Solidarity with & sustainable development for Cuban colleagues
FIT Executive Committee (EC) accompanied by senior members of FIT Regional Centre for Latin America (FIT RC LatAm), made a historic visit to Cuba - the first since the Asociacíon Cubana de Traductores et Intérpretes (ACTI) joined the FIT Family.
The EC was the guest of honour at the Xth Cuba-Quebec Symposium on Translation, Terminology and Interpretation (#cubaquebec2016). First convened 20 years ago, the event was jointly hosted by ACTI and the Ordre des traducteurs, terminologues, et interprètes agreés du Quebec (OTTIAQ), an association well known in the FIT Family, previously part of CTTIC, and recently admitted to FIT membership.
This Symposium, attended by delegates from 38 different countries around the world, was the largest and most diverse gathering thanks to the joint publicity effort of ACTI, OTTIAQ and FIT. It highlighted the strong academic and pragmatic basis of translation, interpreting and terminology studies, research, training and professional practice in Cuba.
As well as President Dr Henry Liu who delivered the Opening Keynote speech, Council Members Kevin Quirk and Alison Rodriguez along with senior members of FIT RC LatAm namely Alejandra Jorge and Marita Propato contributed to the programme.
One of the most memorable moments of the Xth Symposium was the Literary Roundtable including no less than two FIT Prize Winners - Rodolfo Alpizar and Dr Lourdes Arenciba - under one roof and most ably chaired by Jesús Irsula, of Unión Nacional de Escritores y Artistas de Cuba (UNEA) and President of the Literary Translators’ Section of ACTI. It was most fitting to honour these two luminaries of literary translation on their home soil with their adoring fans, especially since Mr Alpizar was not able to attend his FIT Prize-giving ceremony in San Francisco in 2011.
During the Symposium, the President along with EC members, Alison Rodriguez, Council Member in charge of XXIst FIT Congress in Brisbane and Kevin Quirk, liaison Council Member for Copyrights and Literary Translation met with Director Otto Vaillant of Equipo de Servicios de Traductores e Intérpretes (ESTI) of the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Director Vaillant thanked FIT for supporting ACTI and the Symposium, and reaffirmed the Cuban government’s commitment to a sustainable, comprehensive and integrated approach across training, professional matters and employment of translators, interpreters and terminologists - a world first.
FIT RC LatAm held its annual General Assembly during the Symposium where they welcomed a number of new and associate members and hosted a roundtable detailing the successful pilot collaboration project amongst professional associations and universities across all countries involved in the Regional Centre providing concrete benefits to its practitioners.
Following the overwhelming success of the Symposium, President Liu travelled to Havana where he was received by the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba, Mrs Ana Teresita González Fraga. President Liu thanked the Vice Minister for her strong support of translators, interpreters and terminologists in Cuba and congratulated her on her vision and appreciation of the essential role translators and interpreters play in how the world sees Cuba and how Cuba interacts with the world. Dr Liu reiterated FIT’s commitment to support ACTI and Cuban colleagues and to continue bringing expertise and experience from across the wider FIT Family to collaborate with Cuban institutions to improve the status and the quality of translation, interpreting and terminology in Cuba. Following the official visit, President Liu met with government translators and interpreters at ESTI and was interviewed by Cuban National Television, which aired at prime time news on the same day. During his stay in Havana, he also visited the Havana Convention Centre, one of the proposed venues for the XXIInd FIT World Congress in 2020. He concluded his visit to Cuba at the University of Havana, as is now a regular habit on his touring agenda, where he met with faculties and students.
The Council will next meet in Ottawa in March 2017 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Canada and appreciates the kind invitation from CTTIC. Following the Ottawa Council Meeting, FIT will travel to Montreal to celebrate OTTIAQ’s 25th anniversary.