The Cuban Love Doctor Is In

Why do Cuban men cheat?

Are Cuban women faithful?

Steer clear of Cuban men?

Someone save me from my Cuban husband!

People look to me as some kind of authority when it comes to their Cuban lovers – although I’ve only written once on the Cuban fidelity question and never directly about love, lust or the like. Still, Those Faithful Cubans is one of my all-time most popular posts and people search daily for information on the issue as the above – actual search terms from the last week – illustrate.

Honestly, I do try to extend the benefit of the doubt in this regard, but one thing I’ve learned in my job as a health journalist here is to be experiential- and evidenced-based (see note 1). And what the evidence reveals on this topic likely won’t be welcome news for those of you with Cuban lovers or spouses.

Lest you think I’m about to malign an entire country and culture, let me clarify: there are exceptions to the rule – always – and if you’re in a relationship with a Cuban and reading this, you may be one of those lucky few. But in general…

They’ve all got someone on the side. Often, as one reader pointed out, this is a complicit arrangement – more up front and out in the open than on the side. I know men who have been married 20 years (or longer) and have kept the same mistress all the while. Polygamy without the papers I like to call it. In many cases, there’s little care taken to hide it – friends, family, colleagues are all hip to the scenario.

Upon first analysis, it seems logical to say: if everyone’s ok with it, what’s the problem? And trust me, this question has forced me to examine if my own moral code – faithful to a fault – is clouding my appreciation of the issue. But after turning the critical eye to my own beliefs and how they “cuadrar” (or not) with my adopted culture, I’ve concluded there is a problem with these arrangements for two fundamental, fucked up reasons: health and machismo.

Here in Havana, the latter is real, prevalent, and extraordinarily complicated – if you think otherwise, you’re not paying attention. When you hear the word ‘macho,’ the image that pops to mind is likely a hirsute brute in a wife beater, feet up on the coffee table, shouting kitchen-ward for another Coors and a nacho refill. Let me tell you: machismo here is as far from that as a Miami Cuban sandwich is from its Havana counterpart.

Cuban machismo is more subtle (and therefore potentially more dangerous, since you’re not always quite sure what you’re dealing with). It has to be – Cuban women are too empowered, strong-willed, and educated to put up with that shit. The economic dynamic here also plays a part since 57% of all technical and professional jobs are held by women, which doesn’t lend itself to the financial domination men lord over women elsewhere.

This isn’t to say that Cuban women are free from blame. Each time they shoo their sons from the kitchen telling them to play soccer with the other boys and every Saturday they make their daughters help clean house instead of suggesting they help dad fix the bike, they’re part of the traditional gender construct problem. In short, many of the fairer sex here replicate damaging stereotypes and patterns which prop up the macho paradigm (see note 2).

Tolerating mistresses validates machismo for a simple reason: it is not a two-way street. Try taking and maintaining a lover just like your male partner and watch the mierda hit the fan. The message is clearly ‘I can, but you can’t,’ coupled with ‘do as I say, not as I do.’ It’s a pitiable slice of paternalistic hypocrisy that chaps my ass. Can you tell?

And the one-way street runs into carnal endeavors as well: while he may be hot for a threesome with another chick, cuidado if it occurs to you to suggest the same with another man. While this surely is not unique to Cuban machismo, it involves factors specific to culture and place, especially Afro-Cuban religions which, on the whole are absurdly homophobic and macho (see note 3).

(I offer this as partial answer to the reader who searched on: Why don’t Cuban men like their bums touched?)

 The health-fidelity convergence is, at first blush, more straightforward. When a man or woman takes another partner (or several), they are potentially exposing their spouse to everything from HPV to HIV. Sure, there are protective measures everyone can and should take, but condoms, which cost pennies apiece and are sold everywhere, are as popular here as turds at the beach. And let’s face it: there are many ways to swap fluids without penetration, when a condom does you no good.

Machismo also muddies the health picture since some married Cuban men like to get out and savor their own flavor. And this can increase risk of HIV infection for wives since machismo-cum-homophobia is a condom-adverse state of mind. Indeed, here, the term ‘men who have sex with men’ is favored over ‘homosexual’ since only a small portion of men into guy-on-guy action self-identify as gay. I always laugh a sigh when I tell a Cuban friend someone is setting off my Gaydar and they respond: ‘But he’s married!’ Were I to say instead, that man has a mistress, the response would be along the lines of: ‘of course! Who doesn’t?’

But this is just the tip of the iceberg. I’ve limited this diatribe to the bio-medical effects this putería/mariconería has on health. But what of the mental, emotional, and spiritual toll long-term mistresses (and masters) have on health? Better I save that for a different post.

 I don’t have the answers, but to the reader who searched: when your boyfriend goes to Cuba for a month, I say: assume he’s gone rogue and use a condom until you know otherwise.

Notes

1. This is sound advice for everyone from Cuban newbies to vets: take everything with a grain of salt unless you’ve seen it with your own eyes.

2. Metrosexuals – a fairly recent phenomenon here – are bucking this trend. I just wonder how they keep so hairless given our lack of resources here?!

3. Admittedly, I’m not an expert in this field and if anyone is willing and able to share knowledge about the beliefs and codes of conduct vis-à-vis male/female relations and power structures in these religions, bring it on.

105 Comments

Filed under Americans in cuba, Cuban customs, Cuban idiosyncracies, Cuban phrases, cuban words without translation, Expat life, health system, Living Abroad, Relationships, Travel to Cuba

105 responses to “The Cuban Love Doctor Is In

  1. Chantal

    Hello Cuban Love Doctor,
    Once again you managed to brighten up my day. Love your posts!!!!
    There’s something to be said about Cuban men’s view on love and passion. They sure have mastered the art of it. Maybe we should have a few of them come teach our Canadian men. Then maybe, us tourists wouldn’t go looking for love in all the wrong places jajajajaja. I had a cuban friend show me his pinga once and ask me if it was big enough for me !!!! Believe me, if I could of I would of.

    • I don’t want to get too graphic here, but when you say: Believe me, if I could of I would of, do you mean that indeed, it was THAT big?!

      • Chantal

        You got it!!!!!!

