Spanish diplomat in Havana admits Spain’s business ventures in Cuba are only about money, not human rights

In a story about the impact of the Helms-Burton law’s Title III provision on Spanish hotels in Cuba, a Spanish diplomat in Havana admitted to Deutsche Welle that Spanish businesses are only in socialist Cuba to make money. Despite claims made by the Spanish government that their reasons for promoting business on the island is to improve human rights and spark a transition to democracy to Cuba, what they are really there for is to make a quick buck.

Via Deutsche Welle (emphasis mine):

Federico Ferrer Delso, the trade adviser at Spain’s embassy in Havana, has criticized the move by the Trump administration, calling the Helms-Burton Act a “regulation aimed at stifling the Cuban economy and hurting the local population.”

But do local Cubans, who are constantly confronted with a scarcity of even the most basic goods, even benefit from the European hotel chains operating on their island? Every summer, holidaymakers flock to the country’s beaches and cities, enjoying a luxury that most Cubans can only dream of — a highly lucrative business for the Spanish hotel chains. 

According to Ferrer, “such investments create jobs and foster the transfer of knowledge.” He thinks tourism is a good way to help Cuba generate much-need foreign cash. Pacheco, too, argues that Spanish hotel chains share the wealth by employing many Cuban workers.

However, “it’s not the job of hotel operators like us to think in these terms,” he said. “We are businesses, not politicians.”

It’s not like we needed some Spanish diplomat stationed in Havana to tell us what we already knew, but it is good that once in a while they say it out loud.


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