FBIS-LAT-93-224 Daily Report 23 Nov 1993 Cuba

Castro on `Shameful' Condition, Abandonment of Tropicana FL2211172593 Havana Radio Rebelde Network in Spanish 1255 GMT 22 Nov 93 FL2211172593 Havana Radio Rebelde Network Spanish BFN ["Excerpt" of comments by Commander in Chief Fidel Castro during the Fifth Congress of the National Union of Cuban Writers and Artists, in Havana on 20 November -- recorded] [Castro] When did that center begin to decline? [Unidentified delegate] Commander, we.... [Castro interrupting] I would also like to know why. Tourism organizations have had resources because they are self-financing. They do not need anyone to give or lend them money. To abandon the Tropicana and leave it without lights or whatever else is unacceptable. Once I said I was saddened to see the girls performing with worn stockings. I thought that would never happen again. I imagine they now have stockings to wear. But there is no justification for a lack of light bulbs and other things in an institution that is self-financing and that has all the necessary resources. That is not the special period or anything else. If that center has been abandoned that way, it is because of inefficiency, shoddiness, incompetence for which one must demand accouning from those who direct that institution. We had a lengthy discussion about this at Havana City's Provincial Communist Party of Cuba Assembly. Amazingly, the Tropicana was not mentioned but other things were. The Eastern complex. Well, there are two Eastern complexes. One where people are imprisoned, which is probably where those people who are responsible for these centers should be. [applause] The Eastern tourist complex was discussed there. We discussed the Habana Libre Hotel; we discussed a series of things about tourism with great reality and with a critical spirit. What you are saying is shameful. It is shameful for those responsible for that situation. There is no justification for that situation. There are activities that Cuba has been able to maintain because they are self-financing. One example is the fishing industry, which produces more than $100 million in exports, mainly through lobsters. It does not need a penny. There are other activities that are self-financing. Tourism is one. It does not need money from anyone. Letting the Tropicana decline is an act of shoddiness. I believe no one here could justify this. But, at least, they will find out through television or the press that we discussing the Tropicana.