Prostitution in Cuba
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    The Golden Dream of A Prostitute

    The Golden Dream of A Prostitute / Cubanet, Gladys Linares

    Cubanet, Gladys Linares, Havana, 5 December 2016 — I don’t remember
    exactly how much time had passed since I’d seen Cristina, but it must
    have been more than three years, because today, when I saw her at the
    home of a mutual friend and asked about her daughter, who had caused her
    so many headaches, she responded, very content, “She’s good, calm,
    married and has a son who is about to turn two.”

    When Cristina turned 16 and was studying in high school, she started to
    change radically. At first she made up the story that she was studying
    with some classmates, and was late or that she slept over at some
    girlfriend’s house. And so, little by little, until she stopped showing
    up some night at all, although she continued in high school and some
    teachers said she was a good student.

    Then she left school and started to disappear more often, sometimes even
    for a week. Desperate, her mother went out looking for her and tried
    everything to discipline her, from persuasion to violence, but without
    results. According to a friend, the young woman said she didn’t continue
    her studies because even if she graduated she would not be able to meet
    her basic economic needs, and that what she needed was “a yuma
    [foreigner] to be able to live well.”

    Among her clients was a Spaniard three times her age. This gentleman
    wanted to meet her mom and came to collect her at home. The girl ended
    up pregnant. The Spaniard repaired the house, which was in very bad
    conditions. When the child was born he married her and came by even more
    often. He took her to live in Spain for a time, but she couldn’t adapt.
    His family lived there, his kids, his grandkids — some of them older
    than she was — and she didn’t feel comfortable among them.

    Then, he bought her a mansion in La Vibora, on Santa Catalina Avenue. It
    had land with fruit trees, a swimming pool, servants and it was
    peaceful. The Spaniard even bought a car for when he was in Cuba, and
    when her husband was gone she had a chauffeur.

    Although I can’t think that this is what Cristina as a mother would have
    wanted for her daughter, the truth is that at least the young woman is
    not spending her nights in the streets looking for clients, being
    extorted by pimps or police or risking going to jail at any moment.

    This story of the life of a prostitute is not the happiest, but in
    today’s Cuba, this has become the golden dream of a prostitute. Nor is
    it the exception: many young women come to the oldest profession to
    escape the poverty and the homelessness our population faces.

    For years, Fidel Castro thundered that the Revolution had ended gambling
    and prostitution, “the evils of the capitalist society,” although later
    he was forced to publicly recognize its existence: “Our prostitutes are
    the healthiest and best educated in the world,” said Castro, which is
    also a lie.

    And with the economic crisis that began in the ’90s, the so-called
    “special period in times of peace,” prostitution spreads like wildfire.
    Today, thousands and thousands of young people throughout the country
    turn to this practice to satisfy their economic needs and/or their
    anxiousness to emigrate. Surprisingly, the hookers are not looked badly
    on by a broad sector of the population, but in many cases are admired,
    because in general they display a higher standard of living that is
    possible in Cuba on the salary of a job.

    Source: The Golden Dream of A Prostitute / Cubanet, Gladys Linares –
    Translating Cuba –

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