Thursday, March 15, 2007

Tourism, media, etc

Now we know why the Castro regime is so eager to build capitalist-style golf courses and a theme park for foreign visitors.

It’s because tourists are staying away in droves.

According to this Reuters report, unpublished official figures show that the number of visitors to Cuba fell by seven per cent in January of this year - and by a further 13 per cent last month.

It seems the main reason for the drop is the fact that Cuba has become far too expensive a destination, especially when compared to other islands in the Caribbean.

Given the enormous reliance th eregime places on tourism to keep the economy afloat, any substantial drop in visitor numbers is a serious issue.

But you won’t read about it in the tightly-controlled Cuban media.

Instead, the official media have been celebrating National Press Day, as you can see here.

I suspect they won’t be too happy with this must-read report from the BBC, which explains in detail the absolute lack of credibility the Cuban media have with ordinary Cubans.

The BBC quotes the deputy president of the government-controlled Cuban journalists’ union, Juan Marrero, describing the role of journalism on the island as first and foremost, “to defend the Revolution”.

Asked why the official media did not report the day-to-day issues that matter to most Cubans, such as shortages, inadequate housing, poor services and a lack of transportation, Marrero replies, without even a hint of embarrassment: “Not telling the whole truth does not mean you are lying.”

Spoken like a true Stalinist.


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