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5.6- Economie - Page 3

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    Behind Hong Kong’s Failing Appeal as a Luxury Destination | #HK #luxury

    FROM OBSERVER.COM | BY JEENA SHARMA | JANUARY, 03 2017

    Chinese shoppers are no longer blinded by bling, visitors can get better deals elsewhere

    The latest dent in Hong Kong’s flailing retail market came with U.S. clothing brand Abercrombie & Fitch calling time on its flagship store two years before the end of its lease.

    The city, which has witnessed a consistent luxury slump since 2013, saw many major brands such as Ralph Lauren, Forever 21, Prada and Paul Smith pull out flagships earlier this year. Italian luxury clothing and accessories label Tonio Lamborghini also shut more than 10 of its stores and in-store counters in the city. Official Hong Kong government data shows a consistent decline in retail sales since 2013 through 2016, when sales reached their lowest point. While Abercrombie & Fitch, which is battling with its own financial instability, blames exorbitant rents (HK$7 million ($0.9 million in monthly rent) as the prime reason, for other brands the picture is less clear.

    With the amount of Mainland Chinese shoppers the city was host to, Hong Kong was once hailed as the ‘Great Mall of China.’  However, Chinese shopping tourism hit a major lull post the anti-corruption crackdown initiated by President Xi Jinping in 2012. The initiative, intended to eliminate corruption of  high profile Chinese government officials had the biggest negative impact on the retail market, particularly in luxury. The high exchange value of the Hong Kong dollar further contributed to the weakening of  the city’s position as a retail destination, as the territory price advantage gradually diminished for Chinese tourists.

    “Shopping in Hong Kong is no longer a bargain for Chinese tourists. The traveling Chinese consumer is now opting for alternative destinations like South Korea, Japan, or Greece. These are places with a little bit more character, a distinct point of view, or places that offer experiences beyond shopping,”  Saisangeeth Daswani, Advisory Strategist at innovation and trend research corporation, Stylus, told Observer.com.

    The evolving tastes and aesthetic of the Chinese consumer seem to be another important factor responsible for the retail shift. While Hong Kong offers some of the best-known designer stores in the world, it fails to attract the increasingly sophisticated and well-informed shoppers from abroad. Both domestic and foreign consumers in the city have become smarter about where to find products for the lowest prices and demand more in return for their money.

    “What’s key for luxury brands in Hong Kong is to consider the consumer’s changing mindset and offer more immersive, unconventional and discovery-based experiences,” said Daswani. “The luxury brands have been too focused on products, prices and sales. Consumers want more from their purchases than simply getting their hands on the latest accessory, they want an experience, a story to tell.”  Studies indicate that Chinese consumers now look to distinguish their choices from the most obvious mainstream brands and regular edition products. Flashy logos and shiny watches just don’t hold as much appeal as they did anymore.

    “The Asian consumer’s style sense is evolving, and their fashion purchasing behavior is becoming more European. The appeal of the preppy look is diminishing and people don’t see the need to buy luxury when attractive premium brands offer similar looks,” agreed Jaana Jätyri, CEO at trend forecasting agency, Trendstop.

    louis vuitton, fashion, luxury, hong-kong

    Since most of the luxury category brands are only accessible to the Chinese shopper who is able to travel beyond China, many have opted to simply shop online, much like the American consumer.

    Prada, which also closed much of its primary stores in the city, indicated the brand will now cater to the Chinese market through e-commerce. “The Hong Kong closure is part of a worldwide, strategic realignment of brand retail channels. Over the next two years, Prada will strengthen its own e-commerce platform, giving priority to China, Hong Kong and Singapore with the objective of achieving global reach,” an official spokesperson for the company told the Observer.

    prada, fashion, luxury, hong-kong

    While this could eventually strengthen a new shopping model for the country, unfortunately it means more woes for Hong Kong’s traditional retail market. However, Daswani believes all hope is not lost. As retail rents in Hong Kong continue to fall as a result of high end departures, mid-market, ‘contemporary fashion’ and affordable luxury brands are jumping in. Moreover, analysts predict that if the exchange values of the HK dollar stabilize in 2017 leading into increased consumer confidence, retail sales may slowly recover during 2018 in Hong Kong, albeit in a different kind of retail store.

    Whether the city will regain its status as a hot shopping heaven, only time will tell. As of now, an overall uncertainty clouds the Hong Kong luxury market, and it’s up to the retailers to adapt to the new consumer interests and adjust to this broadening notion of luxury. Elsewhere, shoppers are experiencing a rise in customization offers, one offs, local exclusive pieces, limited editions and in-store exclusive events, Hong Kong retailers may need to catch up.

