The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean Sea. The capital and the largest city is Havana. The population of the country is about 12 million people, in Havana live 2.5 million. 57% of Cubans are mulattoes, 37% are white, and 11% are blacks. The island was opened to Europeans by Columbus in 1492. Throughout its history, Cuba fought for its freedom and independence, initially from the Spaniards, later – from the Americans. In 1959, power on the island was captured by the rebels under the leadership of Fidel Castro, who remains the head of the republic. From the 60s to the 90s socialist Cuba was an ally of the USSR, a conductor of its policy in the region. With the collapse of the Union, Cuba received a huge economic blow, but now the situation has relatively stabilized. Despite all the difficulties, being in the immediate vicinity of the main ideological enemy – the United States, Cuba has maintained its system. Today, many of our compatriots are interested in the island, for someone it is an occasion to remember youth, and for someone – just an exotic place of rest. During a time when relations between our countries were practically eliminated, a lot of myths arose about Cuba, which we will consider.
Residents of Cuba receive non-convertible pesos, they can not convert a convertible currency.
In the network of Kadek exchange offices, any Cuban can easily exchange his peso for convertible with an approximate rate of 27: 1, and also hand over the convertible units back, but for 26 pesos. So there are no problems with the exchange. Moreover, many residents of Cuba generally receive a salary in convertible pesos. We are talking about those who work with foreigners, rent them apartments, as well as informal calculations of people with each other. Yes, and recently there was a state practice of paying bonuses with convertible currency.
In Cuba, there is a card system, on cards there is a monthly limited number of products.
In Cuba, since 1962, there is a card system, but it concerns only the basic set of products. Also on the island there is a state system of trade at free prices. According to the cards, the population receives only about half of the necessary food, but children are put up to 6 years of daily milk liter. And the existence of the “black market” has not been canceled.
The card system is similar to the Soviet 70’s with the currency shops “Berezka”.
In the USSR, checks “Birch” could not be officially sold or bought, but convertible pesos can be. It should be said that no one will be interested in the Cuban, where he got the convertible currency. So in Cuba to the currency are much more liberal.
In Cuba, only foreigners can open their own private business.
In Cuba, legally allowed small business, no one interferes with renting an apartment, working as a taxi driver, opening a small cafe or making and selling souvenirs. The state is repairing a lot of obstacles in this, but everything is surmountable. But the Cubans will not be able to expand their business, since the state, although formally, does not prohibit this, but will really limit this possibility. By the way, there is still an article in the Constitution on which the country can expropriate private property. True, the state calms foreigners, guaranteeing them compensation for possible losses in convertible currency.
Cubans can not get a passport and go to work in another state.
This is possible only with the help of a state contract that will select almost all earnings. Such a measure is applicable to those whose training has cost the country dearly – it concerns engineers, doctors, etc. But any other people, including pensioners, get passports and, with money and visas, they can go to any country. As for the state contract, the Cubans abroad usually receive a salary of 150-300 dollars, while they retain their wages in the homeland, and the flight is paid for by the country.Can this be considered a robbery? After all, in prosperous Canada taxes eat up 50% of earnings, and in Sweden – in general 80%.
In Cuba, local residents can not live in hotels.
Being on the island, do not be surprised if you meet at the hotel guests Cubans. Despite the fact that there is such a myth, Cuban enterprises are sent to hotels to rest their employees, they can accommodate newlyweds, etc.
An ordinary citizen can not buy a car, even with the necessary funds.
There are private cars in the country, so somebody buys them. All those who legally earn sufficient funds – artists, artists, sailors of merchant ships, athletes, successful cultural figures, can, upon presentation of a declaration of income, purchase a car. But people who can not explain the origin of their capital, this possibility are deprived. But in democracies the purchase by a government official of a house worth 10 per cent of his annual income, without papers proving the origin of capital, will quickly provoke the interest of state bodies.
In Cuba, all are constantly smoking cigars, both men and women.
It’s been more than ten years since Fidel Castro decided to limit tobacco consumption, with the aim of improving the nation’s health. Although cigars have remained a lucrative export item. Thanks to specific soils and centuries-old traditions of cooking, cigars have a unique taste, appreciated by gourmets of tobacco. But the Cubans themselves smoke little, this action is more ostentatious in nature, thus supporting the myth. And the cost of a cigar made by hands is at least two euros. It is worth noting that in Cuba there are three categories of cigars – those that are produced to the states and are sold in stores at an expensive price that are produced in the same place, but were either stolen or issued as wages, or those that are produced illegally, like the real ones. Tourists prefer to hunt for the second group, although it is easy to get caught in a fake, which can only be distinguished by smoking a cigar.
In Cuba, Russian is the second state language, it is no coincidence that the country was unofficially considered the 16th Soviet Republic.
It turns out that the Russian language is understood on the island by few. Our language is close to those who once studied in the Soviet Union. Young people prefer English, as well as personnel serving foreigners. There is an explanation for this – the main stream of tourists from England and Canada. Of these countries, every year several hundred thousand people come, but from the countries of Eastern Europe – only a few thousand. Also in Cuba in everyday life Italian language, as it is similar to Spanish and is easy to understand and study.
Cuban girls are easily accessible, giving away literally for souvenirs.
