Representatives  from the Casa de la Décima strengthen ties with partners in Mexico.

A representation of the El Cucalambé Ibero-American House of the Décima, in Las Tunas, has traveled to Veracruz, Mexico, to strengthen cultural ties with artistic institutions of that demarcation.

Las Tunas, Cuba.- According to Ramon Batista Lopez, director of the local institution, the links with the Aztec land date back to 1996, when figures from here participated in the Ibero-American Festival of the Décima, with genesis in the Balcon de Oriente, three years earlier. In 1996, Carlos Tamayo, Renael González, Jesús Orta Ruiz (el Indio Naborí), myself, and others went there.

"In the previous calendar was when it was proposed that the Indio Naborí be the National Literature Prize and that this event be held one year in Cuba and the following in another country. And, in 1997, a Mexican delegation came to the Ibero-American Décima Festival in Las Tunas, included in the Cucalambeana Fiesta.

Representatives  from the Casa de la Décima strengthen ties with partners in Mexico."That's how we met Nicolás García Flores, a poet and cultural promoter from Veracruz, who had a farm called Martha Elena, very similar to El Cornito. From 1998, thanks to the support of this gentleman, Cuban artists began to travel there, collaborative projects were carried out and we made a twinning maintained for many years," said Batista.

The director said that, in 2009, the event moved to the state of Querétaro and continued to strengthen cultural ties, which lasted for several calendars. "In 2017, due to the situation in the country and, then, with the arrival of the pandemic, the relationship was interrupted a bit. Now, on the initiative of people from Veracruz who know the improviser Dimitri Tamayo and other culturists of traditions, we were given the possibility of resuming the link with that land, specifically with the municipality Santiago Truxtla, with an enormous tradition in the cultivation of the décima," he said.

With the intervention of the Direction of Culture of that demarcation, the dream of an event emanated from the titular festivities in tribute to the apostle Santiago, a very venerated saint in that nation, became a reality. The idea is that young decimeros (that is what they call poets) participate and contribute to the consolidation of a good part of this folklore.

"It is intended that the delegation from Las Tunas in this opportunity participate in the celebrations, inserted in a meeting of decimeros that will pay tribute to a prominent poet from Veracruz, as well as in other spaces. In addition to strengthening ties with an existing international institution in that place, which promotes training workshops just like our Casa de la Décima.

"It is very important for us to attend, both to nourish ourselves with such a solid culture and to consolidate the exchange of experiences between peoples. In our case, we will show knowledge about the cultivation of the décima, the work with the new generations, the tradition in defense of the Cuban point, and other topics. Dimitri Tamayo, to cite an example, was one of the founders of the repentismo workshops at the Balcón de Oriente."

"We are also accompanied by Benito Leyva Martínez, an outstanding instrumentalist here, who is also concerned about training new talents. We are planning to give lectures and talks that will help us to glimpse our work and disseminate knowledge, and to take part in shows and other cultural presentations", added Ramón Batista.

The leader of the institution that defends the legacy of Juan Cristóbal Nápoles Fajardo (El Cucalambé), Cuba's greatest bucolic poet of the 19th century, also explained that it will be an ideal scenario to promote participation in the Cucalambeana Day 2024, especially when Mexico has traditionally contributed one of the largest foreign delegations during the Supreme Festival of the Cuban Peasantry.

It also becomes a remembrance and homage to figures who are no longer physically present, but who left their mark, such as the Indio Naborí. "This founder of the Cucalambeana Day was born coincidentally on the same day that the city of Las Tunas was founded, September 30 (but obviously of another year).

"He is a symbol for our American countries in the field of décima. I remember what it meant for Mexico to have him visit in 1996. He even dedicated a huge poem to him, even though he was blind. In 1998 -even- in a meeting in that country he was honored, with the participation of important poets from Cuba such as Waldo Leyva, and the participation of five countries. Indio Naborí is an unavoidable link for the tenth to live and spread throughout the world. That is why his legacy will always be with us."

The Ibero-American House of the Tenth El Cucalambé throughout history has tightened links with entities of other Mexican localities, among them the Queretaro Institute of Culture and Arts, and the Historical Museum of the Sierra Gorda, which "laid the foundations for the Ibero-American days of children poets and versifiers, where Las Tunas has had a preponderant role, even as part of the organizing committee."

Initiatives in Argentina, Venezuela, and other nations have also been the footprint of our House of the Tenth, which next December will reach its three decades, in defense of the Cuban identity.