It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to Issue 17 of Cubaplus magazine, the first issue of the New Year and, as is our custom, full of information about the many wonderful activities that await you in Cuba.
At the top of the list is the 13th Habanos Festival, scheduled for February, and which continues to be a celebration of one of Cuba?s finest and best-known products worldwide: the Habano cigar. And all of those who, like me, appreciate a superior cigar will again be satisfyingly surprised at the new launchings of top quality smokes, including a shorter but highly aromatic and intensely-flavoured Partag?s that is more in keeping with the changing needs to today?s smokers. Our readers also know that Cubaplus is dedicated to all aspects of Cuban culture, so be sure to checkout the feature on Cuba?s Tobacco Painter, Milton Bernal Castro and photographer Miguel Puldon Villareal, who have a special place reserved for their works at the Habanos Festival for their excellent work with cigars. And don?t miss Cuban abstract painter Rigoberto Mena, who through his work expresses his inner most perceptions of his surroundings, as well as our two featured photographers, Nelson Ram?rez de Arellano and Liudmila Velasco, who link their lives and images to show a mirror of themselves and the world in which they live. And for music lovers, we have a special interview with Haila Mar?a Mompie, one of Cuba?s major female voices who talks about her childhood and dreams as an artist.