      • janet

        I am so glad that I saw your blog; I met my CUBANISM who is all the bad you mentioned and worse. I too “Had I known then, what I know now.” There should be laws against there mission when they come to America, I know have two boys from him. I wonder since they all seem more feminine, because they like to gossip and are very metro yet macho, and not as worried about appearing “goal oriented, or educated,” It’s all about sex and animalistic ways. Oh the women, are the kingpin they try and act like “who me,” “Whaaaat,” “Not, meee!” while the Cubanita’s act like “a damsel in distress.” Think about it for every man/women cheating on their “lover,” another “lover” is being taken care of by the victim. As I was told by my Cubano, that they are all like this. My Cubano finds “married women” as his friends are taken care of other “married women,” As you stated they make friends easy, however Cubana’s are very standoffish to non-Cubana’s and are very jealous. With that said in general the females look out for one another and are the middle man/informer that sets the meetings up, when their man’s away, in the parking lot, school, work, mall, friend’s houses. You be the judge, anywhere.
        A lot of them do this by getting jobs that allow this, such as evening work, and truck driving etc. For I believe this is their culture, and I have had rounds about this as my children’s father. You wonder how they are able to keep such a persona, it is easy maybe like a gigolo/whore there is no connection because he is always backtracking, tired, and busy with lots of overtime, and helping everyone else especially in Cuba, which the “womanizing,’ with uneducated excuses/lies, manipulation, blames others, and steals[Note: Stupid, always gets caught, the reason I was with him so long was because I wanted a mature relationship were I did not feel or had to distrust, speculate, intimidate, infuriate, defend and offend, but once things did not add up, like his whereabouts, dirty socks when he left with clean ones, extra-long fake hair, and missing article from his wallet, phone accessory, or missing hats. Much, Much more] I notice this with all of the Cubans I met. I call it as I see it and if you are unable to except responsibility for your own actions and feel the need to blame others than it is obvious that this is more than “they are not into you.” Thus, I am not jealous, prejudice, or pretentious as my Cuban likes to categories/label me. But, I do not let him do as he please I demand respect, but he still is womanizing me I am educated enough to know that this is a life of a sociopath. Currently, my Cuban is living in an apartment con una Cubana vieja/60’s and I heard a phone conversation stating that he is her boyfriend as he slyly laughs, and I know his moves, and how he works because I study him and his aquatints. Not to mention, a “Latina,’ perhaps Colombiana or Mexicana, student translator. I couldn’t make out her accent is trying to help my Cubano so he can get his “citizenship,” and is calling him to “assist his elder roommate.” I called her and she said did not know about me that she knows that he lives with the elder Cubana. I did not ask her that, which she stated other statements to lead me to think she knew who I was. She did not speak English well enough for me to entrust her to do legal document. I knew that this was a booty call, since she said that my Cubano has filled out these “citizens” documents several times, and he claims that he is paying her $150.00 dollars. Yet, he is living pay-check-to-paycheck as he is paying my bills and I have shutoff’s and he know that he can go to his job to get the documents filled out as he “claims was done in class that is teaching him English.” I have seen these documents and I could even fill them out. So after I talked to her he still has her number but I have not seen or heard any other transaction. I often wonder if he is doing the older lady, he has pics of his “pinga,” on his phone saluting CUBA and said that there for me. “Cubano Pleeease!” He makes sure that he has a smart phone, which he stole my money that I had from the state, and insurance to get it, and my phone is a free minute phone from the government, I cannot take pictures or receive them, [Note: his eyes are brown and full of shit!] He is living “rent free,” as we all know there is some sort of exchange as nothing is free. Since, she likes “novella,” I feel that my Cubano is giving her a lot of stories, but it is evident he uses the vieja for as an excuse/sympathy for another/other “lover.” For example: He tells the “lover I have to go home tonight because the older lady has a medical appointment or needs a ride. As he goes to another/other “lover,” for the night/few hours and then goes to the “vieja’s.” This is just few, of many instances the word must get out. Otherwise this is going to continue. We as American came a long way, and for people to come and take advantage of us like this is unethical and something must be done. We have much more serious issues to deal with. When it comes to playing with innocent children and playing with peoples lively hood this is a serious matter.

        As this is similar to me my grandfather was married both here and in Mexico, as my father too was never faithful, the list goes on and on. I would love to write a book about this to help others. I wish that I could go to Cuba and do a study, to add to my book. Since, there is no law I feel it is necessary to write this book as we are just now seeing more and more Cubans coming to north America, and this has evolve over the past 12+ years. I now have two boys that I have to somehow break that “Stereo type,” since it is in all Hispanic/Latino cultures that the children get away with things and need limitations, otherwise they feel they can do as they please. Yet at the same time children are ignored as they are taken on a lot of responsibility and not living with proper “positive guidance and reinforcements,” and much, much more. As the girl does her motherly duties is responsible and is so busy acting as the lady of the house that she has no time for the social life, while the boy are able to do as they please. The parents must treat each as equals, mothers and father need to be educated, because you would hope for every educated parent there is that much more enforcement of education in the home of the children. I in turn would alleviate this unethical treatment.
        Once I began to collectively, put my assumptions of my Cuban together refuse him, we have been separated on and off for a year October, I put my foot down after given him much chances. Hence, he has not lived at my house since the end of May. He had the audacity to take us on a family outing, which he never does especially if it cost money three days later he calls me. [Note: Which is done when he is being delinquent, as he is always slipping and gets caught, because he thinks that he is clearing his conscious/ or lack thereof. Had I not experience this and know the signs he would still be getting away with his “games,” I have so much to tell you, if you only knew. I just think it would be worth what I have been through to just write a book.] Normally, his ex is the type to set him up to get caught or I just know how to catch him. This particular night was a cold rainy day and he called me as he began to have intercourse with a Cubana, she said as I always remind him “AYYE Chico,” as he quietly comfort her and suddenly moaned “ooooh!” too, he is a 2min man. When he came home like “what?” I showed him the door, and that was it. Since, I do not have means of transportation, care, etc. He keeps me isolated with my sons, who are heartbroken because they cannot understand.

      • I’m torn between two responses:

        1) Cut your losses, already.

        2) Sin comentario

        Either way: from what you describe, sucks to be you I’m afraid.

      • janet

        My Cubano unfaithfulness surely has nothing to do with our sex lives, or boredom. This is way beyond what one may think, it is definitely cultural/learned behavior, because I think that it is a form of control, and to achieve/advance for “something.” This has been the case since the first day I met him. As he has sex with so many women is close to becoming a senior and has never been monogamous, as he has no real connection, as he lies and manipulates. He seems to be happy as long as he is able to do what he wants with no limitations, just like the children with no discipline/limitations that I explained. I would like to know if this is “Nature vs. Nurture or, is he a sociopath?”

  2. El Cubanito

    Conner, have you ever seen The GodFather part 2. In the movie there is a character that they called Superman who is Cuban. Do you recollect that part of the movie? The Cuban guy who plays the part of Superman? I am from the providence of Santiago and most of my relatives are still here. One of my Uncle is called Horse and they do not called him Horse because he looks like one. Some of his sons or my cousin are just as talented as my Uncle. So to answer your question yes there is alot of talent to do great Porno Movies.

  3. Missing my Cuban, but not so much anymore

    Thank you for the latest blog!! You’re a great writer and very funny!!!

  4. Clarita

    ‘Maybe we should have a few of them come teach our Canadian men.’ love this one!! But I’d extend it to men in many places to benefit all the ladies out there.
    Speaking of the health risk, it is applicable to any promiscuous life style. Especially given the fact many STDs can be transmitted without penetration, as Conner mentioned. And from what I heard, which I guess Conner has the authority to verify, Cuba has a relatively low HIV infection rate. That means it is a safer place to have casual sex, if you have to do it ;P
    Last note, I didn’t know Cuban guys don’t like to have their bums touched! Is it true?

    • Thanks for asking about HIV in Cuba – I am a bit of an authority on the issue, having written about it extensively for Oxfam and MEDICC Review

      Indeed, Cuba has the lowest prevalence rate in the Americas which is a great achievement, however, it has its downside, which is low risk perception of contracting the disease. Precisely what Clarita touches on when she says: Cuba has a relatively low HIV infection rate. That means it is a safer place to have casual sex, if you have to do it ;P

      This is, as FOBs say: stinkin’ thinkin.’ Now, Im a bit of a crusader on the topic since I have friends with HIV and people very close to me who have died of AIDS. Casual sex and unprotected/unsafe sex are not the same thing. And while it may have a low rate now, # of new cases among Cubans under 49 is on the rise.

      Don’t get me started on the bum touching – I have a lot to say on the subject but it’s one of the only times since I began writing about Cuba I feel like it will get me in trouble if I write about it! Im going to have to do it under a nom de plume!

      • Quepasa

        I have heard from reliable source that HIV is on the rise in Cuba, and that the numbers reported are far too low.
        Yes, regular Cubans do not not like to be touched on the bump. You should get suspicious if a Cuban seems to like it !!!

        The the gay questions : there are load of “bugarones” in Cuba. A bugaron is a guy how likes to call himself hetro even-though he fucks other men. So watch out.

