Cuban-american men: values and attitudes
I have been dating a Cuban-american. I really like him but I see red flags here and there. Some of his behavior seems closer to that of a Cuban in Cuba even though he has been in USA for more than ten years.
Is it possible that some of the values and attitudes from the tough times in Cuba are still entrenched on him?
Examples: he doesn't like to work but he likes expensive clothes, he's always talking about different types of deals (from how to avoid paying taxes to getting a free education to whatever he could get without actually paying for it). It's like his mind is constantly working on a plan to serve his immediate needs. I am worried that he might still have a "jinetero" mentality after all these years and that he might be using me to get ahead. Is this just him and his own flaws or can we say there is a pattern on Cuban exiles that I should watch out for?
Comments by Vic webmaster
The jinetero's are only a small part of the Cubans, who have contact with the foreigners. The ordinary Cubans all have a "negocio" (a business) everybody is selling something to another to survive. The tricks and defrauding of the tourists is the same among Cubans. Among Cubans, cheating is not called jineterism but "negocio" (doing business). Everybody is selling to everybody it's a survival reflex. This reflex is deeply embedded in the Cuban mentality and has historical roots.
A second fact, due to their political system, Cubans are used to the fact that everything is free because, their healthcare, education etc. are free, there's inexpensive food (ration book). A growing mentality among the young Cubans is, why should I work for 10 or 20 dollar per month, when I can earn each day 3-5 dollars on the streets. There is a huge and growing group of broken families. A partner for a lifetime is the exception, three or more partners in your life the rule. Official statistics say that 70% of all marriages in Cuba end in divorce, but lots of Cubans live together without marriage, so the divorce rate might be higher.
All this to say, maybe your "Cuban American" does not know what "real work" is, has never seen a "real family life", education is not only going to school, but also an inspiring family life, values and attitudes in life. I think you can't blame him for this behavior, it's deeply entrenched in the Cuban nature. Of course there are exceptions, Cubans are intelligent people, but I guess that changing the character of your "Cuban American" will not be that easy.