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    In 2017’s, #luxury brands will have to work a lot harder to sell their pricey goods | @adetem @

    FROM QUARTZ MEDIA LLC | WRITTEN BY MARC BAIN | 24 JANUARY, 04 2017

    Last year was a bad one for many companies selling expensive fashion, handbags, and jewelry. For the first time since the financial crisis of 2008, the global market for personal luxury goods failed to grow, stalling at €249 billion (about $258 billion).

    luxury, china, fashion, growth, bnp, exanebnp

    The good news is that 2017 should see a return to growth, according to a Dec. 28 report on the global luxury market by management consulting firm Bain & Company, only it won’t look anything like the boom years from 2010 to 2015, when global sales of such goods jumped 45%, fueled by Chinese consumers with high-end appetites. The slowing of China’s economy and its government’s ongoing crackdown on corruption, paired with turmoil in the US and Europe from Brexit, terrorism, and the US presidential election, have created a “new normal” of low single-digit growth and intense competition. The years ahead will produce “clear winners and losers,” Bain says, determined by which brands can read the field and respond best.

    China is at the center of this shift. Today Chinese shoppers account for 30% of all sales of personal luxury goods. While Bain foresees the Chinese market improving again after contracting slightly in 2016, it isn’t likely to return to its former rate of expansion, which insulated brands’ bottom lines from other problems. “We expect around 30 million new customers in the next five years coming from the Chinese middle class,” Claudia D’Arpizio, a Bain partner and lead luxury analyst, told Quartz in an interview last year. “But this is nothing comparable to the past big waves of demographics entering [the market]. This new normality will mean mainly trying to grow organically in the same consumer base, being more innovative with product, more innovative with communication.”

    Exane BNP Paribas echoed the thought in a December research note to clients. “The peak of the largest nationality wave ever to benefit luxury goods is behind us,” the authors wrote. “Brands need a new paradigm, other than opening more stores in China and bumping up prices.”

    The period luxury is entering could see some of its slowest growth since it started opening up to a mass audience around 1994. That was the year, D’Arpizio noted, that “the jeweler of kings and queens,” Cartier, launched its first lower-priced line for mainstream consumers. Other brands followed in search of greater sales, and names “like Gucci, Prada, also Bulgari were really growing, doubling size every year, sometimes triple-digit growth rates, opening up to 60 stores every year and covering all the capitals across the globe,” she said.

    Around 2001 came another period of expansion when brands became global retailers, not just selling wholesale, amid a spate of acquisitions that would eventually create today’s giant luxury conglomerates, including LVMH and Kering (previously Gucci Group). By the time of the financial crisis, luxury had conquered much of the US, Europe, and Japan, and then China came along to offer more unfettered growth.

    There’s no new China, however, at least not now. The next big luxury market is likely Africa, particularly countries such as Congo, Angola, and South Africa. But D’Arpizio estimated this scenario won’t come about for seven to 10 years, meaning only moderate expansion for some time.

    “In the new normal, we expect a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3% to 4% for the luxury goods market through 2020, to approximately €280 billion,” Bain’s report says. “That is significantly slower than the rapid expansion from the mid-1990s to the late 2000s.”

    Other characteristics of this new period include more shoppers making purchases at home. Last year, local purchases exceeded tourist purchases by five percentage points, the first time since 2001 that has happened.

    And digital sales will keep growing. Last year they accounted for 8% of the industry.

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    #Skincare | #Chanel uncovers powerful plants in global tour | @cosmetics @Chanel

    FROM LUXURY DAILY | FROM SATRAH JONES | JANUARY 5, 2017

    France’s Chanel is exploring the anti-aging secrets of three far-flung populations with a shared claim.

    The beauty brand’s newly released Blue Serum took inspiration from Blue Zones around the world, places where the locals live remarkably longer lives. In an effort to prove the claims of its product, Chanel is inviting consumers to journey to these locales in a series of short films.

    Chanel was reached for comment.

    FEELING BLUE

    Chanel’s Blue Serum is being touted by the brand as “a new horizon for skincare.”Explaining the inspiration and ingredient sourcing for this serum, Chanel filmed travel diaries to the Blue Zones that contributed to the product.

    Against footage taken in Costa Rica, a female narrator says, “You can feel the life force in everything and everywhere.” Portraying this energy are images of waterfalls amid greenery.

    chanel, blue serum, skincare, costa rica

    Still from Chanel's Blue Serum film

    The voiceover explains how Costa Rica’s green coffee can only be found in the country, which may contribute to the locals’ long lives.

