20 July 2015

The US in Cuba: a history of organised crime

Al Jazeera English

In a recent blog post for the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), a prominent American membership organisation and think-tank, research associate ValerieWirtschafter assesses the course of the "Cuban Renaissance" that is apparently now under way thanks to domestic reforms and the diplomatic thaw with the United States.
Based on her own mid-Renaissance visit to Cuba earlier this year, Wirtschafter remarks on some counterintuitive aspects of the expanding tourism industry on the born-again island.
"The hotel industry in particular - including the State run Hotel Nacional in Havana - seems to glorify the country's gangster past, a violent history that partially spurred popular support for Fidel Castro's Revolution."
She goes on to comment on the "equally bewildering" collision of universes that transpired when celebrity socialite Paris Hilton and Castro's son were photographed taking selfies together at a Havana cigar festival in February. The ex-Hilton hotel in Havana, opened in 1958 by the heiress' grandfather, was one of the revolution's first casualties when Castro commandeered it as a provisional headquarters the following year.
Nowhere does the article mention a certain - perhaps far more bewildering - fact: that Cuba's "gangster past" and "violent history" were largely a product of US government policies and machinations by the American Mafia. In the wake of Castro's triumph, both entities continued to help ensure that Cuba was continually beset by counter-revolutionary violence. READ MORE AT AL JAZEERA ENGLISH.