First time visitor to Cuba
I am a New Zealander and am planning to visit Cuba at the end of the year. I am a divorced, older woman and I will be travelling with a group of friends (couples and singles) which includes some NZ-based Cubans.
I have read many of the stories in Havana Guide and I also have a strong sense of the economic struggle which Cubans have. I can understand how attractive our life in the Western world is to a young Cubano/Cubana and how it drives them to do and say whatever they need to in order to escape their circumstances. However I am equally aware of the pain their deception has caused the many authors who have related their stories here.
Every relationship is based on an exchange and as long as both parties lay their cards on the table from the start and give each other a genuine opportunity to consider whether the "terms" of the relationship are something they can live with, then the jinetero/jinetera game should become redundant.
I plan on enjoying every minute of my time in Cuba and if I get any attention paid to me, I will enjoy that as well but I will go with my eyes wide open.
Remark by Vic Webmaster
I feel you have a balanced view on the "Cuban situation" go to Cuba open minded, but don't expect love, romance or "miracles". Yes, in the tourist areas you will encounter many people on the hunt for money, but never forget that there are honest Cubans too. From the begining make clear statements that you are not looking for love or marriage and that when you give something you will expect something in return.
I hope that you can find some real friends in Cuba (yes, they exist) like I did. It doesn't come easy, me too I have been cheated on many occasions in Cuba but finally I found some true friends. A true friend in Cuba will protect you for scams, but real friendship doesn't come easy, true friendship should be built on mutual trust and may need years to grow.