Women Traveling Alone
Cuban men treat women with great respect and, for the most part, as equals. True, Cuba remains a macho society, but post-revolutionary political correctness is everywhere. Sexual assault of women is almost unheard of.
If you do welcome the amorous overtures of men, Cuba is heaven. The art of gentle seduction is to Cuban men a kind of national pastime—a sport and a trial of manhood. They will hiss like serpents in appreciation, and call out piropos—affectionate and lyrical epithets.
Take effusions of love with a grain of salt; while swearing eternal devotion, your Don Juan may conveniently forget to mention he’s married.
While the affection may be genuine, you are assuredly the moneybags in the relationship. Plenty of Cuban men earn their living giving pleasure to foreign women looking for love beneath the palms or, like their female counterparts, taking advantage of such an opportunity when it arises.
If you’re not interested, pretend not to notice advances and avoid eye contact.
Cuba’s Federación de Mujeres Cubanas (Cuban Women’s Federation, Galiano #264, e/ Neptuno y Concordia, Havana, tel. 07/862-4905, www.mujeres.co.cu) is a useful resource. It publishes Mujeres, a women’s magazine.
© Christopher P. Baker from Moon Cuba, 5th Edition