Festive Left Friday Blogging: Le Spider-Man in Havana

You don’t see something like this every day…even in Cuba:

French “Spider-Man” Alain Robert on Monday scaled the facade of the iconic Hotel Havana Libre in the Cuban capital, in what he said was a show of support for revolutionary leader Fidel Castro.

“Climbing is a way to discover a country, a culture,” the French daredevil said before completing the feat, his first in Cuba. “This is a strong sign of support for Fidel Castro.”

When asked if he would meet Castro while in Havana, Robert said: “I don’t know if he’ll be calling me this afternoon.”


The hotel, which first opened in 1958 under a different name, served as a temporary headquarters for Castro after his triumphant march into the capital.

Robert started his climb from the fourth floor of the hotel, located in the heart of Havana, and reached the 26th floor just 28 minutes later. The building is 70 meters (230 feet) high.

Police stopped traffic while Robert completed the feat. The roughly 2,000 spectators applauded each time he reached a higher floor.

And some people say Cuba is repressive and closed? Listen, Alain Robert has been arrested in so-called “free” countries for attempting similar feats. Like Australia. And the United States. But in Cuba, all the cops did was cordon off the street for his safety and that of the onlookers. That’s freedom for real.

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