They Deceived Us With Tourism
14ymedio, Marta Requeiro, 29 May 2017 — There was a time when I saw it
as natural. I understood, to say it in a certain way, that Varadero
beach was not ours despite its being in Cuban territory.
My unconscious viewed the image of that strip of land, like many, as if
it were part of another country to be destined to the enjoyment of the
foreign tourist. Economic progress was needed and in an island with
favorable climate and geography the resources are mainly provided by
tourism, hence even feeling proud of it.
But the years go by and as part of a macabre plan the areas where
ordinary Cubans live are deteriorating, and in contrast every day the
are more tourist centers supplied with amenities, luxuries and the
latest technology to better serve the foreign visitor. They put make up
on facades so that people who come to visit don’t see how the rest is
falling down little by little.
Once, with my family, we “dressed like tourists” and started to enjoy
the, until then, unknown part of Cuba. We arrived with the children who
we’d warned ahead of time about how to behave and carry themselves, and
we got there on transport from Havana, planning to spend an exquisite day.
The place was full of persecutors and police who did not hesitate to
return a ball to the son of a tourist but at the same time were
“programmed” to detect and prevent Cubans and their children from
swimming in the transparent waters of the spa.
Before long, we were detected by two police officers who ordered us to
leave the area, as if we were criminals, and told us to go to Santa
Marta, the village beach.
Today, Varadero is even more elitist, restricted and impassable.
Today a citizen struggles to get some bricks or some cement to repair
their crumbling house and, even more painful, foreign companies are
hired to carry out the construction of tourist hotels, preventing a
professional or a national worker from earning a better salary.
We were deceived and it is time to stop believing that the profits that
the tourism leaves will trickle down to the people and the most needy.
Source: They Deceived Us With Tourism – Translating Cuba –