Prostitution in Cuba – Solutions to a Current Reality (Part 1)
Prostitution in Cuba: Solutions to a Current Reality (Part 1) / Somos+,
Jose Manuel Presol
Posted on November 7, 2015
“How can we get out of school to meet foreigners?”
Somos+, Jose Manuel Presol, 3 November 2015 — I’ll never forget a
comment from my father: “Jose Manuel, remember we made the Revolution,
among other things, so that Cuba would no longer be the whorehouse of
the United States. Years later, during a rather heated discussion with a
person who said he was close to the so-called “Committee to the Support
the Commander,” I repeated what my father said and his response was,
“the compañeros didn’t do it for vice, but for patriotism, to bring
currency to the Revolution,” and I’ll never forget that either. It was
one of the rare times in my life when, faced with the cynicism, I was
The truth is that now Cuba is no longer the whorehouse of the United
States, but it is for Canadians, Spaniards, Italians, Mexicans and
anyone landing on the island who brings enough dollars or euros in their
pockets to pay a pittance for something that in their own country, if
they offered that amount someone would laugh in their face.
I am not trying to do a sociological or anthropological study on the
current phenomenon of prostitution in Cuba, there are people much more
capable than I am than those who have done and continue to do such
studies. What I want to express is the problem, trying to offer some
Prostitution in Cuba, as in almost all countries, is not a new problem.
It has existed for many years. The oldest antecedents in our country are
perhaps, not counting the brothels erected by landowners, in non-harvest
times, to “take advantage” of the surplus labor, where free slaves
prostituted themselves to earn a few pesos to buy the freedom of their
children and other family members. The big difference today is how
widespread it is.
This generalization is not based on the huge number of women, men, girls
and boys who dedicate themselves to is, but to the chain of accomplices
and abettors that come with it, which means that a high percentage of
society is directly or indirectly involved in it.
The first accomplice and abettor is the State itself, I mean the current
Cuban government that — despite its laws, its supposed warnings, its
famous three warning letters, after which the victims can be sent to
prison for 1 to 3 years — tolerates the situation.
I say victim because everyone, absolutely everyone who engages in or
tolerates prostitution is a victim of the situation created. All are
victims and make up a long chain.
The chain is formed, at a minimum, by:
1.The teachers who allow the girls and boys trusted to their care leave
classes with impunity to prostitute themselves, and they do it, because
the remuneration they receive and the methods at their disposal are not
adequate to exercise their profession in proper conditions. It is hard
for me to think of a teacher who on a whim is capable of letting their
students prostitute themselves. Their morality is simply “asleep,” if it
is that, because of the need to solve their own problems and for the
lack of an honorable alternative from the system itself after more than
fifty years and the same thing happens with the rest of the links in the
2. The police who, far from preventing the offense of the offenses, in
the case of minors, prefer to look the other way and take a few Cuban
convertible pesos (CUC), that allow them to resolve some of their needs.
I am not capable, as in the former case, of imagining any component of
the People’s Revolutionary Police (PNR) acting this way for the pleasure
of it. They are all aware that the person who prostitutes themselves
tomorrow could be their daughter, their brother, their lifelong friend.
3. Those in charge of control in the hotels, who are the in the same
case as the previously. They know perfectly well that today someone
walking through the doors of their hotel could be their sister, or that
this could be happening at that precise moment in any other hotel. No
one wants to see a loved one on the arm of a tourist stinking of rum.
4. The pimps. Even these, although they personally dedicate themselves
to the offense, I cannot imagine they are very comfortable in the role
of suppliers of “fresh meat” if they could dedicate themselves to some
other activity. Evidently, in the world as it is today, everyone,
absolutely everyone deserves, at least, the benefit of the doubt.
5. The prostitutes themselves. There is no greater victim. Here we can’t
help but affirm that, absolutely everyone is the owner of their own body
and can to with it what seems most opportune, but they cease to be such
owners from the moment when a child is hungry, a mother needs medicine,
a brother has to pay a debt, or simply they need the power to have
whatever is not within their reach that could make them feel equal to
those yumas (foreigners) who brazenly pass in front of them. Here we
must highlight the high number of people who engage in prostitution,
despite an elevated cultural level and superior training, seeing
themselves brought to it because of not being remunerated in their
profession and on the point of being unable to solve their basic daily
problems at home.
In short, the ultimate culprit is none other than the government
oppressor, which has imposed an undeclared blockage that is the origin
of the problems we suffer.
Source: Prostitution in Cuba: Solutions to a Current Reality (Part 1) /
Somos+, Jose Manuel Presol | Translating Cuba –