Tourists have vanished from Old Havana, but dictatorship keeps building more hotels

From our Bureau of Dark Moments in the History of Apartheid Tourism with some assistance from our Bureau of Socialist Business Savvy

Tourists are staying away from Havana. Streets, historic buildings, shops, bars, and restaurants that once crawled with flocks of tourists are now largely empty. Yet, Castro, Inc. keeps building more luxury hotels in central Havana. Expect some kind of implosion soon. This economic madness is unsustainable. It’s quite obvious that Castro, Inc.’s apartheid tourism gambling habit is not paying off.

Loosely translated from CubaNet

Written by Jorge Luis Gonzalez Suarez

A few days ago, while exploring one of the restored parts of Old Havana’s Historic District, I noticed that in places where there used to be a constant influx of foreigners, there are hardly any now.

At the main tourist spots like Plaza Vieja, San Francisco, Plaza de Armas, and the Cathedral Square, surrounded by museums, historical sites, and other interesting attractions, there were only a few Cubans.

At a food and beverage stand located at the corner of Teniente Rey and Oficios streets, during lunchtime, there wasn’t a single vendor.

The cruise terminal, housed in the old customs building at the port, is closed. Due to the restrictive measures imposed by the United States government, cruise travelers who used to be seen exploring Old Havana a few years ago no longer come.

The number of air-conditioned tour buses with opaque windows serves as a measure of foreign presence in the area. They are usually parked along Avenida del Puerto, but I didn’t see any during my visit.

On Obispo Street, where many attractive businesses are located for the numerous visitors who usually pass through, to my surprise, I didn’t see any foreigners either.

The customer agents in the numerous restaurants along Obispo were shouting their offers, menu in hand, in hopes of attracting potential patrons, but with little success.

What’s not lacking are the beggars wandering Old Havana asking for alms, the musicians who play and sing and then “pass the hat” (ask for money for their performances), the stilt-walking conga dancers and their accompanying musicians, and the numerous vendors selling trinkets.

Both private and state vendors make their offers in “two currencies,” meaning in foreign currency or its equivalent in national currency.

What’s not lacking are the beggars wandering Old Havana asking for alms.

Continue reading HERE in Spanish

2 thoughts on “Tourists have vanished from Old Havana, but dictatorship keeps building more hotels”

  1. The problem with a Potemkin façade is that it has to be attractive and convincing enough to deceive, and Cuba is such a shithole that the ruse is increasingly difficult to pull off–except, perhaps, for Canadians.

  2. Asombra:

    “The problem with a Potemkin façade is that it has to be attractive and convincing enough to deceive, and Cuba is such a shithole that the ruse is increasingly difficult to pull off–except, perhaps, for Canadians.”

    Absolutely. A country is supposed to be able to attract tourists. I’ve been to many different parts of the world: France, Spain, Italy, Morocco, Turkey, Egypt, Puerto Rico, Mexico, etc… and those countries have a lot of hotels, some would say an overabundance of hotels, but they, also, have genuine attractions: museums, theaters, night life, history, civil societies, that make the countries dynamic and interesting and most importantly, an infrastructure [i.e. banks and ATM machines all over].

    What does Cuba have? There is nothing more boring than being stuck in a country where there are just a few dilapidated sites to see. How many times on a two-week vacation can one go to el Morro, el Capitolio, the overcrowded tourist trap Bodequita del Medio, rent an 1950’s car to go down el Malecon or take a picture with a cigar chomping mammy? Cuba basically caters to single men looking for jineteras. If that’s you game, well, that’s different, but even then, Cuba can’t compete with other countries. The demographics in Cuba has totally changed. You no longer see the Iberian beauties that were the rule in the 1950s. In fact, I don’t know if this is true, I heard about a survey taken in Spain and Cubans were judged to be one of the ugliest people around. I wouldn’t be surprised from the videos of seen of Cuba. What you see are these fat, ugly, trashy, lowlife ghetto b*tches all around. If that’s the case, lecherous Spaniards who kept the economy afloat won’t be going to Cuba that much anymore

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