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fooled or just a fool in Havana Cuba?

by Amy

I have the biggest "empty hole" in my stomach after reading all the previous posts about love in cuba. I want to believe that my "friend" is not like the jineteros that are so often described in the posts.
But there are so many similarities that my breath has been taken away.
I have a lump in my throat but I am going to jump into this forum to try to prove to myself that "friend" is honest, decent, and not a jinetero.
José is his name. He is a musician on the malecon. Yes, I know. You already have come to the conclusion because I said a musician on the malecon that he must be bad.
No so. He is a very talented guitar player with a beautiful voice. He is from Holguin but he would not make the kind of money he can make in Havana, so he had to move to Havana for work. He has left his family in Holguin to live the a life in a rooming house, in a small dingy room shared with many others.
He is so talented and its a shame that he cannot work closer to his home and family. In cuba you need to have a degree to play music in a government establishment. Since he has not a degree he is left to make a living by "begging" with his guitar and voice.
He is sweet and not loud and pushy like the others on the malecon. When we met he did not try to make conversation although he had plenty of time too. It was when I saw him nights later he very shyly made small talk.
He asked for nothing. He did not even ask to see me again.
For all I know, if I did not keep the "friendship" alive then he would of gained nothing.........and not ever seen me again.
So this leads me to believe he is genuine.
But after reading your posts I am numb. could I also of been one of the "mi Mujeres?"
If any of you know my "friend" it would mean so much to have feedback on him.
I know names are taken out of this post to keep his identity safe, I will say he plays in Barrio Chino and also the malecon. He actually looks a bit like a chino. He is tanned almost mulatto. He has dark sad eyes that tell a story without words.
He is thin, tall and always well dressed..............yes I do bring him clothes but I am now wondering where did the nice clothes come from before he met me?? I asked about his nice watch but he said someone gave it as a tip on for playing music.
He has never asked for anything........but my heart wants to give as I want him to have an easier existence.
Did he know how to play the game????? am I the loser? or are we both winners?
I am confused.

Comments by Vic Webmaster

Amy, I understand that you are confused, I guess that it is your first or second trip to Havana.
It took me many years to get a deeper insight in the Cubans and their way of life, and I do not pretend to be an expert, but your story sounds like what I call "The Havana Classic".
Sorry, this is no judgement, each story is unique, but...in Cuba nothing is what it seems! Enjoy life and your friend(s) in Havana, but don't get involved to deep! Cubans are sophisticated story inventors.
Some observations, be vigilant with Cubans in the tourist areas of Old Havana, most of them are in one way or another jineteros. First thing "common Cubans" will look at is his clothing, does he wear sports shoes (Nike, Addidas, etc.) designer jeans, T-shirts? A watch, a golden chain, few Cubans can afford it. Income from his music? Did you know that many Cubans from Santiago and Holguin travel illegal to Havana, because they think that in Havana they can make more money from the tourists.
So enjoy life and friendship in Havana but don't get involved too deeply, you will rarely find true Cuban friendship at the malecon or other tourist places.

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Feb 05, 2016
by: Anonymous

post his pic on CUBAN LOVE TRAPS FACEBOOK and se who else knows him

Oct 19, 2015
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I have many experiences with those Cubans and jineteros in Cuba. I think I am little bit more experienced when comparing with you in the case of Cuba. So initially you will say like this. But after understanding more about those people you will change your attitude towards them. Q Spray

Jan 12, 2011
Who's fault it really is??
by: Anonymous

HUMM?? That makes me laugh reading all those comments, putting the fault on the Cubans Aren?t we those who are going to their island?? If they weren?t any tourists who will have given them the opportunity to do that, they will never have learned how to rip off people, they aren?t the only one to blame!! Not that I agree with that lifestyle, but seriously be smart when you met a Cuban, I have been to Cuba many times, I have met bad and good Cubans, like in any countries!! Like I said be smart or should I say common sense, some situation are quite obvious that money is the only matter!! If you really want to make sure about your relationship with the other one, like others said, don?t give them money or any type of expensive gifts, and see how long they stick around

Nov 03, 2010
The last post summed them up.
by: Jennifer

To the American lady I am sorry he put you through hell, you deserve better. We all do.