    In Italy, the Mediterranean locale is said to be the home of centuries’ old olive trees.

    Chanel turns its attention to the sun in Greece, which it says is in everything. This includes soil, plants and the lentisk tree.

    chanel, blue serum, skincare, costa rica

    Discover the Power of Blue Serum - Chanel

    All videos include the statement, “It’s something special. Some call it a mystery. It’s just life.”

    These ingredients—sourced from Nicoya, Costa Rica; Sardinia, Italy and Ikaria, Greece, all hold antioxidant properties. According to the brand, a trial found the serum to reduce wrinkles, even skin tone and firm skin.

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    Tiffany procures retail solutions for Trump Tower-related security measures | @tiffanyandco @cotyincpr

    FROM LUXURY DAILY | DECEMBER 2016, 19

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    Tiffany & Co.’s Fifth Avenue flagship’s proximity to Trump Towers has resulted in an unlikely branding effort for the U.S. jeweler.

    The jeweler’s iconic flagship, known for its cameos in Hollywood films and its annual holiday windows, finds itself on the same block as Trump Towers, the Midtown Manhattan home of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump. Since the election results were announced Nov. 8, protesters have been picketing outside the building, causing the Secret Service and New York Police Department to heighten security along Fifth Avenue, just in time for the holiday season.

    "The truth is that politics and business do not mix, and when those worlds collide, good things rarely happen," said Rob Frankel, branding strategist & expert at Frankel & Anderson, Los Angeles. "'Cause marketing' is a huge myth, often alienating as many (or more) prospects than it might attract. "Overall, I see this less as a political statement and more along the lines of the signs you see posted when a store is remodeling, which proclaim 'Pardon our dust! We're open for business!'" he said. "Nobody really notices and business doesn't improve until the signs are removed and foot traffic returns to normal."

    Branded barricades
    As a result of the extra security measures, storefronts near Trump Tower’s, including Tiffany and Gucci, which has its New York flagship within the tower, have seen decreased foot traffic as barricades deter shoppers and worsen congestion on the already busy thoroughfare in Midtown Manhattan.

    Barricades along the street caused Tiffany to cancel its holiday window reveal. While the store remains in business with normal hours, its sales are expected to take a hit this year, according to CNBC.

    In addition to the imposing presence of the metal blockades, security personnel have also been on heightened alert. Individuals headed to the luxury stores around the tower are the only ones getting through to the sidewalk, but this means potential shoppers enduring questioning by police before they are allowed to pass (Trump’s midtown Manhattan base causes problems for luxury retail).

    Tiffany, for one, has partnered with the New York City Police Department to make the most of the security presence by designing branded covers for the police barricades.

    The barricades, dressed in Tiffany blue slipcovers, have been positioned from 57th Street around to the jeweler’s entrance on Fifth Avenue, thus creating a Tiffany “safe zone.”

    Doing so provides a pathway for passersby to view Tiffany’s annual holiday windows. While this solution ensures some consumers get to experience its windows, Tiffany likely missed out on the attention and crowds that make it a point to see its display this year.

    The placement of the branded barricades also allows consumers to enter the flagship through its main entrance. Prior to the barricades being set up, consumers were encouraged to use the jeweler’s side entrance facing 57th Street.

    In a statement the jeweler said: “Tiffany is in frequent communication with the New York Police Department and U.S. Secret Service regarding safety and security along the perimeter of our Fifth Avenue flagship. We remain open for business with regular hours and welcome customers to enter the store via our 57th Street entrance while any barricades along Fifth Avenue are in place.

     “Our iconic flagship store windows, which feature sparkling scenes of New York City at the holidays, are now on display for all to see. Our façade has also been illuminated as planned.”

    Alternate viewings
    A digital solution has also been implemented to ensure that consumers who would rather not visit in person due to the barricades and upped police presence can still experience the windows

    Tiffany, Louis Vuitton and Cartier are among the 18 New York storefronts getting a digital audience this holiday season with help from Google. Google’s “Window Wonderland” recreates the feeling of strolling outside iconic retailers on a consumers’ desktop computer, mobile phone or tablet.

    While about 5 million tourists descend on New York this time of year, many located in other cities, states or countries will not be able to get to see these in person, making this Google experience the next best thing.

    (...)