      • Quepasa: “reliable source?” Not sure about that – care to elaborate? Ive done extensive interviews with the folks that run the HIV program here, “Cuba’s AIDS doctor”, people with HIV, family members and without evidence, can’t take it on someone else’s word about health indicators. See: MEDICC Review’s issue dedicated to HIV in Cuba for what research reveals on the topic.

        Also, I find your comments about being “suspicious” terribly binary regarding sexual diversity (gay or straight with nothing in between) – something that works against understanding and acceptance. People have all kinds of desires/erotic zones, no matter if they’re with another man, a woman, or by themselves. Also, the men who have sex with men (what you call bugarones, which is a disrespectful term, ademas) is more complex than just screwing other men since if you’re the giver or the receiver has different connotations.

    • acanuck

      solo teatro!!!!,les encanta y no creo que solo a los cubanos pienso que en todo el mundo a la mayoria es un punto g que no c puede pasr por alto…

      Conner this is from my wife who is visiting me here in Canada right now.

  5. Chamaquita

    Once again awesome, you made my morning!

    When I first met my husbands family I was shocked that every tio seemed to have a girlfriend and the whole family knew but said nothing. Now I’m starting to think that having girlfriend(s) has nothing to do with not loving their wife, it’s just normal. I drink coffee in the morning and tio has a girlfriend, no big deal. Though I do wonder how I’d feel if the girl was’n tio’s girlfriend but my husband’s, maybe not so tolerant… :D

    Btw, love the aguacate.

    • Though I do wonder how I’d feel if the girl was’n tio’s girlfriend but my husband’s, maybe not so tolerant…

      Always like people who try and walk in other people’s shoes.

      Thanks re the photo. This is just so “Cuban summer” to me. I know the photo’s fuzzy; I had to shrink it for the dial up but Id like to see if I can upload a larger version

      OK, back to work.

  6. El Cubanito

    There is another side to this type of behavior other than health issues. Before my Father married my mother, he was already married 2 times before and consetquently I had Step Brothers and Sisters. I was like and love by some of my Step Brothers and Sisters and was consider the devil by some of the other Step Brothers and Sisters. During this time when my father was married to wife #2, he was also having an affair with another woman. This affair produce a daughter that my father had no knowledge of until one day in 1980. That day my father found out about the daughter he never knew as his new daughter was told of the identity of My Father. I met my new my new step sister who showed up at our doorstep on the 4th of July in 1980. My new Step Sister and me have had a great relationship since and I love her very much. Since I am only child since that day she has been the sister that I never had. My other Step Sister from Marriage #2 DO NOT and I REPEAT DO NOT LIKE HER, but that is there stupid business.

    The other side of these affairs.

    El Cubanito

    • Yes, I know people in similar situations (ie – brothers and sisters they never knew about). I mention this in my other post Those Faithful Cubans.

      These ‘parallel’ families can cause a lot of pain – Im glad your story is one of joy, Cubanito, having found a long lost sister.

      NB: for those not familiar with The Cuban Family, “step” is never used as a modifier – someone is your brother or sister if they share the blood of one parent, punto. I was corrected on this repeatedly when I arrived and now the children of my father by his second wife are simply my brother and sister.

      • Clarita

        haha how Cubano! surely with all the entanglement in their marriages and affairs, it would be too much effort to put on all the modifiers. :P
        But did you mean ‘half-” instead of ‘step-‘? I suppose they still make the distinction between with and without any blood relation?

      • Good catch – I did mean half, but no: they don’t distinguish between step either now that you mention it. My husband’s “daughter” doesn’t share his blood, but he raised her from age 5, so is considered blood.

      • El Cubanito

        Yes you are right about NOT using the term step. All of my Brother and Sisters are known as just my Borthers and Sisters. It is here in America where I have been drilled into my head that they are my Step. When I visit my Sister in Tampa and she introduce me as her Brother people do a double look. My sister complexion and looks are like Jessica Simpson and my are like Blair Underwood. Yes so we do get the double looked from everybody when we say we are “Brother and Sister”.

        El Cubanito

      • Spot on Cubanito. Even though I have no clue who Jessica Simpson or Blair Underwood is, I get your drift!!

    • jolie

      Wow your family is very “interesting” (crazy)

      Makes me be grateful for mine

  7. Love it! Looking forward to upcoming posts about the same subject :)
    Also, will be in Havana July 19-Aug 16 and would LOVE to meet you at some point!

  8. Ondine

    Well, I’m getting married to a Cuban in August and if he decides to have a girlfriend on the side without asking me first than I will too (a girlfriend that is). We’ll see how he likes THAT. :)

    In all seriousness though, while you have more experience with Cuba than I do, I know a lot of folks in the states that have led or do lead double lives too. I think we have some really effed up ideas about what relationships should look like and about monogamy, and unfortunately we don’t learn the skills to express our needs and desires in healthy ways. I think we have a lot of work to do in that department and it has to start within ourselves. As someone who has cheated before, it’s usually happened because I haven’t been able to express to my partner what I needed and I grew tired, resentful and lonely and acted out in order to sabotage our relationship and move on. Now that sounds a little different than what you’re talking about which is folks who are seemingly quite content to have two long-term but separate relationships… To me that kind of begs the question as to whether we expect to much out of our partners. Can one person really be everything we need sexually and emotionally… I dunno, I’m just throwing it out there.

    • Hey Ondine. You’re right, it happens all over (I didn’t mean to imply otherwise), but I think the difference is here, we just don’t put that much thought into it!! Sometimes the queso or esposo pesado or luchita gets to be so tiresome that we just go out in search of some….ooooh, I almost just typed some really nasty Cuban words!

      Of course one person cannot satisfy all needs. That’s what friends (w benefits, too!) are for.

    • PS – as I mention in the post: he’ll LOVE you having a jeva, but only if he gets to play too.

  9. Leo

    Another fantastic post! Connercita!
    My Cuban friend always calles his Step sister “Hermanita” and his step dad “Padrasto” which I hate the latter, because I always tell him that it rhymes with “bastardo” (in Italian it means born out of wedlock) jeje

  10. Leo

    Forgot to mention that the Aguacate is soo sexy and yummy….and makes me want to lick my laptop for some reason. …:)…porq parace como….
    ya tu sabes….jeje

  11. Leo

    ok one more post! ( cant help it its the cubata! hic..hic…jeje)
    I am an expert on touching “cuban bums” from army/police machos…. so let me know if you want some juicy tips…..for your up coming posts..:) besos…..

    • lay off the sauce sweetie! Dangerous to drink and type….

      • Clarita

        why why why is it such a big deal? I’m more and more curious now! I doubt many Cubans are reading your post, not the ones who are currently residing in Cuba anyway. So your words are safe with us! The one time I did it, there was not much response, positive or negative…. That was a little disappointing :P

      • “Us” is a big net Clarita – I have all kinds of eyes on me that wouldn’t take kindly to that kind of talk. Already this blog can’t be mentioned on TripAdvisor because Im such a potty mouth….

  12. viajerauk

    Another thumbs-up Likey vote for the aguacate, which looks lovely.

    The ‘no buttock touching’ thing is a very real deal. An absolute no-no to inflict upon self-identified hetero Cuban males. Allegedly, according to them, something which is only ever done to the passive partner, whatever the combination of genders involved.

    Weirdly it goes as far as face-touching too (something I only found out about recently). One Cuban male friend in the UK was near-mortally offended by having an Italian male friend greet him by stroking the side of his face. I should add that both of them are hetero, as far as I know.
    Cue MAJOR OFFENCE being taken and lots of scandalised gossip.

