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Cuba opens international book fair, hopes for Castro show

(Xinhua)

15:56, February 10, 2012

HAVANA, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- Cuban cultural authorities on Thursday opened the 21st International Book Fair, which organizers said will be attended by over 200 cultural and literature figures from over 40 countries.

A total of 130 exhibitors, including 66 from other countries will participate in the book fair, at which over four million books will be put up for sale.

Among the foreign guests is Argentinean Peace Nobel laureate Adolfo Esquivel.

Many are speculating whether Cuba's former leader Fidel Castro might repeat last year's surprise visit to the book fair.

Last year, the 85-year-old leader showed up and met with Cuban and foreign participants.

"He has not denied the possibility of coming to the meeting, but he has not confirmed it yet," Zuleica Romay, president of the Cuban Book Institute, said of Castro's possible visit.

The former Cuban leader has recently unveiled two volumes of his autobiography entitled "Guerrilla man of time."

The book fair was officially inaugurated Thursday evening in the fortress of San Pedro de La Cabana.

"The International Book Fair is probably the most important cultural event in Cuba as it brings together not only a wide editorial production, but also a very complex schedule of artistic presentations," said Eduardo Fernandez, director of the Cuban Literary Chamber, in an article published by the official daily Granma.

The book show also seeks wide public participation with activities like book presentations, lectures, movies and plays.

Once the inaugurating event ends in the Cuban capital of Havana, the book fair will travel through the island's most important cities until March 31, said Fernandez.

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