tourism in Cuba is booming - and now is built for even more guests. On the poverty of the population, little will change.Martina Scherf
The cold front was announced in days, is now available. The sky is steel unreal blue, the dark sea-wild and whipped, as if it wants to make the people once again shows how small you are in truth. Meters high, the waves crashing against the walls of the Malecón. A few of the children make a fun of it, let the Spray wet spraying. Otherwise, everything is quiet, no traffic on the shore road, no music, no courting couples on the wall. Only the Roar of the ocean.
The "Frente frío" comes as always from the North. If in Texas, the snow falls, get the Cubans cold. However, a drop in temperature in just a few days over. In the political climate between the United States and its small neighbors glacial age. Over the delicate spring, was indicated by President Obama's visit to Havana three years ago.
"Annoying, in this Wind," complains Milly Cabañas. She pulls her scarf over the shoulders and looks questioningly to the horizon, as if to say: when will come again better days? The proposal to go for a drink in the city, the 50-year-old former teacher with thanks. Cabañas rents rooms in the affluent areas have Vedado, you will rarely find time for a stroll in the town. But today she has taken. So, in the direction of Paseo del Prado, Havana's magnificent Boulevard that leads from the sea to the old town. With its Baroque facades, wrought iron balconies and the marble floor of the Prado still has the charm that once shaped the Ramblas in Barcelona, before Fast Food, and Commerce moved in. Families stroll in the evening, inline skaters turning your daredevil round, older ladies to settle on the benches for a chat. Artisans sell their Goods.
The tourism in Cuba is booming. More than 4.6 million Nights in the country in 2017, almost half a Million of cruise tourists was recorded. A Tui spokeswoman said, Cuba is the most popular tour destination of German guests is up to date. Americans, however, are allowed to travel only with special permission or on Board a cruise ship to Cuba. Obama had relaxed the rules a couple of months, there were even direct flights. But Donald Trump, hardly in the office, turned the wheel he has just exacerbated the 60 years of existing economic embargo.
And so it is still everything as it was. But especially Europeans and Canadians love the tropical island - because she is so caught up different, so romantic, the time. Tour operators advertise with "the morbid charm of Havana" and the "cheerful mentality of the Cubans". Provider of alternative travel put rather on the formation of the Cubans to organize a Meeting with coffee farmers or conservationists. The revolution myth always attracts - you can even book a motorcycle tour with a son of Che Guevara. A safe country to Travel in Cuba.
but One day you will come, the Americans, in mass, and you will bring a lot of money. For this future is now being built. The new head of state, Miguel Díaz Canel, in a year in office, and relies entirely on tourism and thus follows the course of his predecessor, Raúl Castro. In the unspoilt West of the island is a Golf resort, with more than 1700 Bungalows and a Marina. Also in the seaside resort of Varadero with its white beaches, in the world heritage town of Trinidad with its colonial architecture and elsewhere in the country, luxury hotels are planned. The cruise terminal in Havana is to be expanded, and at the Prado, the third five-star hotel in the city, ten floors, 250 rooms. The French Accor group is building it with the Cuban state.
Only a few meters from the construction area is piling up the rubble of a fallen house. For years, it is so. It seems as if accustomed to the residents of the city in quiet desperation to the ruins. "Don't think about it, it just makes you crazy," says Cabañas and the Hotel Packard controls a couple of Blocks away. Also five stars Recently from the Spanish Iberostar group opened. In the glass Elevator it goes to the sixth floor. Of the Bar by the Pool, the view over the port ranges the entrance to the fortress El Morro on the other side. A cruise ship moves through the image, as the waiter: Daiquirí,, please.p> Even the sugar already imported had to
Cabañas was never abroad, a cruise will probably remain an eternal dream for you. Your brothers have fled decades ago to Miami and never like millions of other Cubans returned. Those that remain, more bad than good through life. Eggs are missing, then there are days of no bread, suddenly the toothpaste is everywhere. And Woe, if the refrigerator is broken! Even after 60 years of socialism, the people live on ration cards. Recently, the substance that had made the island Kingdom had to be sugar imported. Tourists get all but nothing. The private landlord will have a cover on the black market, and that the Hotels are supplied, to ensure the military. Those Cubans who make a living from tourism, have a good Livelihood. Also, Cabañas has managed over the years to renovate with your income from the rental of the apartment. It is constantly fully booked. All half-years, the tax policy change, is that as a "cuenta propista" (private entrepreneur) as far as possible to the rules and not be noticed, which belongs to the socialist way of life. In Vinales, the tobacco town in the West, or in Trinidad, you can see what is possible, if the state lets the reins a little loose: Because almost every family rents rooms, is drawn in a modest prosperity. The Cubans are resourceful, you learn from your guests, build nice Restaurants, organising classic car, bike or horse tours.
In Havana, is the gap between the poor and the wealthy no longer have to be overlooked. Pensioners in rags, on the one hand, young entrepreneurs with a gold chain on the other. "What's the name of this fashion designer, the glasses with the white suits and black sun?", Cabañas asks, while the Elevator glides back down. Lagerfeld? "Yes, exactly, that was already there. Here, on the Prado, he has presented a collection." Chanel's Cruise Collection prior to the morbid backdrop.
in Front of the national theatre, the highly polished classic car. On the door of a Buick, built in 1948, rejects the proud owner of a grey heathered in his forties. A lot of work, a car, he says, "but it's worth it". The spare parts to bring with him a relative from the USA, piece by piece in a suitcase smuggled. Previously, he was an engineer, and has converted to earned $ 20 a month as a Tourist driver, he makes about $ 100 profit on the day.
socialism and capitalism, dictatorship and anarchy, luxury and ruins, it all goes together under the tropical sun somehow. Recently, it is even in the Constitution of this country: socialism for ever, but private ownership is allowed. There are now officially people who have more than others. McDonald's and Apple, Gucci, Armani and Rolex. They have established themselves in the Passage of the Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski, which has opened in the old town. A throwback to the past: 100 years Ago, the Manzana de Gómez was the first modern shopping centre in Cuba. The historical facade was preserved. The night in the Hotel costs 500 dollars upward, the suites 1400 dollars. "A Cuban would have to work two to three years and do not eat," says Cabañas and laughs.
The path in the Calle Obispo, to the ice cream shop with the good coconut ice cream is like a tour through an open-air Museum - front all decked out, behind the ruins, in which people live. In the Cocotaxi, a bright yellow Mofakutschen, it goes back to Vedado. The storm has subsided, the street cleaning comes. Three men and a woman return to the wide sidewalks clean. You laugh, keep chat, from the hustle and bustle no trace. What - what will happen tomorrow, nobody knows. Only the storms of the North, of course.travel information
arrival: with Condor, for example, from Munich to Havana, accommodations and back for about 800 Euro, www.condor.com
: private room there is almost everywhere in the country, about www.casa-particular.de who has stayed in Havana with a family, it is usually recommended to other landlords in the country. The organizer Aventoura has long experience with Cuba travel in small groups, www.aventoura.de
Further information: www.cubainfo.de