An ignorant, insensitive, and insulting Heineken beer commercial featuring Cuba

There is no doubt that the ignorance many people in the world have about Cuba has contributed greatly to the fifty-plus year survival of the heinous Castro dictatorship. As long as the world is ignorant of what is really taking place in Cuba, no one will really care if the Castro family remains the slave masters of 11-million people. From journalists to politicians, companies to ad agencies, this ignorance of the Cuban reality has helped the apartheid Castro regime stay in power and as a byproduct, led to countless instances of insensitivity and insulting portrayals of Cubans.

The newest member of this dubious club of ignorance is Heineken beer. As you can see from the commercial below, their sheer ignorance of Cuba produces one of the most insensitive and insulting (if not the stupidest) commercials featuring Cuba you will ever see:

The Un Cubano en Canarias blog describes the video as such (my translation):

The arrival in Cuba, a sympathetic customs officer, party music, a happy protagonist, and the drinking of beer on a roof where another friend is invited to do the same.

What is this commercial trying to tell us?

It is a crude manipulation of historical context. There is an allusion throughout the entire commercial to a time in history (1982 probably judging by the car in Miami used by the immigration agents), playing with the mind of the viewer and offering a super-nice portrayal of life in Cuba as opposed to life abroad, which is closer to a horror flick.

The purpose is to have that Cuba that is a never-ending party remain with the viewer where no problems exist other than finding some beer.

It is quite likely Heineken and their ad agency have no idea how insulting their ad actually is. As far as they are concerned, the only thing Cubans on the island are worried about is where to find more Heineken beer.



4 thoughts on “An ignorant, insensitive, and insulting Heineken beer commercial featuring Cuba

  1. I am, also, speechless. Did you notice that the “Cuban” is deported from the United States and welcomed to Cuba. The creators of this commercial have turned reality upside-down. The evil country here is the United States where a frightened Cuban is repressed to the point that he is escorted with hand-cuffs, has his passport stamped “deported” and is put on a plane that takes him to Cuba. Once he arrives in Cuba, he is free. AND ITS PARTY TIME!

    No doubt this commercial is geared towards the Cuban community, but are these people that clueless? I know that we have not done a good job of getting our message across., but its worst than I thought when Heinekin comes up with shit like this. What a monumental collective slap in the face to the Cuban community. [sigh]

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