28 April 2007

But at least now they're educated....


It’s the world’s oldest profession and it goes on all over the world.

The world is full of places where poor, uneducated girls are forced to sell themselves to support their families.

Back in the Fifties when Castro took control of Cuba, one of his stated goals was to rid the island’s image as the America’s brothel.

Cuba is no different now. In fact, “sex tourism” is one of Cuba’s major attractions.

Since Cuba is a totalitarian country, everything in its command economy is run by the government. Wages are set by the government as are all prices. The regime controls what you can and can’t afford. They are the market; both supply and demand.

In need of hard currency, the regime now depends on tourism as its number one industry. Keeping the employees wages ridiculously low, allows them maximize their profits at the expense of the exploited Cuban worker.

Their control over wages also has the added bonus of forcing young women (and men) to prostitute themselves to foreigners to make ends meet, and thus attracting more tourist interested in sex.

Only in Cuba it’s not just the dirt poor peasant girls that resort to the world’s oldest profession, it’s also the educated professionals.

We’ve gone form bad to worse.

El Comandante himself seemed to cynically brag about the highly educated and healthy prostitutes in Cuba during a speech to the National Assembly in 1992:

...” We can say that they are highly educated hookers and quite healthy, because we are the country with the lowest number of AIDS cases."

This Cuban tragedy is poignantly illustrated by Reuter’s Catherine Bremer in WITNESS: Dollars can still buy love in Cuba describing, in disgusting detail, the exploitative relationship between a Sixty-something Sicilian and a young Cuban student.

ISLE OF YOUTH, Cuba (Reuters) - Grease dribbling through his fingers, the Italian gobbles up two fried lobsters while the girl, young enough to be his granddaughter, picks at some rice and waits.

Facing them, I picture his chubby hands on this pretty 20-year-old mulatta and think about the thin wall between their bedroom and the one I've just rented in this Cuban family home.


On the sleepy Isle of Youth off Cuba's south coast, the Italian calls his girlfriend. She flounces out, a cinnamon-hued goddess in a tight "Italia" T-shirt and tiny pink shorts, and flashes me a smile.

Draped in gold jewelry, she is halfway through a law degree, but her yuma has brought her family more wealth in a few visits than several years on a Cuban lawyer's wage would.

"In my country you'd have a boyfriend like Brad Pitt," I joke. She giggles. The Italian slaps her thigh.

Enough. Don’t let it ruin your weekend. But read it Here.


Mambi_Watch said...

El Gusano,

Nice post, I disagree with some of your conclusions, but I wanted to point out a comment you made:

"Only in Cuba it’s not just the dirt poor peasant girls that resort to the world’s oldest profession, it’s also the educated professionals."

Actually, many prostitutes within similar situations are educated professionals, this does occur "only in Cuba."

For example in Europe, where they receive many immigrants from the east, the prostitutes are going to college and have professional goals. According to one study from Australia, about 1/4th of a sample already had university degrees, and the majority were coming from other normal careers. There are also many articles written about young women coming from poverty who study and prostitute themselves only to return to their home country very rich, and educated.

No question that poverty raises the chances of prostitution in a population, but the research shows that there are many other powerful factors to consider too, like the economic advantages REGARDLESS of the economic system they are in.

Capitalist societies also have huge sex industries. And, the reasons are many. Some forced, coerced or out of preference.

But, to comment that "only in Cuba" certain phenomena related to prostitution occur is faulty. Prostitution happens for many reasons that are complex and varied. Poverty is one factor out of many.

El Gusano said...

thats not what I meant at all, but I see how the statement could be misconstrued.

I should perhaps had said Only in Cuba, blah, blah,blah, rant.

By no means would I claim that Cuba is the only place with degrees prostitutes, just look at Washington! ;)

thanks for the catch.