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Cuban Friend

by Bernadette
(Ireland)

This is not a love story but perhaps someone could advise me. My son and I holidayed in Guadalavca in July 2011. We met a local family on the beach. The mum was friendly and spoke great English. The dad worked near our hotel. They invited us to their home for the day. We spent a lovely day with the family and some friends. We met them again on the beach. They never asked for anything and the mum was disgusted by some people begging or telling stories to get money from tourists. I gave them a small amount of money for mobile calls and some clothes when I was there. When we returned home, iI called the family and they were friendly. I sent a letter containing money but they said they only received the letter no money! The mum rang today to tell me the government want her to leave her house or pay 3000 CUC and could I help? I explained I do not have that sort of money but would like to send something. My bank said the lady must sent bank details and she now thinks she can do that as she is staying with her sister in Havana.
I was wondering is this a genuine request or could it be a scam? I feel bad even thinking this as the family were so nice to us but I live with my son and only earn a small wage which I save from to go on hols.

I would appreciate any advice or thoughts on this.
Thank you

Answer by Vic Webmaster

I have absolutly no intention to insult you but your post sounds very naive. Having said this, NEVER NEVER send cash money by post to Cuba. All letters or parcels are opened. Even in most Western countries it's forbidden to send cash by post.

And yes this demand for money is probably a scam. Cubans are notorious for inventing stories. The have to do it all day, so they are master story tellers. The goverment asking her to pay 3000 Cuc ?? The average salary in Cuba is 18-20 CUC. That's more than 12 years of income. Hallo??
Who can afford this in Cuba??
To my opinion they "play" it clever, "scamming" the new way.
How it works?
Seek friendship, don't ask for anything, invite the foreigner in your house, socialize, etc. When trust is built up, invent "a money story" this can be a sick mother, child etc. I remember years ago the trick with the powdered milk. Every Cuban was asking to the foreigners to buy milk for their (sick) baby. A day later the milk was sold back to the shop for hard cash (CUC's). Half of the profit was for the shop employee.
You mentioned Guardalavaca, well Guardalavaca, Varadero and Old Havana are places that are notorious for "jineteros" this are hustlers who try to cheat or scam tourists.
My advice: stop sending any money, invent yourself a story. For example, say that you lost your job and at this moment you can't afford to send money. Yes, chances are that you will lose your "Cuban friends". If after 2-3 years (without you sending money) they still seek contact with you they might be real friends, but be vigilant!

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Nov 10, 2014
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Jinateramía NEW
by: Illusion

