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The late Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro

The fair will feature dozens of books and workshops dedicated to Fidel’s political legacy.

Cuba will kick off its 26th annual International Book Fair in Havana Thursday, paying tribute to the late revolutionary leader Fidel Castro.

 

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This year’s fair, which goes from Feb. 9-19 in Havana, will feature dozens of books and workshops dedicated to Fidel’s political legacy. It will also include poetry readings, concerts, art exhibitions and activities for school children.

The fair officially comes to a close on April 16 in Santiago de Cuba after traveling around the island nation.

Every year, festival organizers select an honorary guest country to bring a delegation of writers and publishers for the mutual exchange of literature. This year’s guest country, Canada, will bring 30 writers and 18 publishing companies, Prensa Latina reported.

Cuba will have over 200 writers and 70 publishing companies native to the island present, the site added.

Cuba will have over 200 writers and 70 publishing companies native to the island present, the site added.

Notable Canadian writer Arnold August and the Cuban historian Heberto Norman will host a panel titled, “Fidel, Builder of the New Society.”

Overall, representatives from 46 countries will be in attendance, 21 of which will have designated exhibitions. Over 5,000 people are expected to attend the international event.

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The fair is one of many events promoting Cuba’s ongoing global literacy campaign, which seeks to abolish illiteracy and promote reading and writing across the world. The campaign originally began in Cuba in 1961, two years after the triumph of the country’s socialist revolution.

Within one year, the Cuban government led by Fidel and Ernesto “Che” Guevara helped raise the national literacy rate from 60 percent to 96 percent, according to studies published by Cuban historian Douglas Kellner. Hundreds of “literacy brigades” taught over 700,000 adults to read and write.

Cuban historian Eusebio Leal, an expert on the revolution’s contributions to Havana’s working-class neighborhoods, is also set to lead a conference on Fidel’s humanist ideology.

Editora Politica, one of Cuba’s most popular sites, will release an anthology of Fidel’s writings, which include his weekly column, “Reflections.”

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