers from the magazine. Alvariño announced that the magazine will soon be a weekly again, with a circulation of 100 000 copies and 80 pages.


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