Destination Cuba!

Evan R. Ward

in Packaged Vacations

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print June 2008 | ISBN: 9780813032290
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813038995 | DOI:
Destination Cuba!

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For all its propaganda, Mikhail Kalatovoz's film I Am Cuba (1964) teaches profound lessons about Cuban national identity during the Fulgencio Batista dictatorship and in the immediate aftermath of Fidel Castro's coup. This chapter shows that during the 1950s, Batista's Godfatheresque tourism regime was not the only alternative for national tourism development—though it was the most prevalent. Foremost among the tourism reformers, Armando Maribona, the artist, journalist, and longtime promoter of Cuban tourism, proposed significant reforms that would have turned the focal point of Cuban tourism from casinos and private beaches to Cuban heritage and the island's stunning landscapes, flora, and fauna. Maribona's ideas were similar to the revolutionary tourism program espoused by the new Castro regime and its national institute of tourism, the Instituto Nacional de la Indústria Turística (INIT). In many ways, I Am Cuba served not only as a means of exposing the lack of Cuban nationality and values in the tourism of the Batista era but also, more importantly, as an entrée for Cuba's revolutionary tourism.

Keywords: Mikhail Kalatovoz; I Am Cuba; tourism; Cuba; Fulgencio Batista; Fidel Castro; Armando Maribona; casinos; private beaches; reforms

Chapter.  7810 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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