On the terrace of Grand Hotel Huis ten Duin, he told how he, as director of Neckermann Reizen, let himself be persuaded to offer trips to Jamaica. An important reason was that Jamaica Air would start flights from the Jamaican capital Kingston to Havana in Cuba: “Cuba, then completely closed to the outside world, I knew, was high on the wish list of many so-called ‘progressive’ Dutch people.”
On a trip to Havana with a group of journalists, Klawer would visit the famous Havanna Libre Hotel and – the reason for the story – a cigar maker. Once arrived, President Fidel Castro’s regime had changed the program: “It was a visit to a school and a hospital. We had to see with our own eyes what the generous hand of Minister Jan Pronk meant for the good for the Cuban population. A facade”, he concluded. In other words, a smoke screen.
fltr: Simon Visscher, director of Adriaan Werk, Raymond Strikker, entrepreneur of hotel de Bloemenbeek, Saskia Rosmalen, social entrepreneur and board member of the ladies’ cigar company Salomé and Hans Jongeneel, director JoVeTra.
Ⓒ Photo De Telegraaf
According to Klawer, the money turned out to be spent very differently: “Castro exported his revolution by providing military support to the African liberation movements in Angola and Mozambique. From our tax money. A gross scandal.”
But Klawer, among the cigar smokers, guests of the Het Grote Enjoyen foundation, also spoke of ‘a boost’, for himself because of the good name that the Netherlands had ‘bought’ from Castro: ,,Partly for this reason, we could friendly nation, as the first tour company from Europe, to organize trips to the ‘closed’ Cuba.”
Source: De Telegraaf by www.telegraaf.nl.
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