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First activities of La Colmenita in Washington D.C.  RHC  10/18/2011

Members of La Colmenita children’s theater company, currently on a tour of the United States, received a sudden phone call by Cuban anti terrorist Gerardo Hernandez from Victorville top security jail in Califormia.

La Colmenita Director, Carlos Alberto Cremata, spoke with Hernández by phone from Washington for some minutes in what is considered a special day for the ensemble after its arrival in the U.S. capital.

Gerardo Hernández is unjustly serving two life sentences and 15 years for defending Cuba and the United States from terrorism. Hernández asked the theater director about his family, while Cremata commented about their company’s tour of the U.S. cities of Washington, New York and San Francisco, until October 30th.

Children Andy Fornaris, leading actor of the Cuban film Habanastation, and Federico, one of the company´s youngest members, also took part in the talk.

On their first day in the U.S., California´s Democratic Congresswomen Bárbara Lee and Laura Richardson exchanged views with La Colmenita which is also UNICEF´s Goodwill Ambassador.

Their first day closed with a concert at the headquarters of the Cuban Interests Section in Washington, in which they sang pieces such as La Guantanamera, El cuarto de Tula, Historia de la silla and some others by the Cuban band Los Van Van.

Cuba’s La Colmenita performed on Sunday at Kay Chapel of the American University, in Washington D.C.

This was the premiere in the United States of the show entitled Abracadabra (Hocus Pocus), which tells the story of the five Cuban anti-terrorist fighters who, since 1998, have been unjustly imprisoned in the United States.

After the show, which was attended by hundreds of children and people of all ages, the children artists received a phone call from Rene Gonzalez, one of the Cuban Five, who was recently released on parole after serving 13 years in prison.

For nearly an hour, Gonzalez talked to the 22 children, ages 6 to 15, who made up the delegation currently in the United States. Over the phone, the children interpreted Silvio Rodriguez’ song El Mayor for Gonzalez.

Invited by the Brownstone Foundation, the company will be presenting through October 30 in different venues in Washington, New York and San Francisco.

This is La Colmenita’s second tour of the United States. In addition to Hocus Pocus, they will be presenting the show La cucarachita Martina, which includes bolero, cha cha cha, merengue, son and zarzuela numbers. In 2007, La Colmenita children’s company was declared Good Will Ambassador by UNICEF.

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