Cuba in Media

New York Times Discovers the Truth of So-called Reforms in Cuba

It’s about time. A little reality has appeared in the press groupthink about change in Cuba. “Cuban Paradise for Climbers Is Inviting, but Off-Limits” was the headline of the New York Times’ article published on July 6, 2012. The story describes “the flourishing climbing scene” that had made Viñales a top destination for climbers from Europe, Canada, and the United States, but has been put on hold by the vacillating dictate of the regime. As the general media was covering Pope Benedict XVI in March, 2012, and posting articles about Cuba’s supposed liberalization, journalist-climber Alex Lowther visited western Cuba, where he found that the government was moving “in a sharply different direction,” threatening the future of climbing and all independent tourism as well as the prosperity of the community of Viñales. Like other visitors since the climbing ban, however, Lowther was able to climb. In fact, Cuban climbers delivered on the promise of taking him to a steep, clean wall where “there won’t be anybody but us and the birds.” And as others, Lowther found the climbing ban elusive. A guard told him, “We don’t like to say climbing is prohibited. Climbing isn’t prohibited, because prohibited is an ugly word.” But may one climb? “No,” said the guard.