    I asked: why is it so bad? is it because it’s like being patronising, or over-intimate, or so tactile the strokee just feels a bit intruded upon? is it offensive because the strokee is being treated like a child? and the answer was: no, it’s because they’re being treated like a maricon. jeeeezzzzz.

    For Italians, this is just being friendly and informal – treating you like family. For Cubans, this gesture (when done to a male) is, again, a mark that they’re the passive or receptive partner in a gay couple. argh!

    About note #3: it’s too hard to generalise about what African – never mind Afro-Cuban – religions’ attitudes to gender roles really are because honestly they are SOOOOOO varied. For every case where one Afro-cuban religion appears to be fostering machismo (like the Abakuas refusing to initiate known and out gay men, or women, for instance) there is another where a gay man or woman or non-hetero-normative individual finds a space and some respect for their self and their talents in an Afro-Cuban religious setting. it’s extremely well known that some of the most sought-after decorators of ‘tronos’, the elaborate temporary shrines for some Santeria deities, are gay men, for example. Many gay men are Santeria initiates and particularly personally dedicated and devoted to female deities. So, there’s certainly some interesting interplays going on, but to paint Afro-Cuban religious practice as overall 100% machista and/or homophobic is a bit simplistic, imho only.

    sorry to read that things are not great for you at the moment and I hope they pick up VERY soon.
    ache!

    • hi viajera – thanks for the very informative (as always) post. Especially the insight into afro cuban religions

      My experience w the “bum touching” has not been as simplistic as all that either – at least a couple Cuban men I know quite like it (hetero as far as THEY know!). Then there’s the joke my friend (who is famous so shall remain nameless) makes: up to here (indicating the first knuckle on his thumb) is erotic. Past that is gay.

      I didn’t mean to give the impression that “things aren’t great for me at the moment” – aside from my banged up foot and being perptually broke (nothing new there!), things are wonderful. And once Im 100% on my foot again, cuidado!!

      Ache pa’ti tambien.

    • Clarita

      apparently I made two deadly offenses. I should be glad the recipient didn’t flip out. ‘ up to the first knuckle’, can’t imagine how that works….

  13. Dan

    Hi Conner- maybe you can clear up the Cubanism around papaya and fruta bomba- it seemed to make Cubans snicker a whole bunch more a dozen years ago when travelers said papaya- now, a bit less or none at all. Are we still talking trash here or is it fading? and don’t forget, YOU brought all of this up!

    • Sooooooo, here in Havana the fruit widely known as papaya in other parts is called fruta bomba. as Dan knows, “Papaya” is slang for vagina (the nice slang; there are a lot nastier ones!). However, in the Oriente, this fruit is called papaya. This is common (different names for same thing in different regions). For instance mamey=zapote in Oriente.

      I think tourists are getting more slack as of late since we depend on them so much!

  14. Quepasa

    Conner:
    You asked me some questions. Not possible to reply directly on the comment. Maybe you closed it.? Just back from Cuba. “Bump comment” was meant to be “funny”. “Bugaron” is a well used term, at least in Santiago. Are you taking this too serious,….. it surprises me since your tone in the blog is otherwise.

    • Quepasa: not sure why you can’t respond to my comment; I haven’t closed it.

      On the tone: I work hard as a health journalist here (no es facil!) and when someone says “I heard from a reliable source,” it’s my job to try and verify – especially when extensive, years-worth of research reveals something divergent from what you claim.
      .
      Likewise, I work very closely with CENESEX and the LGBT community here and we’re working tirelessly to open minds and dialogue about sexual diversity and your comments are exactly what we’re conversing about changing here. Just because a term is widely used, doesn’t mean it should be.

      For me, with family and friends who have died of AIDS, and others who are HIV+, I can’t take the issue lightly.

      • Quepasa

        I can understand you asking for sources in light of your work. My comments here are more related to your comment on my “bump and bugaron comments”. Still cannot comment on your original comment, the reply function is not there. For the record: I do not take the HIV/AIDS question lightly. Sources : health-workers. But then again, we all know how information flows/ not flows in Cuba.

  15. laurenquinn

    Great post (as per usual) and much to comment on, but I’ll keep it to one: was really struck by the “men-who-have-sex-with-men” thing. Totally the same deal in Cambodia, where engaging in homosexual acts is seen as different from assuming the whole “gay” identity. Kinda makes sense, I guess, just mad different. Wonder if that’s a weird coincidence or if that kind of disconnect is more common outside of the European/American mindset….

    • Hola! Thanks for stopping by/writing in. I do think the US “orientation” (ahem) is totally binary as concerns gender (male or female) and sex (gay or straight). Is life/the world EVER that black and white? At least not in my experience. Interesting about Cambodia. You are based there, yes? Somewhere Id like to explore if $$$ ever allowed….

      Happy travels!

  16. Waya waya

    I accidentally found your blog and my gosh, it was so interesting and all your follower’s comments were very insightful. I was lloking for bloggers that may be somehow in relationship with cuban gay men ( which am currently in) and looks like that he is pretty serious about it and sending me emails me everyday. I did send him a note today-regarding his HIV status or has he been tested . I thought that this is not offending for me to ask and hopefully he takes it with an opn mind. I am gay and I was very attracted to him but at the same time really confused. I will surely be one of your followers starting now and much kudos to you and I missed havana!

    • Welcome aboard! Very glad you found me – always interested in the LGBT POV.

      Confused? We all are, especially when it comes to Cuba/Cubans – anyone who tells you different is lying or delusional.

      On the HIV test: totally par for the course here, he should not be offended. He’s out I assume? If not, that’s a different story. But a word of advice: go get the test together. That’s the only way you’ll ever really know if he got it and if it came up not positive.

      But now I have to wonder: you’re ALREADY in a relationship with him and you’re just NOW asking about HIV status? Maybe I’m missing something?

      Also, all advice about Cubans “looking for love” and really just looking for a visa apply, no matter what your sexual orientation. Good luck and keep in touch!

      • Waya waya

        Hi conner! Thanks for the info and answer to your question- yes I am now in a relationship with him and I love cuba: the noises, the people and the cullture. Sometimes, i feel like things that i see and smell here in Uncle Sam is just a thing- just a thing and seeing people in Cuba with less and still manage to enjoy life is unbelievable. But of course, I personally hope that iregardless of thier stature, cuban people are the most happiest people on earth! ( is it not? )

      • WW: I don’t know about happiest people on earth, but I think Cubans are on to something the way they make time to enjoy life in spite of all its pain and suffering. They are a lesson in how it’s not what you have/wear/drive that makes life but what memories you make, the laughter you share, etc etc.

        Keep an eye peeled for my next post: Have You Got the Cojones? for more (eloquent!) musings on this topic.

  17. daughters and parent fantastic love

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on great daughters parent relationship. Regards

  18. I was unloved with s Cuban he was the best lover but he also broke my heart the most I am not sure over what I would like to fall unloved with another Cuban [last part deleted: while Im a potty mouth and I give my commenters lots of leeway, there’s no cause for groserias].

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  20. Hugely entertaining… Thanks for the humor too! :-)

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  22. kate.

