World / Latin America

US delegation visits Cuba to increase cultural bond

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-04-19 17:17

HAVANA - A delegation representing US President Barack Obama's arts and humanities committee began a four-day visit to Cuba on Monday as a sign of further rapprochement between the two countries and their common will to boost cultural exchanges.

The delegation, composed of over 20 members including musicians Smokey Robinson, Usher Raymond and Dave Matthews, visited the Superior Institute of Arts (ISA).

According to Margo Lion, co-head of the US delegation, the visit intends to deepen cooperation in arts and culture and build up trust between the two nations after more than 50 years of hostility.

"Through arts we can build empathies and understanding among people and it helps us to bond as two cultures, and only through this acceptance of each other can we build bridges that can help us share our cultures," said Lion.

The American producer said President Obama is very interested in the results this visit can bring to relations between Washington and Havana in the cultural area.

Lion highlighted the importance of the ISA in Cuba where over 3,000 students receive free education in their five years' study and vowed to deepen cooperation between US arts universities and the ISA.

Rolando Gonzalez, president of the ISA, said this visit could help build normal cultural relations between the two countries.

"Our cultures and countries have differences but we have many points in common where we can share new experiences to build a better future for our arts and peoples," said Gonzalez.

Hollywood actor Kalpen Suresh Modi, a member of the delegation, said he was excited to have the first ever cultural exchange between artists from the United States and Cuba.

"Hopefully, this marks the beginning of working together for a long time," Suresh told Xinhua.

The delegation members will also visit cultural sites in the Cuban capital to expand their knowledge of the island's traditional arts as well as important places like the Grand Theater of Havana and Cuba's oldest EGREM recording studio.

Obama visited Cuba on March 20-22 to thaw ties, becoming the first sitting US president to visit the island nation in over 90 years.

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