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Casa de las Américas, Cuba: Memory of the continent, will soon celebrate its 50th anniversary
It is also considered heaven for those who are no longer with us, having devoted their lives to preserving the common history of Latin American and Caribbean peoples and helping to make and write our continent's new history.

The list of names is endless, among them of course Haydée Santamaría (1922-1980), founder of Casa, and Roberto Fernández Retamar, who has presided over the cultural institution for the past 22 years.

"I've spent most of my professional life here, so I can hardly think of any experience I've had that is not related to Casa de las Americas or the University of Havana," stressed the Cuban poet, who is also a National Literature Prize laureate.

Since Casa de las Americas was created, Retamar has been tied to the institution. In July 1959, he gave the second conference ever held there. In 1962, he was a member of the jury of the Casa de las Americas Literature Prize in the poetry category and from 1965 on, he has directed the institutions magazine -Casa de las Americas- the latest issue of which (#250) will be presented shortly. Since 1986, Roberto Fernández Retamar has been the President of Casa de las Americas -- his home, which he cant stay away from.

The prestigious Cuban intellectual stressed that he is a true follower of Haydee, who not only founded Casa but also set the guidelines that have guided the institution's work to this date. Her policy was directed toward adding peoples and voices, just as she did when she welcomed our continent's artistic vanguard movement that resulted in important events such as the concert that legitimized the Nueva Trova movement in 1967.

"The institution moves forward and its future lies entirely with the new generations," said the author of 'Todo Caliban and noted that most members of the board of directors are younger than the institution itself.

He highlighted that one of the institutions latest projects is about to be realized -- the new library that will be turned into a mediateca.

Casa, which is now celebrating its 49th anniversary, was, along with the Cuban Film Institute (ICAIC), one of the first cultural projects undertaken by the Cuban Revolution. The institution has accompanied artistic creation all over Latin America and the Caribbean, welcoming the most genuine artistic expressions and the best exponents of our regions intelligentsia at its Havana headquarters.

Casa de las Americas will soon celebrate its 50th anniversary, long-lived as our continents history and protected by the tree of friendship and solidarity that has grown around it for many years.


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