Cuba: US Professor Captivated by Writers Meeting

Cuba: US Professor Captivated by Writers Meeting Baracoa, Cuba, Jun 8 (Prensa Latina) U.S. professor and researcher Alan Bell of Maryland University said he was impressed with the level of the First Latin American Villas international writers'' conference, which ends Wednesday. In an exclusive interview with Prensa Latina, Bell said he enjoyed the quality of the scientific papers presented and the outstanding human enthusiasm, something that is often lacking in the academic world, he said.

The conference, dedicated to the 500th anniversary of Baracoa, Cuba's "first villa," features prestigious scholars who have addressed topics such as identity, the preservation of tradition, and the material and immaterial patrimony of Latin America.

"I have participated in numerous scientific congresses with renowned scholars, but I have never experienced the passion in communicating with the public the way my colleagues expressed themselves on this occasion," he said.

Bell came to Baracoa out of curiosity regarding the presence of Cuba in his family history. In 1923, his grandmother and three other relatives arrived in Havana from Russia on the way to the United States.

"I've always had a debt to this country, because of the good treatment my family received here," Bell said.

A Spanish professor in the Department of Modern Languages at the University of Maryland, Bell also teaches Latin American literature, and said he was interested in fostering exchange between Cuban professionals and his university.

The last day of the conference was devoted to discussion on the relevance and importance of literature in Latin America.