    I recently divorced my Cuban husband. We split up over a year ago but I am still trying to un-feel the effects of the whole mind boggling experience. I can’t figure out if he was an extreme machista or a clinical narcissist. Are they maybe the same bag? In any case, he contacts me occasionally or pops up where I work and I don’t understand why (he is currently living with the Cuban woman he was sleeping with behind my back the last two months of our marriage) . Having any contact with him sends me into a tailspin. Cheating was really the least of my issues with him. The humiliation, criticism, crazy making, secretiveness, arrogance, sense of entitlement, and then, to top it off, the lying and cheating. ugh. It was just all slippery. I really didn’t realize his lack of character until having some time away and being able to analyze it with distance. He has paid me back much of the money I loaned him. Which is strangely deceptive. Is he really all that evil? His best friend tells me he really cares about me and I should be more open to talking to him. But his friend is Cuban too. Do they all cover each others’ backs? I know his friend actually respects me. So it all makes me even more confused.
    Does this sound oh too familiar? i still can’t believe it happened to me…..guess I just needed some camaraderie. Thanks for listening. Your blog has been helpful. Makes me feel I’m not entirely alone.
    PS: cubans are NOT happy. Let me tell you. I have never met a country with more resigned, complicated and self obsessed individuals in my life.

    • Nah, probably not evil, but knowing he screwed up a good thing (and feeling guilty – paying you back achieves 2 purposes: relieves guilt and provides chance – he thinks – to getting you back.)

      And yes, Cubans, in my experience, take each others’ back 99.9% of the time. You sound better off. Enjoy it!

      Im so glad Here is Havana helped in some small way. Makes it worth it!

  23. My name is Victoria i am from United States, I was in a relationship with Ben and we loved and cherished ourselves for 3 good years and every thing was going on smoothly but February 14, 2012 a day i can call a lovers day we both had misunderstanding because i answered a call from a guy that is asking me out for a date but i refused,and he told me that the relationship is over and that he is fed up with me and i begged him because i love him so much but he refused me i was so down cast and i felt the world has come to an end for me but my friend told me about a spell caster that helped her sister out in getting her relationship back,a good job and favor in any of her endeavor but at first i was scared but i have to give this man a trial because i love Ben very much and i am not willing to loose him to any woman,so i ordered returning my love spell from this great spell caster that made me a happy woman again to say it all my ex came back to me with much love and a caring heart…i am testifying to this great spell caster The Great Esango Priest. if you need his help you can contact him on:esangopriest@gmail.com.

  24. If only.....

    I can really identify with Kate’s post from October. Romantic love in Cuba is a beautiful lie.

    • kate.

      Maybe not always. But we don’t live in a society that is survivor based so we are really hard wired differently than them. I think Russia is similar. It’s sad and I fell for it. But not all Cubans are like that. I hope.
      When I split from my husband a friend of a friend who had had a similar experience with her Cuban husband sent me this email which was eye opening and strangely reassuring:
      I’m going to be brutally honest for what it’s worth, so here it goes….. I had a Cuban boyfriend for a year then we broke up and I met and married another Cuban man for 4 years. I have known many many smart savvy women involved with Cuban men and I know a lot about them. They ALL ended badly. I can really honestly say the only chance in hell your guy is on the up and up is if he’s Cuban American. If he’s straight from Cuba, you should save yourself and end it now. Run for the hills! Hide your money.
      What you don’t understand is that no matter how wonderful or different or special you think he is there are cultural differences that are very strong and very true. They ALL secretly cheat no matter what they say because it’s totally acceptable in their culture but only the men in their life know about it. They are opportunists and will use women subtly to be taken care of because being born in a third world communist country breeds survival skills only and little to no moral fiber. Their character is shady and you will never know it as they are masters at deceit. Sorry to be a downer but please please be smart. These types of men need many other women to feel important and it’s just not accepted by our standards and should never be. That’s my 2 cents.

      • If only.....

        Thanks for your 2 cents, Kate. It’s very hard to know for sure. My first husband was Cuban. Bad ending. My ex-fiance was Cuban. Very different men, sad ending because I expected more of him (very well educated, strong family foundation, economically stable – family house, car, ample food). I still have many Cuban friends and am an immigrant’s daughter (also from the third world, or the next world, depending on one’s perspective). Still….there is something in Cuban culture that is hard on women (not just foreign women). I have Cuban female friends who live in Cuba and it’s not easy for them either. They don’t talk to their men about it, but there are complicated, unspoken expectations. Don’t think I’ll ever solve this one. And I’m sure my family will have me committed if I fall in love with another Cuban. But I tell you this much, my father was born and raised in Africa and regarded it as his unspoken right to have as many women as he wanted. My American mother’s protests and anger genuinely confused him. My African aunts would never confront their husbands about a suspected affair. They consider it beneath them. Probably nothing can be done about it. Well, best wishes to you. I know it’s not easy.

  25. If only.....

    Something has occurred to me this morning. Remember when the purpose of marriage was to consolidate alliances, bring stability to warring factions, provide for the economic needs of children? Well, I suspect that in Cuba, at least for men, marriage and love mean something like that. So having a mistress doesn’t conflict with that underlying purpose. I know a Cuban man whose Mother (Mother!) said, “Fine, have an American mistress, but just don’t end the marriage.” That’s why Cuban men can drive you crazy. They are not seeing the same set of realities that you’re seeing. And it’s not that they’re psychopaths. They’re Cuban. And they’re not the only ones. (I was dating a man from India who very calmly told me he wanted to go back to India and marry an Indian woman and be with me whenever he returned to the US. You should have seen the red hot lava flow.) It’s just that Western cultures do not look at infidelity in this way. And I’m glad because I know that I don’t have the emotional wherewithal to accept a partner’s infidelity or to be unfaithful myself. I suspect that when I say, “I love you,” and a Cuban man says, “I love you,” we are not saying the same thing. So we can both be very sincere, and still be completely at odds with one another.

    • Translation: Cuban men have just emerged from the cave?

      • If only.....

        No. I wouldn’t say that at all. I just think different cultures have different ways of seeing the world, and each way of seeing has it’s own set of consequences. I suppose that if I look at it without judgment I can just choose which way of life works for me, instead of eternally questioning why he/she is unfaithful. (Hard to do when you’re in love!).

        I am reminding myself that just because I understand Spanish, doesn’t mean that I understand Cuban culture. My Mother used to say that culture is like the air we breathe. Unless you’re born into it, you will have a hell of a time understanding it. (Maybe someone should do a cultural love map, show which cultures should make love and which should keep it platonic.) I personally love Cuban masculinity. It’s beautiful, really. But I should probably stay away from Cuban men going forward. I need to feel (and know) that the man in my house is my dear friend, that he has my back in every way. I “hear” that from Cuban men, but I only “see” it from the ones who are purely friends.

        I’ll tell you a story. My Father had so many affairs, even sleeping with my boyfriend’s mother (who was also his best friend’s wife) So many consequences from that one. In his culture it was expected and even applauded. This behavior made my Mother so unhappy. She spent many, many years trying to understand why a man who professed his love for her, would also be unfaithful. Even after their divorce she remained perplexed and unsatisfied until she passed away. Then my Father developed dementia, one consequence being that he forgot most of his cultural upbringing, but somehow remembered his religious upbringing. (I’m not particularly religious and although he was, he didn’t exactly practice what he preached and didn’t experience any religious guilt or the need to confess). He forgot that he was ever unfaithful to each of his three wives. So many of his less than desirable traits disappeared. Gone was the arrogance, the self-absorption, the lack of empathy. Enter a genuinely nice person.

        One day he forgot who I was and when I asked if he wanted to go out to a restaurant that evening he thought I was making a pass at him. He was genuinely offended and replied, “No, I can’t. I’m a married man.” That was a hilarious moment for me. Now my Father and I are very close. He is over 90, his dementia has improved dramatically, but he still doesn’t remember his infidelity. I’m glad he stuck around long enough for me to see this change. I wish my Mother could see him now. He still says that she was his one true love. And, despite his infidelities, I believe he genuinely means it.