I'm 38. I've been in Cuba for the first time in 2010 at Varadero visiting the area with a group of 12 friends. Then Guardalavaca sept 2012. I met good peoples. Among those good people, I met a family (25 persons so far) with witch I feel really good, just love them. Living in the country side, they are agricultural since many generations. I Sleep their many times 15-20 times. They Never ask for anything, never. No sex either. January 2014 I let 500$CUC under the bed to help the grand mother who live with a disabled son of 30 and a student of 18, with her other daughter and granddaughter. 5 in a little house since her house beens destroyed by the hurricane of fall 2012. The Gouvernement agree to get her a 1 bedroom house before she's going to Havana with her son and they came a few months after to see the house. They finally accepted to sign the paperwork for a 3 bedrooms house. She gave me back the 420$CUC she had left, after her trip to Havana, and explain the expense for the trip with her son... I'm still amazed. Really really honest trustworthy people. But goes with karma. I'm a good fellow and I get into this family by the top (older people) instead of the bottom (younger) witch brings a kind of respect from the whole family. Some were a little cold at the beginning but slowly they get to know me and we build the trust slowly. I refused to take the money back (of course) and told her than I know she will find better ways than me to use it. They offered me to come at anytime without any warning. (They don't have landline phone anyway and cellphone doesn't work in this Valley). They told me than I could stay months and it would cost me 30$/month for food and they would go with me to immigration to register me as their guest. In January 2014 after 6-7 trip to Cuba I book in a 4.5 stars hotels for 11 days for a Canadian wedding from olds friends together since 15 years. I rented a scooter and I did 1200km visiting friends then I made since fall 2012. I slept 2 nights at the hotel. The first night and the days of the wedding. I met that 21years beautiful girl while I was waiting for the bus taking a coffee. I had in mind than she was a... Jinatera. I've seen her with a (girl) friend of her and 2 old men from Canada. I don't mind then understanding their economic situation. I took her information and visit her twice since we met. We've been talking about the old Canadian at the hotel and she told me than her friend have a old Canadian boyfriend and she ask her to come with her since they were welling to paid for her... I didn't ask much more. But you know then I know. I'm not stupid but not too smart either when it come to emotional stuff. I met her mother and brother the first visit in March 2014 to her house at Las Tunas. She had an exam that day then we left the hotel from Holguin at 04:00 am to her place the to the university and then back to the Holguin. I mad a few mistakes of course, we get a nice 9 days together even if she's showing to much jealousy after the second day saying than I was looking to much at the waitress!?. After the first crisis of jealousy (because he had another one later) I gave her 100$ for her to feels free to go whenever she want because we were 150km from her home. Our first day to another place she had another meltdown. She was afraid to walk with me and been ask for her paper by police and we lost each others for 1 hours and I met some local while I was looking for her. She was so mad because I gave my coordinate to a local. She was bullshitting me, giving me bad intentions (than I was looking for girls) asking me why I gave my coordinate to him. Bla bla bla. Then she said "I'm living tomorrow morning". I start to packed my stuff saying than I'm living that night. We made love like beasts. She was spitting on me like I was her whore while we were into action. She's a nympho! She get mad at me because I promised a wild night during one of our dinners and when we get back at the hotel, I told her I was dead and it was worthless trying, because she tried... She was really really mad. We were making it 2-3 time a day and I was feeling than she'll never cool down. I wake her up gently and we made love before the dawn. I get back in July for 2 weeks and we spend most of our time at Holguin. I invite her brother and is novia to spend 5 days with us in a all inclusive. Then we went to Holguin. After a few days she felt safe enough for we walk together in the streets of the city during the day. But she was still scared at night because of the highest presence of police. She we're walking 25 feet ahead at night at looking at me to know were to turn. I know the city better. 1910 is good restaurant but the chair are not cosy. It's that night than I was dead after few of the best dishes I had in days... She's disappear for days or weeks sometimes when I tried to call her and come back with average reason. I'm going back next month for 3 weeks. I'll stay at the family house this time because I said I didn't had money to pay for hotel. I'm trusting her and I'm not. She's making me feel loved. But since I consider love as an illusion, I take the sweetest and try to close my eyes on the sourness stuff. I never been good with relationships even I'm a good looking guy's. I thinks it's why I tend to looking into impossible relationship. Were it's over before it's begone... But when I'm with her I'm living the present and I enjoyed every minute I spend with her. While I'm with her, she's with me. When I'm not with her, I try to don't care about with who she could be... I have to be careful but I won't have any regrets and try to expect anything from any relation, wishing the best...

Oct 22, 2011
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2 messeges
by: Anonymous

The first message is for the previous poster....

I think you are bang out of order for mentioning 'Brit Paedophiles' why single them out?
There are less Brit xxxxx visiting Cuba than any other nation, you should have also mentioned, Canadian, Italian, German, Dutch etc etc but you didnt, look to your own Country first before throwing stones.....

To Berendette, sorry that you have found out the hard way that its a scam, Vic is correct, where would they get 3,000 pesos from to pay the Goverment, the Goverment knows they would be hard pushed to get 300 pesos let alone 3,000.

Did they give a reason why they had to leave the house?

This is what they do, they befriend you, invite you to thier home, the good cons wont mention hard times, or if they do they will skim over it, they want you to go away thinking.. they are so nice, they did not ask me for anything.... they know you will leave behind some bits and pieces, exchange emails, phone numbers, then they go in for the kill.

Where they made the mistake was by asking for a large sum straight away, so they were not that clever, usually they start off small, then they go in for the kill.

like Vic says the scam with the milk, there are other scams, and unfortunately the country is not going to get better, as the younger generation is learning from the older generation that its easier to scam than work.

They do not want to hear you have bills, you are struggling, as you are rich compared to them, all they see is the bigger picture, because thier outgoings are so little they cannot comprehend, or dont want to comprehend that your bills are so huge.

At least you havent sent them any money, and sadly its a lesson learned, there is no such thing as a free lunch in Cuba.

Oct 21, 2011
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Out To Scam And Elicit Money From You.
by: Anonymous

Bernadette this family are not your 'friends' They are seasoned scammers out to extract as much money as they can from you.

Guardalavaca and Holguin are Con Man central. From the desk clerk at the Izlasul Cabanas hotel who slips a backhander from a 70 year old wrinkled old goat from Wyoming accompanied by a 15 year old Cuban schoolgirl or the dirty old Brit pedophiles who try to check in with a toddler, to the hustler you meet on the beach who tells you you're the most beautiful woman he's ever seen give him your email add. so he can bombard you with sob stories for the next year and tell you how much he loves and misses you but needs new trainers and an England football shirt and 500 CUC to buy a cellphone for 'greater communication' with you.

Believe me 99% of the Cubans you will meet around resorts are seasoned scammers. Con artists with 101 ways to part you from your hard earned cash.

Better to avoid the resorts and Havana if you want to meet the 5% of Cubans who go about their daily business, work hard and will not hassle you and try to con you out of your holiday cash.

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