Cuba: Strict action against protesters to protect tourism

Cuba: Strict action against protesters to protect tourism

Dream beaches and bad prisons. The Mojitos And police surveillance. Tourism and Dictatorship. In short, Cuba … Through the curious telescope of the calendar, the island showed two faces in the same day, last Monday, November 15th.

On that day, the country reopens its doors to international visitors in the hope of returning to its pre-Kovit status: 400 flights a week (instead of 60, during epidemics). But this date is a peaceful march through which civil society wants to extend the spontaneous popular uprising of July 11, with a flower in hand, demanding the arrival of democracy.

One person was arrested on July 11, 2021 in Havana during a protest against the government of Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canal.

One person was arrested on July 11, 2021 in Havana during a protest against the government of Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canal.


As expected, the demonstration was shaved. Created after six decades in power – before dawn, the regime uses all its repressive knowledge. At night, Havana and other cities are militarized. Also various elements of the police (rapid reaction forces, “black wasps”, plainclothes police, team to protect the revolution) are stationed at the base of buildings to block enemies inside their homes.

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Tactical purpose? Avoid broadcasting scenes on social media, such as beatings or arrests in the middle of the street. Even more tarnished is the brand image that has been cleverly maintained by Cuba, which “sells” delicious cocktails called “fiesta, rum and salsa”.

The importance of tourism

However, tourism is essential for the survival of the organization. The country’s economic machine, with an annual audience of more than 4 million (before Kovit), the sector is a major source of foreign exchange and one of the mainstays of the economy – and with the export of doctors. All proceeds from tourism go to the Kaiser Military Federation (led by Raul Castro’s nephew), which controls the entire business: hotels, car rentals, transfer offices, and so on.

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“By calming the November 15 uprising, the authorities have achieved a pirate victory,” said Jorge Massetti, Argentina’s former Cuban agent, who has now been deported to France. The regime has always been repressive. But by militarizing everything it prevents peace. Demonstration, it degrades itself a little more. ”At this rate, even tourists will eventually find out.



Credit: Laura AquavivaChristoph Toner


Robin Rivaton, author, is a member of the Scientific and Evaluation Committee of the Fondapol Foundation for Political Innovation.By Robin Rivaton

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