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"Cuban cartoonists have a vision that is more universal, and so their jokes are more effective," said Argentine-Catalan caricaturist Armengol Francisco Tolsa, editor of a book on the history of Latin American comics.

Armengol, who is also member of the jury of the Fifteen International Biennial Conference of Cartoonists being held in San Antonio de los Banos, noted that Cuban humor is distinctive because Cuban comedians are better prepared intellectually and culturally than their counterparts.

The conference, which he described as "productive," will feature 260 works by 82 artists from 15 countries.

To Armengol, who participated in several the workshops, what was distinctive about the event was the way the people from San Antonio de los Baños welcomed this fiesta of culture.

He praised the work of the organizers who made possible the participation of artists from vast distances, such as those from Iran, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Thailand, Japan, Romania, Greece, Serbia, Poland, Spain, and a number of Latin American countries.

The grand prize was awarded to Turkish Sait Munzur for his work Sin titulo ("Untitled"), which refers to peace.

With five categories competing in the Biennial, the first prizes went to Francotirador (Sniper) by Cuban Alfredo Martirena Hernandez in the Comics Category; and Secandolo (Drying) by Cuban Carlos Merino Valdes in Photography Category.

The other works awarded were Freddie Mercury by Brazils Jose Raymundo Costa do Nascimento in the category of Personal Caricature; Untitled by Bayram Hacizadeh from Azerbaijan in the General Humor competition; and En la cuerda floja (On the Tightrope) by Cuban artist Ramiro Zardoya as a Political Satire entry.

Some of the works were also exhibited in Havana; for example Gerardo Hernandez Nordelos A Political Prisoner in the US, Adan Iglesias Impersonal Caricature, and the work Person to Retrain by Aristides Hernandez (Ares).

All these personal expositions were described by Armengol as "visual poetry."

On this occasion, the humor magazine Tira del Dedeté was dedicated to female caricaturists whose works were on display at the conference.

Source: Por: Julieta Garcia Rios, Juventud Rebelde

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