MIAMI, United States. – Last Sunday, the AmerIcan magazine Forbes published an article titled “It’s a Good Time Now to Go to Cuba” where it sings the praises of Cuba’s charms but ignores the grave violations of human rights, the shortages, and the absence of freedoms that Cuban nationals endure under Havana’s Communist regime.
The article starts out highlighting that “Day-Glo-colored U.S. cars from the 1950s -from before Castro- are once again rolling down the streets of Havana. Restaurants and hotels have reopened or are new additions to the scene. The quarantine requirements were lifted in November, and 90% of the population has been vaccinated against COVID (and a mask mandate is in effect).”
However, the article makes no reference to the grave public health situation Cubans are experiencing, nor the lack of basic medications to treat common ailments. Also, it does not mention the deplorable conditions of health facilities nor the lack of supplies in the hospitals.
However, the article laments that the travel restrictions approved during the Trump Administration are still in effect, which “blocks American citizens from conducting any kind of business.”
“Cuba is in an excellent position to welcome returning travelers precisely at the start of winter. The warmth of the climate coincides with the warmth of the people who express it in a palpable joy at seeing American tourists visit Cuba like they did during the first wave in 2015,” according to the note.
In that sense, it doesn’t refer to the protests of popular discontent that took place in the island on July 11, considered to be that largest protests in the six decades the Communist regime has been in power. Neither is there any reference to the repression unleashed by the regime in order to contain the protests of 11J, and to prevent the Civic March for Change from taking place this past November 15 (15N).
However, the article quotes Rachel Dunnam, director of Cuba Candela, a company that organizes personalized trips to the island, who states: “Visitors will be able to enjoy the incredible Cuban culture, the music and art before all other tourist groups arrive. As of now, the streets are practically available for your sole enjoyment.”
In harping on this point, the article shows its propaganda intentions regarding Cuba as tourist destination without ever mentioning the serious social, political and economic crisis that Cubans are living through.
Forbes intends to sell the Cuba Candela package promoting five-day/four nights in Havana with a trip to Viñales, “a picturesque town in the middle of tobacco plantations,” as well as the delights of post-pandemic tourism.
“The restaurant scene in Havana had evolved to a sophisticated, pre-pandemic level,” the note continues.
In the meantime, Cuba’s official press wasted no time in bragging about the article published by the American magazine. “Now is a good time to go to Cuba not only because of the climate and the warmth of our people, but also because it’s safe for travelers, according to an article published by the American magazine Forbes,” stated Cubadebate this Wednesday.
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