Editorial by Carlos Velázquez
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Michelle Fridman, head of the Ministry of Tourism of Yucatan (SEFOTUR), is involved (once again) in a storm that she will only be able to come out by practicing real politics, since her profile is the one of an entrepreneur linked to travel and music.
The port of Progreso is the worst evaluated of the routes where the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) operates and the dependency in charge of it has a plan to improve it and there is a possibility they will channel 80% of the budget of that dependency for infrastructure in 2019.
The fact is that Fridman, who can be quite rude, has hurt the sympathy of many communicators and general population, two bad ideas, particularly in a localist society like Merida´s.
As an example, she commented that this city had potential for medical tourism, when historically it has the best health services in the Southeast of México. A foolish statement.
Governor Mauricio Vila invited her to his cabinet, even though being a native of Mexico City, who has never resided in Mérida; but also almost all of Fridman’s team arrived from the capital and have also starred in other stories that have displeased the Yucatecans.
The ” the straw that broke the camel’s back” was an unfortunate statement by Fridman, who said, at a breakfast with the media, that there was a lot of work to be done in Progreso and that it would be “easier to erase it from the map and rebuild it”. Metaphor of the slang of “turisteros” because it has also been heard that they did in Mallorca or have even proposed something similar in Acapulco, when it is obvious that it is not literally to throw an atomic bomb.
There is quite animosity towards Fridman, Yucatecans haven´t been keen to her ways. Ex president of CANACO Progreso asked for her to be declared “persona non-grata” in that port, and former governor, Dulce María Sauri, published that Fridman’s words were more violent than the worst hurricane.
In addition, the situation has derived in expressions of discrimination and xenophobia, especially in cartons and memes; regarding the fact that Fridman is “huacha/chilanga”, she shaves part of the head, has tattoos and piercings and her hair is painted with some strands of green.
Yucatecan society is watching her with a magnifying glass and is criticizing her for the millions of pesos she has invested in festivals; because he did not inaugurate a sporting event; because she´s traveled to Quebec to meet with Volaris and Viva or for the alleged conflicts of interest with her public relations firm.
So far there is no data that shows if her work is being efficient. So far the Mexican Hotel Association of Yucatan, headed by Yucatecan Héctor Navarrete; and the Tourist Business Council, headed by Jaime Solis, have backed her up but in writing.
There is an old saying amongst old school, Mexican politicians: “comer sapos sin hacer gestos” (eat toads without making gestures) which means that when a unpleasant situation presents itself the politician must, obligatorily, go through and endure through that circumstance and, in addition give account for its actions and decisions.
Michelle Fridman needs to improve her personal relationship with the media and smooth things over, offer apologies to the people of Progreso and filter her words from now on. Otherwise, her passage through public service will be as ephemeral as a Yucatecan “*bomba”.
*A Yucatecan bomba is a short saying, usually rhymed, with a mischievous double meaning, synonymous of rogue humor, very famous in the Yucatan Peninsula.
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