A few days ago, the 19th International Underwater Photo Championship and the 5th Underwater Video Championship, organized every two years by the World Confederation of Underwater Activities (CMAS), ended. And for the first time, Cuba was chosen as the host country, while Varadero, its seabed and the Melia International Hotel were responsible for organizing all the events related to this event, which was attended by about fifteen countries, including Turkey, Spain, France, Chile, Croatia, Italy, Portugal and Cuba, of course, countries that have all won many medals.
At the medal ceremony, which was awarded in half a dozen categories, we could see and admire the best underwater videos and photos on a giant screen and discover, for non-scuba divers like me, the bottom of the sea in one of the most beautiful. in the world of beaches, opposite the majestic Melia International Hotel Varadero. A random and colorful universe where fish, crustaceans, invertebrates and corals of diverse and often surprising forms live in harmony.
Over 1,500 deep dives (about thirty meters) lasting fifty to fifty-five minutes were made during these competition days, and about twenty boats were needed to get the photographers and videographers and their equipment, including Nitrox air tanks, out to sea. . Each delegation consists of six people: two photographers, two videographers, a captain and an assistant.
Three judges—one Cuban and two from outside the host country—are responsible for reviewing and evaluating the exclusive photos and videos. At the end of the tournament, the participants were treated to a dinner show in the chic Continental cabaret, which ended, as is customary in Cuba, with a cheerful tune! ¡olé!, a DJ takes care of entertaining the guests.
Cuba has many recognized dive sites. In addition to Varadero, there are also Ciénaga de Zapata (Playa Girón), Cienfuegos (Rancho Luna), Trinidad (Ancona) and Cayo Largo del Sur, all located in the Caribbean Sea, with the possibility of renting equipment on site.
No to the blockade!
In a few weeks, on November 1st and 2nd, the United Nations General Assembly will again be called upon for the thirty-first time in a row since 1992 to speak out against the economic and commercial embargo imposed on Cuba. In recent years, this resolution submitted by Cuba asking the US to end the economic and commercial blockade against the socialist island has always been accepted by a large majority of countries, but the resolution has always remained a dead letter despite the consensus. it is formed. This blockade is a flagrant and systematic violation of the Charter of the United Nations and has caused irreparable damage to the Cuban people for more than sixty years.
Thus, in 2022, the damage to the Cuban economy is estimated at 4 billion 867 million dollars, while over the last sixty years the figures are staggering: more than 159 billion dollars. For a small country like Cuba, without great natural resources, without real industrial infrastructure, it’s like trying to walk up a mountain without success. And there is something Machiavellian about the US government’s determination to try to stifle the Cuban people more every day, for example by including the country on the list of countries that support terrorism.
Although Venezuela, which is also experiencing a blockade by the US, is managing to get out of it as best it can, thanks to its oil and abundant natural resources, among other things, and only signs of easing tensions between the country and the country. The U.S. empire appears to be manifesting concretely, with no signs of easing coercive measures against Cuba, which is falling on hard times despite all its efforts to devise new ways around it. That is why Cuba deserves all our admiration and support.
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