Some years ago, when I found myself on assignment in Cuba (an assignment of which the Cuban government, until the articles on it were published, remained oblivious), I found myself the target of an incendiary rage—courtesy my group’s tour guide. He, too, had supposed I was a tourist. And he was really distressed, to put it mildly, that the previous evening I had, to quote him, “escaped” from the tour and his vigilance, choosing instead to drop in on assorted night clubs. It was a defection, he pointed out, that he only learned of a few fatal hours later, from certain club-minders who caught me talking to Cubans who had not been approved for interviews.
“Do you realize what could have happened to you? Do you know how dangerous it is in these clubs?” he demanded. And then, unnecessarily: “At night?”
I repeated his earlier words back to him, uttered on the first day of our tour: “Night or day, Havana is one of the safest places on earth for tourists.”