But you have rightly summed him up as a 'Selfish Pig' All Cuban men who treat women like crap as Selfish Pigs.

They have no regard for the realties of life. How we have to work each day, pay taxes, pay bills to survive.

However, it's not the cost of the clothes we bring or the gifts.

It's the huge cost of the long haul flights, the expensive domestic internal flights and transport (any they do much us for that) The accommodation that all adds up.

And you ask yourself are they really worth it when they let slip a horrible sentence that sums them up.

Grace you should not have to be skirting on egg shells, wearing the same clothes each time, telling him how it's a struggle to survive.

If he has it in his head you are an endless source of money, gifts he will forever keep shiftng the goalposts.

If he thinks are willing to maintain him then he thinks he has hit the jackpot.

Love is not about having to hide who we are, what we are. It's about acceptance good or bad. Love is unconditional.

What is being described on this forum is anything but love. It's about using and abusing the emotions of another in order to extract as much materially as they can. It's about playing someone for their own gain.

And ladies have to ask themselves.

Is the little joy which they receive, the few sweet words, that bright smile, all the fake romancing, (and they are masters at the art of wooing) worth it when the stark reality is in fact so nasty?

Nov 02, 2010
Thankyou jennifer
by: grace

Am glad your still around posting, I did feel a bit bad not getting on here and posting sooner,as I wanted to keep you updated, but I didnt feel up to it, but am I am back on form lol.

I just cant get my head around it all, not just the fact of him asking, but the fact that we have had indepth conversations, he nods, makes the right noises, but yet, its a though it all goes completely out of his head, is it a man thing or a cuban thing?
I told him it was over, we are finished, but now he is panicking, and is begging me to reconsider, he is sorry blah blah blah.

The thing is, like I told you I would never marry him, but I am solvent enough to live over there if I wanted to for a few months, he does not know I am solvent, he hasnt a clue of my finances, I wear most of the same clothes every time, with the odd new item lol
I was even planning and discussed it with him that I come over and stay with him for a few months, as sort of like a trial, of course I would get the apartment, and I could get hold of one, quite cheap infact, as I felt I needed to be with him for some months to decide if I want to up sticks etc.
I have tried explaining, even lying saying I have to borrow money, sell stuff, work 3 jobs etc, he makes the right noises, does the ooohs and aaahs, but in reality he hasnt a fecking clue.
At the end of the day they dont want to hear the bad stuff, ie taxes, rent, bills, car tax, car insurance, food etc, they just cannot comprehend that we have to pay this amount, they just see that we are there in Cuba, so we must have money!!!

I know he genuinly loves me, but he needs educating, as well as the other 90% of cubans, and sometimes I just cannot be bothered, as its like hitting your head on a brick wall.

The only way he or they will ever understand is if he or they ever came to live in our country, then they would have a reality check.

Jennifer, just go back, play it by ear, listen to your gut, you are an intellegent lady I know that by your posts, and you like me and others, really want to see the good in them, but now you know what to look out for, sometimes you have to go back to go forward.

When are you due to go back?

Nov 02, 2010
Sorry To Hear You Were In Hospital Hope You're Better Now!
by: Jennifer

Welcome Back Grace. I missed you and was a little worried when you did not post for a while. Wondered if everything was ok.

I hope you're recovering and feeling well. Sorry to hear your man behaved like an idiot. They do seem to think we are walking cash cows.

It is hurtful when they ask straight out for money. I can understand why he went down in your esteem.

We see love as unconditional and when they start to drop hints about mobiles or ask for money well they have shot themselves in the foot.

Mine never asked outright but kept on and on about a mobile, how it was so necessary for communication as everyone can read emails no privacy etc.

In some ways I am dreading returning, having to see him every day.

Last time I was there I had a blissful man free holiday, chilling on the beach, dancing salsa at night and reading.

The only real stress was when he would call me in that deep serious voice and quiz me about what the hell I was doing in Varadero and not in his town. Like it was a crime, should not be allowed. When he knew full well I had not heard from him so had no alternative but to book a hotel for my stay.

