Vietnam's phantom investments in the Cuban hotel sector

Vietnam’s phantom investments in the Cuban hotel sector

Vietnam’s investment in Cuba’s tourism businesses, announced several times in recent years, will come true in 2023, they assured. official media.

In a note published by the Cuban News Agency this Tuesday, it is indicated that “Vietnamese companies will assume the construction of a hotel and the repair of two others in this capital.”

The text does not specify the number of companies that will invest or the names of the hotels, but four years ago, in 2018, the Hosteltur page echoed a similar newsnever materialized, after a bilateral business forum.

At that time, it was claimed that a Vietnamese company, Hanel, agreed with the state company Cubanacán to build a five-star hotel on the island on the land that was occupied by the Pedro Borrás pediatric hospital, closed in 1988 and later demolished, and that another company, Chao -Viglacera, signed a contract with the Gran Caribe chain to manage “another old facility in Havana.” The latter was none other than the old New York Hotel, the first expropriated by Fidel Castro after the triumph of the Revolution, located on Dragones street, next to the Capitol, in Central Havana.

It is a gigantic building not only closed, but in ruins, with whole trees growing from the structure of the walls and ceiling and an intense smell of urine around it. The canopy of its façade already fell years ago, and the danger of collapse constitutes a constant threat for those who pass through the place, with intense traffic.

Four years ago, in 2018, the Hosteltur page echoed similar news, never materialized, after a bilateral business forum

As for the grounds of Pedro Borrás, located in the central Avenida de los Presidentes (Calle G) in El Vedado, a space that until recently was full of garbage bags and, at night, furtive shadows, can be seen in him, for months, earth movements that have given rise to all kinds of speculation among the neighbors.

None of this refers to the note published this Tuesday, which does recreate the statements to Prensa Latina by the Cuban ambassador to Vietnam, Orlando Hernández Guillén, who affirms that “everything is quite advanced for this incursion to occur at some point in 2023.”

The diplomat also points out that in the new year “there will be consolidation and development in the economic sphere” for new Vietnamese sectors in the Island’s economy. In this regard, he says that “at this moment a detergent factory is being completed,” without specifying that it is a plant belonging to the mixed company Suchel TBV SA and that, four years after obtaining permits to settle in the Mariel Special Development Zone, it has not yet been possible to finish it.

In addition, Hernández Guillén mentions the construction of a cattle feed plant, the expansion of the existing napkins and diapers and one for photovoltaic generation, specifying that “it is small but precedes other larger ones that are being traded.”

Last year it was also announced that there were tourism projects between Cuba and Vietnam. Specifically, some “letters of intent” signed by the state conglomerates Gran Caribe and Cubanacán with the Vietnamese company City Land Investment Company Limited “for the constitution of a mixed entity that will be in charge of the construction and development of hotel projects.”

So far, none of the publicized plans have come to fruition.


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