      • I know you wouldn’t say that – but I would! Of course every culture is different, acculturation is a never ending process, etc etc but I have been breathing the air for going on 11 years and well, it can be kinda rancid. This aspect that I call blah, blah, blah (words instead of action/saying but not showing) is just one example. Having said that, Ive known an amazing love from a Cuban man and our teamwork was unsurpassed.

  26. If only.....

    That’s awesome and truly what I wish for all of the lovers out there, myself included.

  27. la nortica

    I just found your blog…have only taken a peep so far but i am really enjoying it. I spent a whole lotta time in Cuba from 1996-2001-ish…study, work, long term Cuban bf, coming-of-age, etc. Cuba (and the Cuban too I guess but to a lesser extent I now know) was my first great, intense, all-consuming love affair. Now, 11 years and 2 kids (and one Mexican man) later, I might be finally making it back….can hardly believe it…
    I always found the whole infidelity thing in Cuba so interesting, so different from the N american way. Infidelity is such a popular theme, or at least in the background somewhere, of almost every Cuban movie I’ve ever seen, and in almost every popular song. Here there’s all the shame and hiding, and there, as you say, it’s pretty much out in the open (for the cheating men at least). Except I learned that even if everyone and their dog knows about it, the cheated on wife can’t actually ‘officially’ know about it, because then she’d have to cause a scandal and leave. So there’s no ‘coming clean’ or working toward honesty, open communication, respect, etc in the relationship, as is supposedly the whole point in N American relationships. So hard to figure out the rules in Cuba.

    anyways looking forward to reading through your blog. Hopefully Cuba and I will be reunited soon!

    • Hola! Glad you stumbled upon HIH – seems like you’re just the kind of reader we appreciate around here (yes – there are qualitative gradations re: readership).

      Im sure you’ll find a whole different Cuba from the one you left so long ago. The fidelity dynamic hasn’t changed one iota of course and Im glad you put into writing one of the great contradictions here: the wife cant “know” but they all do, making for a very special kind of neurosis. And I thought NY Neurotic was the end all, be all!

      Hope you make it back soon; Havana feels a bit more like Dade County every day…..

  28. lilly

    So all these cute cuban men were going for my overweight friends, no attention to me im very physical fit( and quiet a catch)…. then at the end of the night the hottest one walked up to me in the club, and booom what a week of sex and partying. NO I DIDN’T MARRY HIM, I am not sure why there is such a problem having a fake perfect romance for 2 weeks. In my country men watch t.v and drink beer yeeehaaa. So all in all I know it was fake, but in the end the feelings about myself was real…. Follow your heart have a good time and don’t be blinding by the complements, and foot rubs…. I am seeing here that people are saying men are using women and vice versa…. It is a mutual thing between two people… get over it.

    p.s Hottest sex of my life!

    • If only.....

      “I am seeing here that people are saying men are using women and vice versa…. It is a mutual thing between two people… get over it.”

      I think what people are saying here is that they went into their relationships wanting more than the hottest sex of their lives. They were married and/or had children with Cuban men and expressed different expectations and were told by their Cuban partners that their partners wanted the same level of commitment. In those instances, it’s not a mutual thing between two people. And they didn’t want to use their Cuban men. There are a lot of men and women who go to developing countries and use people for sex. Supposedly everything is consensual. But I wonder whether we can ever consent to being used without losing a part of ourselves. I know many Cubans who refuse to even be seen with foreigners because they’re afraid of being perceived as prostitutes. Just a thought.

  29. American going crazy

    Just wondering I am married to a cuban I have been accused in the past of cheating but I have never cheated. I also notice that even with a sleep issue he sleeps way to much. Are all Cubans lazy like this? They always think that its a womens job to do everything? I am an American and he was born and raised in Havana Cuba he came here at a young age. He is always busy on the weekends and works long hours throughout the week. He carries all the cash on him I usually have to ask for some money. I have thought many of times that he was cheating on me in he last 8 years we have been married. He never complains about me that I know of. His family has been very good to me and I have never had any real issues with them his mother is the best I love her to death. When ever I say I am not happy with our current situation things start to change between us for the better and then after a few months or so everything has gone back to the way it was. Now do not get me wrong I stay on his ass and he is home every night during the week at the same time even earlier some times his brother talks with him about the later part of his work in front of me in english and nothing is being raised as a red flag from either one of them. A lot of their conversation is in English but there are those that are in spanish but mainly those that include his parents. I understand more than I can speak and my husband knows this. Every week I have something different that I surprise him with that I say. So is this typical of them or do I actually have one of the good ones. Oh and its ok I can handle the truth cause I am getting to my wits end with him.

    • Hola and Im so sorry you felt the need to write in (ie that you’re with a Cuban who’s acting Cuban).

      I really can’t say what your guy is up to but from what your instinct is telling you, what your experience tells you and what you read here, maybe you can draw your own conclusions? I will say that I can count on one hand the number of lazy Cubans Ive met (admittedly, I know many more Cubans here than the diaspora, but Im guessing you have to work HARDER outside) and controlling money is controlling YOU, your movements, etc. Here in Cuba, financial abuse falls under the rubric of spousal abuse (as does emotional, verbal, and physical).

      Good luck.

  30. Hopeless American

    I am in love with a Cuban woman. I feel lost, and she does too, because we cannot be together. The catch, is that she no longer lives in Cuba, she is married to someone else and living abroad. Firstly, I met her in a city, under circumstances undisclosed (however it was not in the street, at a tourist resort or attraction, or at a club or party or anything, it was through mutual sources- sources that prevent her from assuming I would ever return or consider marrying, trust me). I love this woman like I have never loved another, and I know she feels the same. She cares about me genuinely. I might add that my financial situation is much much worse than the one she has right now, so she doesn’t just want to set herself up for another husband in another place. I’m freaking heartbroken, I can’t be with this woman and it is starting to really take its toll. She didn’t show up online tonight (we agreed to meet) and I cried my eyes out all night. Regardless of why she didn’t meet up with me, I am worried about how these feelings will be over time. I met her years ago, for a matter of days, and we emailed back and forth a little (she was already engaged). Now, a few years later we began talking again and fell completely in love. It has been months and I feel this crazy desparation, this insanely powerful and yet hopeless love. I will never stop chasing her, no matter what horrible stories I hear. If it’s about money and freedom, then she would not love me. I have seen her tears, her feelings are genuine. I just don’t know. I want some help, I want some answers, answers to questions I don’t even know and have not stated in this comment. I am going crazy over here, in America- less so with thoughts of “if she comes here will she do that to me” and more of “is this relationship possible” and I’m sure she is asking the same. All we can do is try. Please, I would love to hear some feedback, she is the only person I can truly be myself around. without her, and I must go without her for years (with the exception of when I see her online), I feel completely and utterly alone, hopeless, and lost. She is the direction in my life, there cannot exist a love so great waiting for me later in life, I refuse to believe that. She is the only woman I will ever have eyes for.

    • J Geils said: Love stinks!
      The Bard called it: “a madness most discreet”

      Oh, Love – the four letter word that will doom you! (I know of what I speak – besides, it sounds like it has you already a bit untethered).

      I can’t offer you much advice – your situation is complicated by the cryptic nature of your meeting, that you’ve only been in each other’s company a few days years ago and oh yeah, there’s that husband she already has. You sound truly in the depths which just provides more questions, not answers, unfortunately and the internet love fest doesn’t help…Maybe the advice I was given when my brother was dying is the most appropriate for your case: it’s going to get worse before it gets worse.

      Good Luck.