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    @YvesRocherFR accentue son développement à l’international | #beaute #cosmetique #promiseconsulting-blog

    20/12/2016 16:00:00 FRANCHISE COSMÉTIQUE | OUVRIR UNE FRANCHISE

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    Spécialisée dans la distribution de produits cosmétiques, l’enseigne Yves Rocher, célèbre aux quatre coins du globe, continue d’affirmer son leadership dans ce secteur d’activité. La marque à récemment fait acquisition de l’enseigne israélienne Sabon, connue pour ses savons artisanaux découpés devant le client. Une acquisition qui s’inscrit dans la politique du groupe qui souhaite désormais réaliser (d’ici dix ans) 50% de ses ventes hors de la zone euro.

    Avec l’acquisition de la marque Sabon (dont les revenus sont estimés à 100 millions d’euros, et qui compte près de 165 magasins implantés à travers le monde notamment au Japon et aux Etats-Unis), l’enseigne Yves Rocher affirme une fois de plus son ambition de conquérir le marché international. Positionné sur un marché très porteur, l’enseigne poursuit son développement à travers le monde à un rythme effréné. Ciblant actuellement des pays émergents tels que le Mexique et l’Afrique (où le groupe a déjà quelques partenariats), Yves Rocher ambitionne de réaliser d’ici 10 ans, la moitié de ses ventes hors de la zone euro comme le révèle le PDG du groupe, Bris Rocher, dans une interview accordée aux Echos« Les deux tiers de notre chiffre d'affaires se font aujourd'hui en zone euro. Ce n'est pas forcément la région la plus dynamique. Notre objectif est de réaliser la moitié de nos ventes hors de ce périmètre dans les dix ans. »

    Désormais incontournable dans le secteur de la cosmétique, le réseau Yves Rocher accentue un peu plus son développement sur le marché international avec l’intégration de Sabon, qui offre au groupe l’occasion de faire du Japon son septième marché le plus productif. 

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    Le Groupe Rocher (France) achète l'israélien Sabon (175 magasins) | @YvesRocherFR #promiseconsulting-blog

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    Sigal Kotler-Levy et Avi Piatok, co-propriétaires de la marque de cosmétiques israélienne Sabon (qui exploite 175 magasins dans le monde entier) ont annoncé cette nouvelle qui a fait le tour des rédactions des journaux économiques : “la société française de cosmétiques, Groupe Rocher, prend le contrôle de l’entreprise Sabon afin de renforcer ses capacités mondiales et d’accélérer son expansion à l’étranger”.

    Les détails financiers de l’opération n’ont pas été divulgués, mais le Groupe Rocher prend le contrôle (51%) de Sabon à une valeur estimée à 125 millions d’euros.

    Sabon est une marque privée de produits de bain, de soins corporels, de toilette et d’ambiance domestique. Elle a une forte présence en Israël, au Japon et aux États-Unis, ainsi que dans plusieurs pays d’Europe et d’Asie. Avec l’achèvement de l’acquisition, Sabon rejoint le portefeuille global de marques du Groupe Rocher.

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    #Chanel has made itself more relatable to consumers without sacrificing its prestige | @Chanel @adetem

    ARTICLE DU LUXURY DAILY | DECEMBRE 2016

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    First runner’s-up Chanel has made itself more relatable to consumers without sacrificing its prestige.

    The brand made moves to appeal to a younger audience, casting teens Lily-Rose Depp and Willow Smith in separate ad campaigns.

    With a continued focus on video content, Chanel introduced five new films in its “Inside Chanel” series. The brand also launched a new series of unscripted Beauty Talks, inviting personalities such as Gisele Bündchen and Keira Knightley to talk makeup and skincare with its global creative makeup and color designer Lucia Pica.

    Chanel, luxury, fashion, luxury daily

    Chanel’s social media efforts helped the brand top Brandwatch’s rankings of fashion companies, thanks to visibility and increased reach (Chanel, Lexus top social media performers in fashion, automotive fields). The same researcher also found it to be the most reputable brand on social media (Chanel most reputable brand despite low sentiment: report).

    The brand also got a nod in the beauty space, with an MBLM report finding it to be the most successful at creating intimacy and an emotional connection with followers (Chanel ranks at top of beauty industry’s brand intimacy chart: report).

    A key indicator of brand positioning and desirability, Chanel is one of the highest sellers on the secondhand luxury site The RealReal (Chanel, mega-brands dominate resale market as new sectors surge: report). Chanel was also one of the only brands to record growth in value in Millward Brown’s BrandZ report (Louis Vuitton, Hermès and Chanel only houses to record growth: report).

