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The Love of Iran and Cuba by UN Tourism Mean Vote for the Secretary-General

The Love of Iran and Cuba by UN Tourism Mean Vote for the Secretary-General

The writer of this opinion article has deep knowledge about the way UN Tourism works and the reason behind it.
Zurab’s Iran Visit is striking
In a world scenario where paradoxes abound, the visit of the Secretary General of the UN Tourism, legally the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Zurab Pololikashvili, to Tehran is particularly striking. This journey, which to many might seem like something out of satire rather than international diplomacy, takes on an even more intriguing dimension when we consider Pololikashvili’s controversial actions and record.
Between accusations of favoritism, dubious management, and negotiations for the benefit of himself and his close circle, his behavior has raised more than one eyebrow in the global tourism field. At times, the tourism sector seems to avert its gaze in the face of such behavior, while at other times, it is quick to share the spotlight with Pololikashvili or to accept favors ranging from supporting events of dubious relevance to questionable influence management.

Why Iran is important for UNWTO Secretary General  Zurab Pololikashvili?

Complexity to the narrative
The choice of Iran as a destination only adds complexity to the narrative. A country of immense cultural and heritage value, but also marked by the hanging in public squares of all those who raise their voices or have “prohibited sexual tendencies”, or the rigorous treatment of women who do not strictly follow the dress code and therefore its controversial international relations, including the alleged financing of terrorist activities.
This duality turns Iran into a scenario full of contradictions for the promotion of international tourism.
Get to know Iran beyond the headlines
The 17th Tehran International Tourism and Related Industries Exhibition not only served as the setting for this peculiar meeting but also for Raisi to launch a call to the international community: get to know Iran beyond the headlines.
We cannot ignore the irony implicit in the scenario: a country criticized for its rigidity in compliance with social and religious norms, and its position on the international geopolitical board, now seeking to present itself as an oasis of tourist attractions. However, Pololikashvili, far from being dissuaded, has reiterated his mission to present Iran’s “rich culture and civilization” to the world, highlighting its potential in health tourism and the elimination of visas for nearly 30 countries as a great advance. But be careful not to carry a beer, a Bible or simply forbidden music in your suitcase.
Perception can change with the angle of views
Pololikashvili’s visit to Iran is nothing more than a reminder that in tourism, as in life, perception can change simply by changing the angle of view. Although the initiative to promote Iran as a tourist destination is laudable, it is still a delicate dance between diplomacy and reality, where respect for cultural differences and the recognition of human rights must go hand in hand.
Amnesty International recalls that IRAN recorded the names of 4,482 executed prisoners, but opposition groups consider that there were more than 30,000 people, and around 10% were women.
The UN Tourism Choice of Cuba
Following the thread of international events that seem to defy conventional logic, the choice of Cuba as the venue for a meeting of tourism ministers from Latin America and the Caribbean, from April 28 to 30, only adds another layer of complexity. to the plot.
This event, which seeks to ratify the commitment to sustainable, inclusive, and resilient tourism, is held in a country whose practices and policies have been the subject of international scrutiny, not without a certain dose of controversy.
Along these lines, the UNWTO, Zurab Pololikashvili, and the Director of the Americas, Gustavo Santos could explain to some of the families who have relatives rotting in Cuban prisons, the objective of holding the UNWTO Regional Commission of the Americas in Cuba.
More striking are the words of Gustavo Santos, declaring that this event will be “a wonderful opportunity for the 27 countries of the region to meet on this beautiful island to reflect on the development of tourism.” And the social development of a society that has been hungry for 50 years?
The Irony of the Event in Cuba
In the case of Cuba, the irony lies in holding an event focused on sustainability and inclusion in a context where freedom of expression and human rights have been constant points of friction.
The question that arises is whether the holding of this event in Cuba represents a true commitment to the principles of sustainable and ethical tourism, or if, on the contrary, it highlights the contradictions inherent in international politics and diplomacy.
How does this meeting align with UNWTO ethical regulations, especially in a country that, despite its advances in tourism, still faces significant challenges in terms of human rights and fundamental freedoms?
Cuba’s importance for a meeting of tourism ministers
The inclusion of Cuba as the venue for a meeting of tourism ministers from Latin America and the Caribbean adds another chapter to the narrative of how international tourism can find itself at the crossroads of politics and human rights. The event, designed to promote sustainable, inclusive, and resilient tourism, is marred by reports from non-governmental organizations that indicate the existence of more than 1,500 political prisoners on the island, 900 of whom participated in the protests of July 11, 2021, who suffer from a lack of dignity and without rights in the face of a government that has imprisoned citizens who, when they can, escape from jail-countries.
Disclosure: This is the opinion of the guest writer and not necessarily of eTN Editors. SOURCE: UN Tourism’s Love for Iran and Cuba Mean Votes for The Secretary-General BY: eTurboNews | eTN  

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