Friday, July 06, 2007

Open all hours

The always-readable The Economist has an interesting article in its latest issue on recent moves by the Castro regime to halt the serious decline in the number of international tourists visiting Cuba.

According to the London-based magazine, the regime has publicly blamed the US commercial embargo for the drop in visitors. As usual.
But in private, senior officials in Havana admit the real reasons have nothing to do with George W Bush.

It seems the problem is that Cuba has one of the lowest rates of return visits in the travel business.

Why? Tour operators say they get many complaints about poor food and indifferent service. Plus the fact that visitors are forced to exchange their foreign cash for Cuba's so-called convertible pesos, which are worthless outside the island.

Worried hoteliers (ie, the Cuban armed forces), are now looking at other ways to bring in business.

One novel idea apparently floated by senior officials close to Raul Castro is to allow those ordinary Cubans lucky enough to have access to hard currency to stay in the fancy hotels that are currently reserved for foreigners. Amazing, I know.

As The Economist puts it, this would not just fill empty beds but "assuage resentment" among many Cubans at the regime's "tourist apartheid”.

How very egalitarian.


Anonymous Walter Lippmann said...

Why are you complaining when the Cuban government is responding to something which has annoyed people on the island for years, and making a CHANGE in what has been the practice?

Some people, it seems, just can't take YES for an answer.

1:40 am  
Blogger Jewbana said...

Mr. Lippmann,

For someone who claims to be so erudite, I find your statement surprising. Perhaps you're not familiar with the FACT that the Cuban government is illegitimate. It lacks the MANDATE of the people, which were promised elections 48 years ago and are still waiting for that to happen. And just in case your come-back is that fidel was elected by unanimous vote, could you please name the person who opposed him in that so called election?
Listen Mr. Lippmann, maybe your heart is in the right place, but the location of your brain and the proper use of it; is questionable. We have plenty of useful idiots, you are overcrowding!

1:17 am  
Blogger Fidel pro democracy said...

Jewbana what a way to shut mister lippmann, nobody will complain if apartheid is ended by the castro brothers themselves, however, this was proposed about four years ago and cagastro opposed vehemently, he said "no way he was going to let proletarians see how the rest of the world vacations". Now that he is out of the picture. maybe?

12:59 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone who even remotely implies that any Cuban should be somehow "grateful" or "gratified" that natives on the island might be allowed to use facilities in their own country previously restricted to foreign tourists has no credibility whatsoever. None.

12:18 am  

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