Wish you were here
The Cuban regime has reacted angrily to comments made yesterday by a Spanish academic who says as many as 200,000 Spaniards travel to Cuba every year to engage in what he politely termed turismo sexual.
Professor Guillermo Morales Matos, of the Carlos III University in Madrid, emphasised that 1. Cuba is not the only place in the world targeted by sexual tourists and 2. Most of these are heterosexual Spaniards, as opposed to paedophiles.
Within hours, the Cuban Tourism Office in Madrid launched a scathing attack on the good professor, who is a specialist in geography.
That’s not unusual, of course: you’d expect tourism authorities anywhere in the world to protect their patch. And for all I know, the figures quoted by the professor may well be exaggerated. Or plain wrong.
But when it comes to the Cuban regime, there are imperialist conspiracies everywhere. Even in distant Spain.
So, in its response (which you can read here, in Spanish), the regime described the claims as “libellous” and as part of a “disgraceful and continuing campaign” by unknown forces to “sully the name of Cuba” – all to further the vile, imperialist interests of the United States and its allies.
Luckily for the professor, he lives in Spain.
If he lived in Cuba, he would have been labelled a mercenary by the State media, been the victim of a couple of those increasingly frequent fascist mob attacks known as actos de repudio and on his way to Boniato prison.