Strategic commitment to tourism in Cuba


A few hotels run by American capitals, such as the Hilton, Capri or Havana Riviera, stood at the end of 1958 as standards of that model in Havana, which was complemented by the beach of Varadero, as main centers of entertainment.

The revolutionary victory and the early confrontation between Cuba and U.S.  and subsequent disruption of diplomatic relations frustrated a possible opening to an advantageous business between the two banks of the Florida Straits. For three decades foreign tourism hardly had a marginal value in the Cuban economy.

In a premonitory analysis of the evolution of events in the Soviet Union in 1988, Fidel Castro foresees the possible disintegration of the East European socialist bloc, as well as a catastrophic loss of markets and investments for Cuba.

With his thorough knowledge of the country, as well as its natural and human resources, Fidel exposes as the alternative of faster return of investments the tourist exploitation of all possible poles of sun and beach.

To set up hotels and other facilities, which with scarce credits and monetary resources begin to rise immediately in Varadero, where there was a vast virgin beach line and several keys to the north and south of the island platform.

Fidel participated personally in the negotiations with the first hotel chains that are interested in the new Cuban opening, the Spanish Sol Meliá.

The restoration works of the hotels in Havana are booming in order to adapt them to foreign tourism and the restoration of the Historic Center is intensified, which shortly afterwards was declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco.