The “Americanization” of Cuba

Another article about Cuba and its preparations (and lack of preparations) for the hordes of drunken American tourists that are set to “democratize the island one fruity cocktail at a time”.

VARADERO, Cuba, April 12 (Reuters) – Behind the mangroves that skirt the blue waters of Cuba’s Bay of Cardenas, a 1,500-slip marina is taking shape as the island’s tourism industry braces for what could be its biggest challenge yet…

The Americans will come here in their yachts and they’ll put them in the marina,” said a security guard, gesturing to the earth-moving and sand-dredging behind the mangroves.

“If the travel ban is lifted, you’ll probably see hundreds, hundreds of American yachtsmen going to Cuba the next day,” said Timothy Ashby, a former U.S. Commerce Department official who studies Cuban commercial issues.

Cuba’s government and people have been anticipating this moment for a long time, but questions about their readiness for an onslaught of American visitors are being raised.

The doubts focus on the capacity and quality of Cuba’s tourist infrastructure, but also on possible political effects on an island that has resisted U.S. influence for 50 years…

The official line is that Cuba is preparing for visitors from the whole world and if that includes Americans, so be it.

But the United States is the natural market for Cuba, whose economy is reeling from the damage inflicted by three hurricanes last year and the ongoing global financial crisis

NOTICE THAT 50 YEARS OF DOGMATIC ADHERENCE TO MARXIST POLICIES IS NOT AMONG THE DIFFICULTIES CITED AS A CAUSE OF CUBA’S ECONOMIC WOES.

“Cuba is ready to absorb another half million visitors a year, but not another million, just because of hotel capacity,” said a foreign businessman in Cuba’s travel industry.

“I’m sure they will try to control as much as they can in order to avoid a boom that nobody can control. Every country in the world would try to do the same,” he added…

YEP, CUBA IS LIKE ‘EVERY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD’.

Before Fidel Castro took power on Jan. 1, 1959 in a guerrilla uprising, Cuba was a U.S. playground where Americans swilled booze during Prohibition and gambled and partied the night away in Mafia-built casinos and nightclubs in the 1950s…

OF COURSE NONE OF THE AMERICANS THAT WILL VISIT CUBA NOW WILL BE SWILLING BOOZE OR ENGAGING IN THE SOLICITATION OF PROSTITUTION OR GOING TO NIGHTCLUBS, RIGHT? AND IF THIS REGIME ISN’T A MAFIA OPERATION I DON’T KNOW WHAT IS.

When [American tourism to Cuba opens up], said Nigel Hunt, head of Cubaism Ltd, an Internet travel sales site, Europeans who currently make up about 40 percent of Cuba tourists may go elsewhere.

BOO HOO, THE EUROS LOSE THEIR “PLAYGROUND” TO THE UGLY AMERICANS. I MEAN IF YOU CAN’T EXPLOIT FOREIGN PEOPLE’S WITHOUT AMERICANS JOINING IN THE FUN, WHAT’S THE POINT?

“If Cuba becomes Americanized, it would probably be less attractive to Europeans … That’s what makes Cuba interesting, modern American culture is not so pervasive here,” he said.

“Not one person here has anything against the Americans,” said hotel cook and taxi driver Jorge Mendives as he puffed on a cigarette outside the stately Mansion Xanadu hotel, built in the 1920’s by U.S. millionaire Irenee du Pont de Nemours.

“Let them come to Varadero in their boats or whatever because for us the Americans mean one thing — more money”.

YEP, MORE MONEY. NOT FOR THE PEOPLE OF CUBA WHO AVERAGE $18-$20 A MONTH WORKING FOR THE STATE, BUT FOR THE STATE ITSELF THAT POCKETS 95% OF THE FRUITS OF THEIR LABOR. BUT AT LEAST THEY HAVE THAT “FREE” HEALTHCARE.”