". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Monday, March 31, 2008

Cuba Allows Citizens to Stay in Hotels

This right will remain beyond the reach for many Cubans, nevertheless, for they will not be able to afford it. However, this means you can invite Cubans up to your room, take them to the bar, the restaurant, now. This was so embarrassing, so inconvenient for so many people working with Cuban musicians and artists.

There is more to the article than the pull following

[ HAVANA -- New President Raul Castro's government has lifted a ban on Cubans staying at hotels previously reserved for foreigners, ending another restriction that had been especially irksome to citizens.

Employees at the Nacional, Valencia and Santa Isabel Hotels in Havana said Ministry of Tourism officials told them Cubans were allowed to stay in hotels across the island as of midnight on Monday. Like other guests, they will be charged in hard currency worth 24 times the Cuban pesos state employees are paid in.

"They have informed us that with a national ID card, anyone can stay here," an employee at the Ambos Mundos Hotel in Old Havana said Monday. Non-guests who are Cuban nationals will also be allowed to pay for other hotel services, including gyms, said the employee, who asked for anonymity because she was not authorized to speak to foreign reporters. ]


Renegade Eye said...

Raul is doing things faster, than anyone could imagine.

The Russians abrupt withdrawel of aid, contributed to some of Cuba's worst tendencies, as the hotel policy.

Foxessa said...

The hotel policy was in place from before that era; our first trips were prior to the soviet sugar daddy melt-down, so I can testify first hand to that.

Love, C.

Foxessa said...

I heard NPR make the same mistake tonight.

Cubans were never able to stay in the 'luxury' / resort hotels post some point at the Revolution. But they could go to them, go the lobbies, etc. You could invite them to your room. They could eat with you. But they couldn't rent rooms there, any more than they were allowed to actually buy stuff in the diplos, what were called the dollar stores. You had to spend their dollars for them (does Cuba still have those stores? Especially now that they're a euro econonmy, not a dollar one. Those pathetic places already had lost cachet by 2000.)

Then, during the Special Period, when the jinetera took over Havana in particular, Cubans were forbidden to even enter the hotel unless they lived there. For one thing, with basic things in such low supply, including water and electricity, people were using the rest rooms for their personal hygiene.

There were always exceptions, of course. High level artists, who dressed well -- and weren't really dark-skinned and so on. The lobby cops would wink at their presence on the counches as they waited for you.

It was so humiliating for Cubans, and so embarrassing for us, as guests in the country.

However, the Party rewarded the people with stays in the hotels at different times. Groups would get bussed to resorts for anywhere from a weekend to a week, etc. We'd always run into them.

The other thing was that the food in a restricted, luxury place was no different than food in a public to the people place. It was all generally pretty danged bad, until things began to change around 2000.

Love, C.