    Chanel, luxury, fashion, luxury daily

    Aside from its desirability as a brand to own, Chanel was named the most coveted place to work in a survey of millennials conducted by Women’s Wear Daily (www.luxurydaily.com/louis-vuitton-hermes-and-chanel-only-houses-to-record-growth-report/.

    Alongside digital efforts, Chanel courted younger clients with a backstage-themed pop-up. The brand also branched out into the conceptual, curating a daily content hub with i-D magazine (Chanel, i-D magazine advocate for female artistic talent on daily content hub).

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    Gucci is 2016 Luxury Marketer of the Year | @Gucci @adetem

    Italian fashion label Gucci is Luxury Daily’s 2016 Luxury Marketer of the Year for its revamped advertising image under the creative direction of Alessandro Michele.

    Gucci won over first runner’s-up Chanel and second runner’s-up Burberry. All three brands were able to adapt and connect with a new generation of consumers while not losing focus on their luxury positioning.

    The Luxury Marketer of the Year award was decided based on luxury marketing efforts with impeccable strategy, tactics, creative, executive and results. All candidates selected by the Luxury Daily editorial team and from reader nominations had to have appeared in Luxury Daily coverage this year. Judging was based purely on merit.

    Gucci made over

    2016 marked the first full year with Mr. Michele at the head of Kering-owned Gucci. Aside shifting the brand’s apparel and accessories design, he has made his mark on the brand’s marketing, replacing an overt sex appeal with a more romantic femininity.

    This included a new effort for Gucci Guilty starring Jared Leto that portrayed a subtle sexuality (Gucci’s visual representation of fragrance hopes to shatter society norms) and ensemble runway collection campaigns shot in destinations such as Berlin, Tokyo and Britain’s Chatsworth House.

    gucci, cruise campaign, chatsworth house, luxury, luxury daily

    Playing off motifs created by Mr. Michele, Gucci unveiled a series of artistic initiatives that deconstructed these themes. Its customizable Ace Sneaker was the subject of creative short films, while its codes became the basis for a multiplatform project that spanned a physical space in Tokyo and online mediums (Gucci makes room for reinterpreting brand codes).

    Allowing consumers to put their own spin on these new icons of the brand, Gucci also launched customization programs for select products.

    During 2016, Gucci opened new headquarters in Milan, centralizing a number of operations in a repurposed aeronautical factory. This Gucci Hub will serve as a location for fashion shows and acts as a physical representation of its changing aesthetic (Gucci takes nontraditional office approach for multipurpose Milan headquarters).

     

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    Luxury Brands Seek a Way Into Generation | #generationZ #luxury @adetem

    ARTICLE PARU DANS LE NYT, ELIZABETH PATON, LE 05-12-2016

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    Millennials, the much-studied generation whose behavior has seduced and puzzled luxury brands in equal measure, are no longer the sole focus for companies hoping to attract new customers: Generation Z, the label given to those born since 1995, is the latest target audience, thanks to their future purchasing power and the influence they hold over the spending of their parents and grandparents.

    Unlike their older peers, who have watched technology gradually embed itself in their daily lives, members of Generation Z are known as “digital natives”: those who cannot remember what it is like to not have a cellphone permanently attached to their hand.

    “This is an impulsive group who will turn adverts off, call BS really easily and hate being talked down to,” said Meridith Valiando Rojas, co-founder and chief executive of DigiTour Media, a Los Angeles-based group that has led the way in a booming events trend in live entertainment. “They know there is always something else out there as they have always had that information at their fingertips. That is hard for many brands to contend with.”

    DigiTour Media hosts festivals where social media stars step out from behind their bedroom webcams and meet their teenage fan base. The festivals showcase people who have created mass followings on YouTube, Instagram and Music.ly, the lip-syncing app with over 100 million monthly users and that anyone over 21 is unlikely to have heard of. DigiTour Media group now puts on approximately 200 events a year, comprising both DigiFests (one- or two-day showcases) or DigiTours (groups of performers who rove the United States). The combined reach of the acts is 350 million people.

    “It is all about bringing the internet to life — their internet to life,” said Ms. Valiando Rojas at The New York Times’s Global Leaders’ Collective conference, held in Washington this past week. A former music executive, she recognized in 2010 that there was no equivalent of a music festival on the market for younger teenagers. She also saw that when it came to hormone-fueled popularity, 21st-century social media stars had as much clout as the biggest boy bands.