What was I supposed to do?. Sleep on the beach?.

But I can tell you Grace it was the best time ever. Stress free no manipulation, no hints nor heavy discussions about mobile phones etc.

I think they respect us more for standing up to them. Calling their bluff, being as sassy as their own women.

We are not pushovers for these selfish machistos.

Anyways I wish you the best and I reckon you could find better. If he's winding you up then dump him.

Nov 02, 2010
For jennifer
by: Grace

Hi jennifer, sorry I havent posted for a while, but came back from Cuba and had to go to hospital to have my appendix out, but am okay now.:-)
I hope all goes well with you and your man, and no more probs from the Doctor.

For Celia and Amy, I have read your posts, and sympathise with you, but its best you have doubts, and listen to your gut, as they can walk the walk and talk the talk.

I am speak from experience as I have been with mine for nearly 6 years, and see it for what it is, I know there are genuine ones, but even if he never asks you for anything, he will somehow put it in the conversation in such a way he is not asking, you have to let it go over your head.

My man made the mistake at the beginning, I let him have it, he has been good all these years, yes, he has dropped subtle hints etc, but I have just ignored him.
I have been back a few weeks now, been in hospital, told him I was in hospital, and cannot work for some weeks.
He now has dug his own grave, he has done the one thing I told him never to do, and that was ask me for money, admittidly he hasnt really asked me before, he had made noises and sort of hinted, but like I said, I played stupid, but this time he has asked outright, I know the reason is a valued one,(well, I think it is, who knows with them) but that is not the point.
So, I let him have it, called him all the names under the sun, told him its over, he has done the unforgivable.

I knew the score with my man, I never spoilt him, I would take over maybe the equivilient of $25 dollers in gifts every time, ie a t/shirt, cap, toiletries, met his family, his mother lots of times, but to me he has done the one thing I said never to do, if he did, it would be over.

They think cause your a Yuma, and no matter your situation at home, you are rich, they cannot comprehend what we have to pay, or work, or even sell stuff, or borrow money to come over, they just see you as a cash cow, and even if they do genuinly love you, they will always try and make a peso or two out of you, whether its getting a casa for you, or hiring a car, to them its normal, they dont see that its making money off you, its survival, but when they do this to thier Yumas, they are shooting themselves in the foot, and they cannot get it through thier thick heads that this is not how it works with us.

I know all this, and I have been quite lucky with mine in the past, till he asked me for money, and that is the kiss of death for me.

Nov 01, 2010
I hear you all
by: amy

Dear Celia and others,
I hear you all but it seems we are all in the same boat. We do not want to believe it - the truth. We make up excuses for them, justifying their behavior, that is what I am still doing.
I have caught him is small lies but I never confront him. He will borrow something of mine and not return it. I could ask for it back, but I am too embarrassed too and I say to myself if he needs to sell it to make money so be it. The reality is if he really felt for me he would give me the things back.
I, like most of you, do not want to open my eyes to the reality. Every thing you all have said; he never asked for anything (directly), he says he does not want to leave, he let me see where he lives and its empty (a bed and not much more than a few clothes), he calls me his novia, he would email me if he had a computer but he does not have one, he is beautiful and charming, the list goes on.
YOU ALL ARE RIGHT and yet I still am having trouble accepting it.
What is it with us?
The allure of Cuba?
Or the fact these people have no other outlet other than to practice what they learn in the movies and we believe we are a part of the movie?

Oct 31, 2010
They All Deserve An Oscar For Their Acting!
by: Celia

And it is an act. My friend took me to his room which was threadbare.

I mean it had nothing, apart from one set of clothes and a bed. He knew I would feel sorry for him and I did.

He kept on and on and on about how he desperately needed 100 CUC to paint the room and buy furnture. I said nothing. But I could feel the tension.

I gave him some clothing to sell snd my trainers. He hardly said gracia and was off like a shot to sell them.

The casa owner told me her had two children and may even live with a woman not the threadbare room. I confronted him he was angry, he said the last 'embra' was an 'adventura'.

The mother was married. I heard later she was single living with his 3 year old. So he lied to me.

And why lie, it only makes him seem more untrustworthy.

