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The Darkening of Old Havana

In Cuba, “jineteros” are hustlers, many if not most making a living out of swindling tourists. Their female counterparts, “jineteras” or “luchadoras” are likewise engaged primarily in the category of illegal or semi-legal economic activities, since prostitution has been illegal since the triumph of …

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The Darkening of Old Havana

In Cuba, “jineteros” are hustlers, many if not most making a living out of swindling tourists. Their female counterparts, “jineteras” or “luchadoras” are likewise engaged primarily in the category of illegal or semi-legal economic activities, since prostitution has been illegal since the triumph of the revolution in 1959. Since that time, it has been primarily the police and the State that have profited from the sale of sexual favor in Cuba. Those who resist this extortion – those who do not pay up - have a grim fate.

There is a climate of gangsterism in Cuba, men, women, black, white, adolescents, children, and tourists, caught up in complex webs of illegal or semi-legal activities with shady connections. Tourists are attracted to Cuba not just for the beach, there are other beaches, nor is it to find a cheap place in the sun. Rather, it tends to be for the sake of sex with someone young, or at least much younger than oneself.

Sadly, while marijuana smokers, for example, are rounded up and serve years for a few grams of medicinal plant, the State does nothing to process or accuse those mothers who openly sell their adolescent daughters to tourists for hard currency. Who profits from this?

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, prostitution has grown steadily; and it exists in many shades and nuances in Cuba in particular, and only more or less consciously in the minds of those who are involved. Women especially, seek to escape the island through a sexual relationship, others seek to bond with a foreigner so as to be able to remain on the island and survive economically. Either way, with the going full time wage of US$20.00, one has to find some other source of income.

This helps to explain why 1 out of 5 people on the island of Cuba these days is a tourist, mostly male, older, more likely to be Canadian than from anywhere else in particular. One sees a lot of old German’s as well, and happy days, old white Americans now who say they love the music are flying directly to Cuba from the US in droves to the happy Viagra paradise of tomorrow, Trump-ville for seditious pedophiles and gangster wannabes on a budget.

 

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