      • Disappointed68

        Oh, how I learned so much tonight reading through all the comments and stories. I last October met a wonderful cuban man or so I thought. Luckily, were 1,200 miles apart because I could be one broken hearted woman by now. Lol. Cultural differences are difficult and I had no idea of the things I read tonight. Thank you all for sharing your experiences. I couldn’t handle one more cheater in my life so I can save myself from great disappointment . The Tia n Tio n prima n promo n hermano welcomed me and are always so very excited to see me when I come. Well, to me I thought great they like me all is good I’m meeting the family . Now , I see something different. Lol and I get it.

        I will continue to follow and read other posts as the days go on keeping in mind a faithful cuban man is almost impossible to find.

      • Im so very glad our shared experiences have helped folks from far and wide. Thanks for reading and writing in.

  31. (des)enamorada

    Hi Conner,

    I’m an American, just returned from a 10 day trip to Cuba where I had an incredible encounter with a cubano (Trinidad). Turns out I am part of the problem–we both have novios. Mine happened to be in the States and his was studying medicine in another city. Hiis rationalizations were seductive (like other parts of him as well!), saying you have to live in the present, not feel guilty, etc. etc. etc. He also complained about what a jealous person his novia was, andd said that all cuban women are celosa (meanwhile, I am thinking: well, obviously!!). The other thing that I found odd (but maybe not so much after reading your post and these comments) is that his family MUST have figured out that we were together due to the fact that I was staying in their casa particular, yet no one seemed bothered or even awkward at all. Except for me. I don’t have this sort of thick-skinned attitude towards relationships because this one incident has caused me to question my current relationship, but that’s another story completely. Is it your experience that all Cuban men (and women) shave their nether regions? This young man said he had never been with another woman who was not completely hairless down there!

    • Welcome to the roller coaster; hope you enjoy the ride.

      Im now referring to this Cuban characteristic as “flexibile fidelity.” His GF is in another province? His parents run a casa? She knows he’s getting his rocks off somehow. You just better hope she ain’t a santera or she’ll be putting the bad juju on you. Just kidding! But I do wonder and very much welcome so real, live Cubans commenting on this: if your significant other has a querida/o that is a foreigner, does that somehow make it worse? The same?

      On shaving: I will go on record (again) that I detest the metrosexual craze that has taken over here whereby men are shaving EVERYTHING, including their eyebrows. Ive always liked hippies and hippies mean hair. So, I like my guys hairy (hairier than me, without a doubt) and personally find the shaved body thing a turn off. The maintenance! The money and time spent on personal grooming! Don’t you have anything better to do? Having said that, shaved genitals are ok by me, I mean, when a guy’s hot, he’s hot no matter what the situation “down there.” I think it’s also an age thing: the male “tembas” I know are not shaven; some of the women are, but more bikini-line than Brazilian.

      PS – as an American traveling here, I have to say, you give new meaning to “people-to-people!”

  32. (des)enamorada

    This cubano did say, somewhat bitterly, that his novia probably does whatever she wants when she’s at school too. He said that I was the first foreigner that he’s been with (but who knows really) and called me his “complacente” which I took to mean “friends with benefits.” I went out with him and his friends, who knew that he had a novia, and agreed to his request that we act completely platonic in public.

    The “flexible fidelity” complex really intrigued me, especially the complete absence of guilt involved in the whole web of semi-secrecy. So being new to the Cuban romantic culture, I naively asked my “complacente” if married men also have girlfriends on the side, or if the rules are more flexible only while dating. He replied that no no no, of course married men can’t have novias because they are sharing a home with their “chica;” that would be impossible! As if the logistics of the situation was what stood in the way! I was a little skeptical, and even more so now after devouring all of your fascinating insights on the ways of married Cuban men!

    Anyways, what’s done is done. I probably have a santera hex on me. As naive as it may sound, I do feel like we shared a special connection. I certainly will be going back to Cuba for a longer term stay (not to see this unnamed gentleman–no te preocupes!) because there are so many layers of the culture and the history and people that I find utterly fascinating and alluring . And yes, I have read your “Cojones” article! (I have been obsessively reading all of your articles in fact, and even used your app in Havana.)

    You and your husband must have an incredible connection and mutual understanding. Thanks for sharing your insights and honest perspectives!

    • “He replied that no no no, of course married men can’t have novias….”

      Extrapolating from this comment: I predict you will be getting a marriage proposal from this guy (he’s flat out lying here, in a way we call ‘descara’o’). Please keep us posted!

  33. Jessica Ugarte

    Right now I’m somewhat satisfied yet disappointed… My Cuban matches all of the things you’ve just explained, and all this time he’s had me convinced that I’m crazy! I am a smart, young white woman who is 3 months pregnant with his child and have a lot of questions on top of worries… I knew bettter but always hoping for the best. I know now now that I’m not alone in this.. Thank you.-Proud Mommy to be.

    • Hola. Im sorry to have confirmed your suspicions. On the upside: you’re not crazy (and have a lovely baby on the way)! Mucho health and happiness for you and your impending bundle of joy.

  34. Acanuck

    Cuban guys are brought up very spoiled by their mothers. They do everything for them and have no responsibilities in the home. Life lessons are not learned at home as they should be. So many of them are real mommas boys. A lot of their macho comes from that.
    I think they are needing a lot of mothering in their relationships.
    I often think this accounts for much of their behaviour that leads to infidelity and marriage problems.
    Cuban women know this and will give them what they want. For most of them a Cuban wife is the only option that works. They are more tolerant of the iinfidelity as long as it remains covert and not public.
    Of course there are exceptions and I do know a few good Cuban guys who look down on this kind of behaviour.

    • As I always say: beware of the Cuban who is an only child/son.

      PS – I’ve not found it to be true that it must remain private; I know several querida/o situations where it’s public. And Cubans like to take photos of their philandering which is just plain stupid: I know several who have been caught bc they got all snap happy with their lover.

      • whyareCubanosSoHot??

        My cubano novio IS an only child but seems to be the polar opposite of spoiled & macho (other than still living at home at 29; but this seems to be common for ALL Cuban “children”, until they get married).
        His military mama was the one cheating & his Papa moved out when he was 7. Since then, my amigo seems to have taken on the Cinderella role. Mama’s espouso is the spoiled ugly stepsister lol & mi hombre gets stuck with all the chores.
        He appears to be very self sufficient & even picks up after me whenever I am there. Hopefully this will continue after the marriage! Also hoping that his early negative experiences with cheating parents & the disastrous results mean that he won’t have a chica on the side.
        And yes I know all the horror stories of Cuban- Canadian fake love. Going slow, taking my time, watching for signs, but still taking a shot. He is def NOT a smooth talking, resort-lizard Casanova. Also doesn’t prove its true love as opposed to a visa marriage.
        Only time will tell…….
        And p.s. – I consider myself to be polyamorous AND I’m usually bored of a mate by 3-4yrs in, tops……so we’ll see if he can hang onto ME lol. Not the other way around.
        Wonderful insightful blog Conner…… Gracias!!

  35. acanuck.

    Yes, I have never met people who love taking photos of themselves like Cubans do. They love those digital cameras and cell phones that hold 100s of photos. If you want to know what they are doing, check their photos.
    Ask them what chores they had to do while growing up. I bet they don’t even know what you are talking about.

  36. acanuck.

    Ladies don’t believe anything a Cuban resort worker tells you. They are hitting on the female tourists in every group that comes in. Either for sex, money or a free ride out of Cuba. Use them and leave them there.
    Watch them perform when you are at a resort. You will soon see the truth. I always do. That is one of my ways of putting in a boring stay at a resort.