    “Generation Z are the most influential group of consumers right now. Whether or not they are buying luxury today, they will be tomorrow,” Ms. Valiando Rojas said. “So understanding where they think, where they go and how to advertise to them without rubbing them up the wrong way is crucial.”

    That more and more people are looking for experience-led luxury purchases over products is another factor in why brands should be looking to build relationships with this demographic, both on and off their phones.

    There is a distinction between Generation Z and millennials in how they behave within their social media communities. Millennials are keen to be unique, but members of Generation Z want to be popular and part of a group. Having grown up immersed in social media, members of Generation Z define their identity by how many “Likes’’ they get on Facebook or how many followers they have. They see their online personalities as extensions of themselves

    “That is why these influencers are so important: Teenagers today trust these voices,” Ms. Valiando Rojas said, adding that she booked acts based on their popularity and what the followers of her company’s social media accounts suggested. She pointed to Baby Ariel (age 16), Jacob Sartorius (age 14) and the Dolan Twins (age 16) as some of the biggest names to watch.

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    #Luxe, calme et volupté dans les palais dorés du millionnaire cubain Fidel Castro | #Cuba #FidelCastro #SegoleneRoyal

    ARTICLE PARU DANS LE JOURNAL LES OBSERVATEURS.CH, SUISSE, LE 05-12-2016

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    Fidel Castro, héros de la révolution marxiste latino-américaine, est mort depuis maintenant une semaine et sa dépouille croule sous les éloges funèbres dispensés par une pseudo-élite intellectuelle superficielle qui s’extasie devant les faux concepts humanistes du communisme international. Toujours les mêmes bobos conformistes de la pensée unique qui dispensent des bobards à longueur de temps et trompent énormément.

    Fidel Castro ne fut pas seulement un sanguinaire révolutionnaire, un dictateur féroce, un boucher pour les pauvres Cubains, un ennemi politique sans état d’âme, qui transforma, « l’île en une énorme prison entourée d’eau » selon les mots de sa propre sœur Juanita qui n’ira pas à son enterrement. Au nom d’une révolution des pauvres sensée libérer les prolétariens et apporter le bonheur à Cuba il en fit son domaine personnel pour son plus grand avantage et se maintenir au pouvoir. De révolutionnaire marxiste il devint millionnaire capitaliste tout en cultivant, pour le public et les médias complaisants, l’image idyllique du chef incorruptible et détaché des biens matériels : le pur des purs révolutionnaires qui en privé nage dans l’or pendant que son peuple meurt de faim.

    Selon le magasine Forbes, Fidel Castro faisait partie des hommes « les plus riches parmi les rois, les reines et les dictateurs. » La fortune de Castro est estimée à 900 millions de dollars dus en partie aux revenus d’une minière d’or et de nombreuses entreprises d’États sous son contrôle. Certains observateurs occidentaux et cubains expatriés parlent aussi d’une banque en Angleterre et de 270 entreprises de par le monde sous son emprise. On est bien loin des quelques pesos avec lesquels il se targuait de vivre, à l’instar de la majeur partie des Cubains.

    Yacht en bois rare, whisky de 12 ans d’âge, belles femmes, jacuzzi, étaient quelques unes des commodités que s’offrait le Lider maximo. Propriétaire d’une île paradisiaque proche de Cuba, Cayo Piedra, il aimait y recevoir des personnalités comme l’inhumain président de l’Allemagne de l’Est Erich Honecker qui décida de l’érection du mur de Berlin ou l’écrivain communiste Gabriel García Márquez.

    « Il laissait entendre que la révolution ne lui donnait aucun répit, aucun plaisir, qu’il ignorait et méprisait le concept bourgeois de vacances. Il mentait  » affirme un des ses anciens compagnons d’armes resté à ses côtés jusqu’en 1994, le lieutenant-colonel Juan Reinaldo Sanchez, réfugié ensuite à Miami et décédé mystérieusement après ses révélations sur le dictateur cubain parues dans un livre intitulé « Double vie de Fidel Castro ».

    « Il était convaincu que Cuba était sa propriété » écrit Sanchez. Outre la vie capitaliste, tant honnis en public mais si aimée en cachette, il aimait les femmes : il eut plusieurs épouses, plusieurs maîtresses et huit enfants qui tout comme lui aiment la vie luxueuse. Le colonel Sanchez raconte : « Pendant que son peuple mourrait de faim Fidel Castro a vécu avec toutes les commodités. Et cela est vrai aussi pour ses huit enfants, les diverses épouses et amantes. Le tout dans le plus grand secret ».