The Reform Czar Doesn’t Authorize Private Cooperatives in Tourism / Polina Shvietsova Martinez

Marino Murillo, the so-called Reform Czar
Marino Murillo, the so-called Reform Czar

Marino Murillo argues that the conditions are not conducive . Afraid of private talent? Of losing control?

HAVANA, Cuba . – ComTur, an alternative project for the development of tourism, tried to start up within the law, to generate local and community development. But it has been stopped.

A source close to the project reported, “One of the members sent a letter to Minister Marino Murillo on 30 October 2012, to get approval. The minister responded with the bad news: ComTur’s legalization was not approved. According to this source, Murillo, “Noted the project, but said he still cannot authorize the formation of a private cooperative for tourist workers, because the conditions are not conducive.”

ComTur calls itself a Consulting Partnership project. It’s objective would provide advice to rural and urban communities. It would also offer its services to groups of self-employed, relative to their lodging and food offerings relative to tourist potential. They would also advise, relative to tourism, on natural and social-cultural resources in these areas.

This project was developed on the basis of the so-called “Guidelines for the economic and social policy of the party and the Revolution,” the road map of the “updating of the Cuban economic model.”

In the Guideline 264, page 33, Chapter IX, Tourism Policy, states, “To design and develop as part of the municipal initiative for the territories, attractive tourist offerings as a source of hard currency income: accommodation, food services, social, cultural and historical activities, horseback riding, rural tourism, observation of flora and fauna, among others.”

ComTur is composed of professionals and academics who have treasured long experience and results in the management of community and tourist plans in Cuba and abroad. They are seeking to channel all their knowledge in ways that is beneficial for the country, and at that same time allows them to earn a fair return for their professional services.

The specialists began their consulting work in the city of Santa Isabel de las Lajas, in Cienfuegos province, for the purpose of enabling festivals in memory of Benny More there. Another place where the work of ComTur could be useful is in the capital community of Regla. “They should pay attention, it’s an iconographic place of traditional popular culture, the cradle of the Regla Guaracheros. This town is the strategic axis for the promotion of international tourism and is in the area of the future development program of Havana Bay.”

The response of the “Reform Czar,” is further evidence of the chronic ineptitude of those who pull the strings of the system, and its sick fear of creating legal spaces for private talent.

Cubanet, 13 March 2014, Polina Shvietsova Martinez