  37. Joanna

    Hello! I just happened upon your site because I recently met a Cuban man who is living and working in the US for 2 years now. I like him, but I cant put my finger on something that is bugging me. Its just that “feeling” that I should turn and run? He is very attractive, has a son in Cuba, but says he is not married and has no girlfriends. He is telling me he wants to be my boyfriend, make love, that I am good for him etc. What i find interesting is that he asked me to accept his friend request on facebook. I did, and i see so many women that are sending me clips of love songs such as, Crazy for you – by Adele, but in Spanish. (his english very limited) or posts from women that show things like a man and woman embracing saying i love you, lets make love (in spanish according to google translater LOL). So, im wondering, does this mean that these women send this because they are/were involved with him, or is this just how people in that culture speak to eachtoher. For instance, even if i simply am attracted to someone, I am NOT going to send them the Crazy for you by adele….so, is my gut instinct right? I am sure, from all the self portraits on his facebook that he is very aware of just how guapo he is, but i see alot of women who tell him this as well. Id rather know now, than later. Any help or insight would be great.

    Thanks for this site!

    Joanna

    • Yesterday while listening to a heavy metal station on my satellite radio here in Havana, some musician was talking about his oeuvre, how he goes about making music and his general philosophy on life. I don’t know who it was, but wish I did because he wrapped up his guest appearance saying: “I’m someone who believes love can change the world.”

      I, too, believe that love can change the world, so I’m being practical and realistic rather than cynical and jaded when I say: listen to your gut and run the other way from this one. He’s playing you (and many others, by the sound of it).

      • joanna

        thank you so much for the advice, i think you’re right and will get my running sneakers on now.

  38. acanuck

    The strange thing is he is in the US and still behaving as if he is in Cuba.

    • Nothing at all strange about that in my experience. You can take the Cuban out of Cuba but….

      • acanuck

        I think it is more difficult for these guys to find a victim once they are out of Cuba, using the techniques they used in Cuba. The ladies are not so naïve, but on a Cuba resort vacation, their common sense just leaves them.
        It always amazes me how vulnerable they get while on a Cuba vacation. Does the resort management deliberately hire employees that meet a profile; personality and looks, they know attracts the ladies?

      • I don’t know Canuck. As an immigrant myself, I’d say that 2 years is a short amount of time to shed ingrained cultural mores/techniques. Don’t worry: Im sure the guy will hone and tailor his approach to snag some US jeva soon!

        (and I wouldn’t know anything about having my common sense leave me at a resort – scuba diving, dancing, camping, or playing bike polo, maybe…..)

      • acanuck

        You need plenty of common sense as an expatriate living in Cuba. I have no doubt you have it all under control. Took me a while as a part time expatriate. Right now I miss that damn place.

        I needed to say the following somewhere and your blog is the victim.
        Our son just got approved on a multi-entry for Canada. My wife already has it. Cuba exit visas are no longer a problem. School is finishing and they soon will be here for the summer. We have wanted this for so many years and finally we have it . Freedom to travel for all of us. I couldn’t be happier.

      • Congratulations! I wish my US family had freedom to travel here…

  39. kate

    Yes, to snag a US based cubana! it’s the cliche, marry a yuma, then find a cubana. always the same story.

    • De que mierda hablas?

      Lol, of course. We love our Cubanas, there’s no one else like them. They’re the only ones we can truly handle and who can truly handle us. We’re too much for other cultures to handle.

  40. Jax

    Two years ago I met a man at work, in NY. The connection was instant. He turned out to be a Cuban born and raised in Havana until age 19. He moved to NY 3 years prior to me meeting him by his father claiming him. I’m an American of full Sicilian descent. It’s been well over a year since we’ve been engaged and had the most beautiful baby girl. Every paycheck he hands over all his money to support his family, helps with all of the chores (he actually does more than me without me asking), we share a phone plan where all of his calls could be accounted for if I chose to, and he doesn’t go anywhere without me except for work. In short, minus his short Cuban temper, he’s amazing! Our fights are over silly things and nothing more. He’s exceptionally good looking and he has ladies drooling him all the time, but he makes me feel secure about that. Well, I’m no monster either… His eyes never stray. His family has excellent values similar to most Americans and seem to have instilled that in him once he came to live with them in NY. His man night outs consist of him going to the diner with my father. Other than that, I’m always on his arm and he’s always proud to show me off!

    From what I have seen of our relationship so far, he’s an amazing man. He has no need to use me. I haven’t worked since I’ve had the baby (although I plan on going back shortly) and he’s paid all the bills so he’s not using me for money. He’s a permanent resident and could become a citizen at any time because of his father, so he doesn’t need me for citizenship. All he’s asked for his help studying for the citizenship exam! He doesn’t have a secret life in Cuba, confirmed by both his family and his lack of any connection there.

    What I’m trying to say is, yes, this could be a great trick that he’s performing…or this could be the real thing. There is hope for some people falling in love with a Cuban. I’m glad to be one of the lucky ones :)

  41. acanuck

    Jax I would say you are a real keeper. There are no guarantees in any relationship, with Cubans or not.. Yours is working out so just go with it.

  42. Keith

    Hi, I am going through a relationship with a Cuban woman. I actually met her in Britain. The worst two years of my life. Don’t get me wrong great times too. I never knew much about Cuba until two years ago…….So a year into our relationship we go to her home town of Guantanamo. I was expecting the deprivation etc. (and there was quite a lot) but the nightclubs were full and drink was very, very expensive to a legally employed Cuban (strange). Anyway I have unraveled her past and it took 20 months of sleepless nights, arguments and more will-power than a Cuban woman could muster, not because I wanted to but because in this highly disturbing case I had to to rescue her from intensive, immoral and cultural conditioning of the greatest severity. So story goes she is a 14 year old girl, she gets groomed by a Cuban ‘man’ aged 36 (married with 3 kids). By 16 she moves in with him (not in family home). The parents try and persuade her from seeing him but she won’t. They don’t go to the Police (and her brother is in the Police). She is totally conditioned (she asked me at the start of our relationship “do you think it was right that when I moved in with my first husband that his wife phoned him up every night to tell him he had to come home as one of the children was sick?” – I kid you not! Anyway her Mother agrees before this that her daughter should stay at home but the pedophile could come and collect her. The daughter – a complete mess by then does exactly what she is told by her ‘husband’ except for one thing: she has an abortion. She then has a second abortion aged 20 – but it doesn’t work. He finds out she is pregnant and has they ‘baby’. Because of the chemical abortion method that failed the baby is badly mentally & physically disabled. The baby is kept because the husband wants it and everyone ‘adores’ it. Oh I forgot to mention that she hemorrhaged after she gave birth and had a hysterctomy. She continues the relationship because he is her husband and promises her things he never keeps. Eventually the penny drops and they argue and he finishes the relationship. Oh he has other girls and always had had so he is fine. He does come and visit the child at the family home. Nobody goes to the police, she does not believe he did anything wrong. But nappies cost money. Specialists are free but the transport isn’t. So she gets married to a foreigner and comes to live in Britain to pay for her “son’s” upkeep. She still loves the pedophile, wears his rings etc.. Marriage goes wrong. Needs replacement. Finds me, easy going English guy. Then I realise I have an intelligent, willful 14 year old child in a 25 year old body, whose brain is so conditioned that I might never find the true person. Even when with me she is faithful to him (ok perhaps not in a sexual way but in her mind, yes). So move forward 20 months. The pedophile is now being investigated by the Police (I doubt it will do any good but you never know!) as are the witnesses/victims. I am not now on speaking terms with her family because of their disgraceful behaviour. I hope she will come back to Britain and marry me and we will have a surrogate child or children, but will I trust her? Never totally but she has friends here and people who now know the truth and still believe in her as I do, but she has to believe in herself. Cuba is terminally sick

  43. Garnette Ward

    This is a very interesting article :)

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