Fidel Castro's son admits to loving K-dramas
It seems the Hallyu wave is rolling across more of the world as Cuba is the latest country to be hit be K-drama fever. Even the son of Fidel Castro, Alex Castro, is in on the fun!
In the theater La Teatro America in Havana, over 1,000 audience members welcomed the Korean actress Sun Woo Sun because of the popularity of Queen of Housewives, which aired in Korea in 2009 but recently recorded 70% viewer ratings in Cuba.
According to the vice president of the Cuban governmental broadcast Canal Havana, Cubans are attracted to Korean dramas because K-dramas showed pure love and have very fast-moving story lines in contrast to telenovelas, which have over 200 episodes and often deal with love affairs or crimes of passion. After Queen of Housewives proved to be a big hit, Take Care of the Young Lady and Secret Garden contributed to the Korean drama boom in Cuba. Jewel in the Palace premiered on Nov 3, and Boys Over Flowers is under deliberation.
On the DVD stands in the streets of Cuba, a lot of the latest drama titles like Heirs and It's Okay, That's Love can also be found. These illegal reproductions are sold for 3 Cuban pesos (about one dollar) per episode. You're Beautiful was even illegally broadcasted on Cuba Vision, the national broadcast company.
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Interestingly enough, the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency actually approves of this illegal trade of Korean dramas because they see it as an initial move to introduce Cubans to Korean content. Even though this prevents revenue from being earned, the president of KOTRA said it was a necessary approach to the Cuban market because Cuba is a communist country that Korea does not yet have diplomatic relations with. It seem that this strategy for entry into the Cuban market through exposure to Korean culture has succeeded.
Alex Castro, who is the son of Fidel Castro, even recently visited the Korean Pavilion with the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry and the Minister of Energy. Alex Castro said he also likes K-dramas and enjoyed Queen of Housewives with his wife. In addition, he praised Korean dramas for their speedy story lines and gorgeous stars.