A French daredevil who has scaled some of the world's tallest buildings conquered Cuba's famous Habana Libre hotel today without any safety equipment – "The French Spiderman" climbed to the 27th floor in exactly 30 minutes as thousands of people gazed from below. The Cuba-Style team and film/photography crew was on the scene today, and we were granted an exclusive interview before and after his climb !
The climber had said his main concern was not the height of the 413-foot-tall (126-meter) hotel, but that part of the building might be slippery or crumbling. But in the end, the 50-year-old Frenchman made short work of the building, climbing confidently and quickly. A huge uproar went up as Robert started climbing under a bright blue sky. When he reached the top, he planted a Cuban flag at the summit, the eternal symbol of their Revolution.
Alain Robert has scaled much taller structures in his career, including the former Sears Tower in Chicago, New York's Empire State Building and San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge. Two years ago he took six hours to summit what currently is the world's tallest building, the 2,717 foot-tall (828 meter) Burj Khalifa in Dubai, though for that ascent he used some safety equipment.
"This hotel has great meaning for me. It's impressive not for its height, which is not great, but because it's a building that symbolizes the Cuban Revolution," Robert said in an interview on Friday.
"I consider this hotel to have been a challenge for Castro, and I love the idea that now it's my turn to attempt the challenge."
Robert arrived in Havana last week, and has been waiting to get authorities' permission to begin the stunt. Cuba agreed to let him go ahead, and dozens of police were there to keep order. In other countries, Robert has often pulled off his stunts without seeking permission, and has sometimes been arrested.
The hotel is one of the Cuban capital's most iconic buildings, taken over after the 1959 Cuban Revolution and redubbed the "Habana Libre," or "Free Havana." Fidel Castro briefly set up his personal offices in the hotel after his triumphant march into the capital.
Today was certainly a showing of proof that there is love for Cuba around the world, and people from every corner of the globe are showing their support in creative and daring ways.
Alain Robert Alias " French Spiderman " with our journalist.