I did not know what to believe. He kept telling me how much he loved me, did not want to leave Cuba.

They know how to work it.

He also said we would not remain in touch.

Why? Due to him being unable to communicate, no cellphone.

Hello! he earns CUC 12 a month.

A Cell requres cuc 10 a month to maintain.

Will be starve to maintain a cell? becaue I, sure as hell am not paying for one.

Besides he could afford one from all of the clothing and shoes I gave him.

They should be awarded an Oscar for their convincing performance.

Do not be fooled!!

Protect yourself and your hard earned cash!!

Oct 29, 2010
I Sympathise with you Amy.
by: Anonymous

It is not easy to maintain a long distance relationship with a Cuban man. There always exists that element of doubt.

Where did those Puma shoes appear from?.

Did he really buy that England shirt or Italian trousers in Havana when he lives 500 miles from there. Or were they 'regalos' from another Yuma?.

Is he really being sincere when he whispers 'Te Amo Mucho' when next day he keeps telling you how important a cellphone is for keeping in contact with you, when you know he earns just 12CUC a month yet a cellphone costs at least 10cuc a month to maintain the line.

All these questions go through your head and you start to wonder is he really worth the hassle. The cost air fares, hotel or casa and money for drinks and food.

The fact we are seen as 'muy rico' when we are struggling to get by.

If only we really knew what they were thinking we could decide if they were worth the effort.

Oct 25, 2010
you are so right
by: Anonymous

dear anonymous,
your words were so right when you said it is unfair when i am only there once year. who am i to expect that i am the only one. my life goes on here and his life goes on there........but it hurts inside. its the fact i know what is in my heart is so deep, pure, real and i let him live in my heart everyday. its the wondering, not knowing, feeling of "am i being a fool" and draining my mental capacity with thinking of him constantly.........every moment of the day.
i know that he will pass the test time if he is not married when i go back. why would he not want to see me. he knows i will clothe, feed and take care of him while i am there. even if he has other "vistors" at times, he will not tell me. what he will tell me will be his honest words but i am afraid they will be only honest for the moments i am there. yes anonymous, you are right.....who am i to expect him to think of me when i am gone when he has to worry about surviving?
cuba.........so much pleasure so much pain.

Oct 24, 2010
Wait watch and listen to your gut when it does speak to you
by: Anonymous


I have friends in Cuba. THey are sincere and honest. I had a lover in Cuba also and like your friend he didn't ask me for anything. He was beautiful mulatto man who worked in a cigar factory. I know that he loved me. Although I am not in love with him I care for him deeply and also enjoy helping him and his family. When we met he was also dressed nice with great shoes and jeans, belt and shirt. He was not pushy or sleezy very considerate and kind. Over the years I see the same shirt shoes etc... which he takes great care of washing his shoes down everyday to keep them nice. Like many cubans (and in Havana they all look amazing dressed better then the men here!}Like many cubans he buys his nice clothes in the black market. They are still expensive but he will save enough until he can get one item. Sometimes tourists give him things. You are right, it is a way of life for them and I would be the same swallowing my pride in the same way they do. Only time will tell you if your friend is sincere. It is common for people to give cubans things. Watches etc... maybe the watch is nice but not expensive maybe a knockoff. I really will never know for sure if my friend is sincere or a very good actor but Im going to trust my instincts. His friendship has stood the test of time.
All you can do is wait and see and trust your instinct too. I don't doubt that other tourist women will find him attractive and especially because he is a musician. How often do you see him...once twice a year? It is unfair to expect much from him in the area of faithfulness and that doesnt change what you have with him anyways. Wait listen watch carefully. Good Luck

Oct 23, 2010
is there such thing as true friend in cuba
by: amy

vic and others,
can you find a true cuban friendship any place in cuba? no matter where you met the "friend" are they not all the same? in need? struggling? trying to survive? I want to believe that this is all they know, its their reality and in their own mind they are honest, what they think they feel is real as they do not know anything else because they have not opportunity to experience other social situations. this is all they know so they are not acting and are not intentionally jineteros. does this make sense any of you?

True friendship exists in Cuba but is as rare as
in every other country.

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