Abel Prieto appointed president of Casa de las Américas

Havana - Cuban intellectual Abel Prieto was appointed president of Casa de las Américas, the center's website La Ventana reported today.

Prieto, former minister of Culture and currently serving as director of the Marti Program Office and president of the José Martí Cultural Society, was nominated for the post by Alpidio Alonso, current Culture Minister.

Prieto is a renowned essayist, critic and novelist who will continue the work done by poet Roberto Fernández Retamar, who held that position from 1986 until his death on July 20.

According to La Ventana, Prieto, in a dialogue with employees of the institution, recognized the immense work done by Fernández Retamar at the helm of the Casa, as well as the important legacy of Haydée Santamaría, founder and 'inventor' of the institution.

Marcia Leiseca, founder along with Haydée of Casa de las Américas, who worked for several decades as its first vice president, was relieved of her duties and will begin the transition process, which will be chaired by María Elena Salgado, first deputy minister of Culture.

Founded in 1959, Casa de las Américas is one of the most prestigious cultural centers in Latin America and promotes, researches, sponsors, rewards and publishes the work of writers, artists, musicians, playwrights and scholars of literature, arts and culture of the continent.

Conceived as a space of meeting and dialogue from different perspectives in a climate of innovative ideas, the institution encourages exchanges with centers of the same purpose and people from all over the world.

Casa de las Américas has marked milestones in the culture of the continent as a sponsor of recognized events such as the Canción Protesta literary prize for musicology, and for being the cradle of the Movimiento de la Nueva Trova.

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