Tuesday, September 30, 2014

False Image of Cuba in France

False Image of Cuba in France
September 29, 2014
Carlos Fraguela

HAVANA TIMES – A Cuban friend of mine was recently in France. While
there, he dropped in to check out a festival that the French Communist
Party holds every year featuring exhibits from the Communist Parties of
the world and their affiliates. My friend told me that he enjoyed some
of the concerts that were part of the event, but that in other ways he
was disappointed.

According to my friend, there were stalls with representatives from each
country, as well as national food or drinks. Of course there were some
exhibits where Cuba should have been represented, but there were no
Cubans there, only many Cuban flags. Instead of Cubans, there were only
French at the stalls. Except for the Cuban exhibit, all of the countries
were represented by natives.

"They sold the worst revolutionary mojito in the world, and supposedly
the most authentic Cuban beer in history: "Cubanero", 100 percent Cuban;
with a label that was identical to our local Bucanero beer, but with the
name changed to read "Cubanero."

My friend asked one of the French attendants who offered it to him where
it was from, and he responded proudly that it originated in Cuba and was
exported by the Cubans themselves. To this, my friend replied ironically
that he was a Cuban and had never seen it in his life.

The Frenchman responded with great embarrassment that he knew nothing
about it. There were a lot of people there with Che pullovers, young
people smoking cigars without the least idea of how. The only Cubans
there were Rene Gonzales (one of two released Cuban Five members), who
was speaking, and two salsa groups that no one in Cuba knows of. The
emblematic image of Che from the Cuban photographer Korda, was being
used as a background for the prices at the Bar, revealing a discordant
mixture of ideology and marketing, or perhaps just the ignorance of the
person in charge.

It was a huge disillusionment for my friend, because he felt that the
image of Cuba that they used was completely false and that they were
making money off of it. In the end, the only events of interest were the
very good concerts that he saw.

Source: False Image of Cuba in France - Havana Times.org -

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