Prostitution in Cuba
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    Hookers, an Anonymous Society / Laritza Diversent

    Hookers, an Anonymous Society / Laritza Diversent
    Laritza Diversent, Translator: Unstated

    On February 25, in a human-trafficking case, the Las Tunas Provincial
    Court recognized in Judgment No. 92 that the young Cuban women "were
    blinded in the presence of foreigners, seeing in them the possibility of
    wearing stylish clothing and shoes, and the ability to visit historic
    sites."

    The trial resulted in penalties for seven residents of Las Tunas, five
    of them for illegally renting space in their homes to an Italian
    citizen, who had sex with five young women (including two 16-year-olds
    and one 18-year old), between 2005 and 2010. The age of the other two
    was not mentioned.

    The initial indictment was for a crime of procurement and human
    trafficking, although only three of those involved were convicted. The
    rest were fined for "illegal economic activity." The owners, who were
    tried by the administrative clerk, were also punished with the
    confiscation of their homes.

    Those involved were arrested in late March 2010. In August, the
    authorities found in the province of Granma the body of a 12-year-old
    girl, apparently murdered. In connection with this incident, three
    Italian citizens were arrested along with at least 12 residents in the
    eastern territory of the country.

    After the discovery of the body, the authorities unleashed a major
    operation in Bayamo, which was concentrated on city residents who rented
    their homes to foreigners. Most of the houses were confiscated.

    The preliminary investigation did not mention the Italian citizens
    arrested just two weeks after the crime or the girl's links with
    foreigners. However, popular versions of the facts indicate that the
    child visited a rented house where they were holding a party with
    foreigners, and there she consumed high amounts of alcohol and drugs.

    In June 2000, the Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination
    against Women called on the Government of Cuba to expand official
    programs so that Cubans could achieve economic independence and,
    thereby, eliminate the need to resort to prostitution.

    Ten years later, in June 2010, the United States reaffirmed Cuba as a
    country where people are trafficked. Earlier, in 2003, the U.S.
    government had included the island on the black list for "not meeting
    minimum standards for eliminating trafficking in persons and not making
    significant efforts in this regard." And it suggested that Cuba is "a
    source of children subjected to trafficking, especially for commercial
    exploitation within the country."

    For its part, the Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination
    against Women also recommended that the Cuban government analyze the
    causes of prostitution and the results of preventive and rehabilitative
    measures taken, in order to make them more effective.

    The legislation in force in Cuba provides special protection to children
    under 14 years against the crimes of procurement and human trafficking.
    After that age, the same laws govern as those for adults.

    Cuba actively prosecutes prostitutes, mostly young ones, under the
    criminal offense of pre-criminal dangerousness. In the majority of
    cases, for their rehabilitation, they are confined to correctional work
    farms. Criminal liability is acquired on the island at age 16.

    Laritza Diversent, Diario de Cuba

    Translated by Regina Anavy

    April 30 2011

    http://translatingcuba.com/?p=9378

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