There are many myths around sex tourism on the Island of Freedom. There are stories of eyewitnesses that cubes are ready to give themselves literally for a chocolate or cheap perfume. Many therefore choose Cuba as their goal, hoping to get an unforgettable sex adventure. Local women are really temperamental and sexy. Already in the early 90’s, Fidel recognized the presence of women in the country, who voluntarily enter into sexual relations with visitors. Such women are called hinters, they are female students, housewives, young female workers, sometimes even schoolgirls. Their goal is to get acquainted with foreigners in order to spend the money they earn on the pleasures of life that they can not afford – clothes, food. The standard price for a night with a mulatto is 10 to 50 dollars, although the girl may well refuse money if the man liked her. The average salary is just under $ 10, so they are looking for opportunities for girls to earn extra money. In general, you should not consider the cubes as loose, for them such a way of life is a measure of survival. Only here there is a ban on open relationships between local residents and foreigners.So if the Cuban delicately refuses to continue the acquaintance, then, most likely, she just wants to continue to communicate in a more secluded setting. After all, a girl convicted of acquaintance with a tourist faces up to a year of correctional labor. Therefore, often the girls go on an evening walk-hunting, accompanied by a young man or parents, who will quickly disappear, if it draws the attention of a foreigner. It should be noted that it is easy to get acquainted with boys, young and not very much. There is also a danger of being caught by transvestites. By the way, recently began to gain popularity of women’s tourism, it is often possible to meet in Havana, an elderly European woman in a slender mulatto company. Let his services and cost 3-4 times more expensive than women’s, but this does not stop the rich tourists.
Cuba is a socialist country, so everywhere there are attributes of the social system.
In fact, Cuba does not have red flags and banners that were present in the USSR in a stagnant era. There are no calls to fulfill the five-year plan in four years, the heroes of socialist labor are not glorified. In some places there are images of Castro, you can see here and there heroic inscriptions like “Homeland or Death,” which remind us of revolutionary romance. It is worth mentioning that in Cuba there is an image in which ideology was successfully combined, and business is Ernesto Che Guevara. Its image can be found everywhere – on badges, flags, circles, T-shirts. Tourists are happy to purchase souvenirs with this image, bringing a good income to the treasury. But to get a T-shirt with Fidel is unlikely to succeed, praising the living leaders is not in vogue.
Cuba is a poor country, it can be cheaply rested.
First of all, it should be said that the flight to the island itself will be quite expensive. Poverty and wretchedness are felt, shops resemble perestroika. But for foreign tourists there is nothing lacking. The truth and the prices are quite European. Coffee costs 1-2 euros, a mojito cocktail – 2-3, lunch in Havana can well cost 10-15 euros, car rental – up to 60 euros per day. The solution lies in thorough preparation for the trip, studying the experience of predecessors, willingness to contact local residents. Then you can rent an apartment cheaply, provide yourself with an inexpensive food and a means of transportation. In a semi-legal hotel you can rent a room for $ 20, the products can be purchased on the black market, and as a transport Cubans can offer trucks that are converted to transport people. Tourists often buy machetes at an inexpensive price of $ 14-16, also popular furniture is mahogany – a rocking chair can be bought for $ 40, and a kitchen – for $ 200. Only here there is a question with transportation.
In Cuba, poor health care.
Almost 800,000 doctors live on the island, and all medical assistance, from consultations to complex operations, is free of charge. In the clinic you can safely address any disease, it is well equipped, the laboratories work in the eight-hour mode. Almost every district has its own home doctor, so 95% of the population is under constant medical supervision. Doctors treat their patients with care, it is no coincidence that the average life expectancy on the island is 76 years. Cuban doctors developed unique practices for resolving blood clots, preventing heart attacks, and laparoscopic surgery. The country annually performs 30,000 surgeries to remove cataracts, while in neighboring Venezuela it is only about a hundred and fifty.
In Cuba, a bad education.
UNESCO, awarding Cuba its award, indicated that this country has the best education among Latin American states. Regularly held congresses of teachers, in which they exchange experiences. All education, from kindergartens to high schools – is free. In the first class, children become pioneers, professing similar principles to Soviet principles – to study well, to help adults.
The country is famous for its culinary possibilities.
Quite the opposite, like any island, Cuba is limited in the choice of food products. The main diet is rice and beans. If you want to try meat, you will be offered, most likely, a chicken, and in extreme cases – pork. But there are fears that the “chicken” was actually an iguana, and instead of pork, a village rat can slip. Hungry, of course, do not stay, but expect a feast of taste is not worth it. The approach to food is quite socialist – eat what you give. Of course, there is an opportunity to take advantage of underground restaurants, including those who send food to the house. In this version, there is an opportunity to really enjoy an unforgettable taste, but no one guarantees quality. Also it is worth paying attention to water quality, drinking tap water, even in a hotel it is strongly discouraged, so it’s better to use bottled water.
Cuba is a safe country.
The state guarantees absolute safety of tourists in places intended for their recreation, near hotels, on beaches. It is worth to be afraid that a close contact with the girl may result in the loss of values, and even go alone for a walk in the night city is still worth it. Regarding the same natural factors, it is strongly recommended to use a cream with high protection from the sun, bites of harmful animals or insects should not be afraid. On the wild beaches, the bottom can be littered with corals and sea urchins.