Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Luxury Resorts for Cuba’s “New Man”

Luxury Resorts for Cuba's "New Man"
September 23, 2013
Martin Guevara*

HAVANA TIMES — Sitting for hours on end before the many screens of our
new technologies – PCs, Ipads, smart-phones, cutting-edge TVs that
connect you to the Internet, as intercoms, microwave ovens and even
blenders will surely do in the near future – is a sure way of ending up
in a bed with a major case of lumbago.

If used to spread knowledge, however, these technologies can be
incredibly useful tools. Yesterday, as way of an example, I was able to
watch a segment of the Spanish-language CNN broadcast that targets
hispanics in the United States (and catch a report that could give you a
heart attack) thanks to these technologies.

These reports are probably less believable for members of the
opposition, dissidents or those who are simply disillusioned with the
Cuban revolution than for the architects of this cruel and enormous lie.

The report showed an ad for a high-class tourist resort located near
Cuba's Guanahacabibes peninsula, in the far west-laying province of
Pinar del Rio, designed for the use and enjoyment of multimillionaires.

Nestled in an area that is home to some of the island's hidden and
unadvertised natural treasures, the complex is called Punta Colorada &

The exclusive (and exclusivist) resort encompasses more than thirty
kilometers of white-sand beaches and covers four thousand hectares of
land, the equivalent of eight thousand football fields. Boasting a
nine-kilometer marina designed for the mooring of mega-yachts, the
complex will be equipped with shipyards, numerous golf fields,
horse-riding areas, luxury residences, high-end recreational, sporting
and spa facilities, cabarets and five-star hotels.

Not even Cuba's immediate capitalist Caribbean neighbors have places
like this. I also saw a promotional video about the already-completed
Marina Gaviota, located at the tip of the Varadero peninsula, in the
province of Matanzas, more popularly known as Punta Frances. Cheap golf,
rum and girls for industrialists, bankers and international rogues, good
friends of the revolution!

In the report, one of the interviewees referred to the Habana Libre
hotel and mentioned it was once the residence of the relatives of
revolutionaries. He was probably unaware of how well he hit the nail on
the head in his intention of establishing a comparison between the hotel
and resort for, in addition to serving as the temporary home of several
relatives of Che Guevara and the families of numerous, distinguished
revolutionaries from around the world, the hotel was also the place
where the first pilot dollar-store, aimed exclusively at Cuba's foreign
visitors, was opened in 1976.

The ironic twists and turns of history made this comparison much more
eloquent than the interviewee ever intended.

These immense marinas, designed for the enjoyment of multimillionaires,
are the "grandchildren" of that small segregationist store pioneered in
the Habana Libre hotel.

That this should be taking place while Fidel Castro is still alive, in
the lifetime of someone who imprisoned, exiled, marginalized and drove
to insanity anyone who expressed the desire for the material things of
the capitalist world, is so cruel and perverse I can't find the right
words to describe it.

Perhaps I am simply being cautious and holding back the first impulses
that bubble up in my guts.

It's always been evident that you could put everyone in Cuba's
leadership together and not find a single virtue there, that they would
end up wrestling in the mud for a slice of power when all was said and
done, but not even the most fruitful imagination could have pictured
this complete abandonment of all principles once held sacred.

We must denounce the practices of these repressors, who today lust after
capital secured through any conceivable means.

Let us try and imagine who the mega-yachts parked in these beautiful
marinas belong to.
Could they belong to communists who struggle in the name of proletarian
Could they belong to exemplary Cuban workers?
Or do they rather belong to the exploiters of the people of Mexico,
Honduras, Costa Rica, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Spain, France and to a
good many of the worst criminals who live in those countries?

We can't be sure at this point. We'll have to be patient and keep our
eyes open and our ears perked to confirm it. I cannot help but ask
myself: what could be going through the head of someone like Huber
Matos, who fought next to the most committed revolutionaries to bring
democracy back to Cuba, to spread social justice in the country, to
bring freedom and dignity to the people of Cuba, who was later
imprisoned for twenty years for refusing to accept Fidel Castro's sudden
decision to become aligned to the Soviet Union?

What could those whose properties were taken from them for belonging to
the perfidious national bourgeoisie, a bourgeoisie that was doubtlessly
far less wealthy than the guests of this "internationalist" resort, be

Perhaps they are feeling the opposite of what one may expect, a sense of
profound relief, a certain degree of joy, prompted by finally getting a
taste of the true ethical fiber of those who once portrayed themselves
as the very incarnation of moral superiority.

I'm sorry to have to admit I am not in a position to assess this
situation with the sociological, literary or journalist objectivity that
it demands.

Others will likely analyze the "tsunami" effect common to revolutionary
processes, whereby, following the painful erosion of the dictatorships
that usually sustain them, the return to capitalism is often accompanied
by an unprecedented collective and individual consumerist voracity, an
impulse to acquire properties and show off wealth, and the shedding of
all modesty or restraint, of all moral inhibitions that could regulate
or hinder this excessive impetus.

As in the former Soviet Union, between the keepers of the capitalist pie
and the destitute, militant masses, the Party nomenklatura will have a
head-start in the vertiginous marathon of capitalist accumulation,
towards which they are already heading at breakneck speed.

Though we shouldn't expect them to shed their habits of old and let the
people in on these new gold mines, it would not be surprising in the
least if they chose to christen one of these mega-hotels or
mega-restaurants for the traffickers of Capital and proletarian
suffering as "The New Man."

This time around, the name won't invoke the socialist values they
trumpeted in the old days, but will be a kind of tribute to all current
and future leaders of this more pragmatic sequel to the revolutionary saga.
(*) See Martin Guevara's blog in Spanish.

Source: "Luxury Resorts for Cuba's "New Man"" -

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