If you’re planning to visit Cuba you’ve no doubt read that one exemption for Americans to visit Cuba is a declaration of support for the Cuban people. But if you’ve visited Cuba you’ve no doubt heard many people with their hands out saying support for the Cuban people.
A large chunk of Cuba seems to believe that money is something that one just gets without any work. Or without any effort. They seem to believe that everyone everywhere is just given money.
You will often encounter people just sticking their hands out and expecting you, the tourist, to give them money and fund their lifestyles. Don’t do it. It’s a scam.
Support For The Cuban People – Travel Exemption
It’s okay if you’re American to tick the box that reads ‘support for the Cuban people’. So that you can visit Cuba. Just don’t hand money out to every schmuck that wanders up to you asking for it.
If the American Government really wanted to crush Cuba they would simply raise the costs of compliance. Making the cost of compliance with sanctions for the international airlines flying to Cuba higher than the profit the airlines could derive from flying here.
The airlines would immediately stop flying to Cuba. Instantly crushing the Cuban economy and setting off a wave of protests and riots.
Younger Cubans Versus Older Cubans
Older Cubans have a work ethic that would shame most other countries. They hustle and work extremely hard to provide for their families.
But most younger Cuban’s seen to think that money just grows on trees. And that foreigners should fund their lifestyles. They’ve been fed a false narrative from social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram.
To illustrate my point, let’s take a Cuban I know. We’ll call him ‘Bob’ so as not to name him directly.
Bob’s been given the opportunity to make more money per year than the average Cuban could ever earn in a lifetime. He has had all the tools provided and I’ve removed all the roadblocks caused by sanctions that prevent him from being paid. Bob’s income is now only limited by his own effort.
Instead of working, Bob’s spent most of the last month keeping up with the Kardashians on YouTube and watching telenovelas. When pushed to work his response is that he ‘likes his lifestyle’ and doesn’t feel the need to work.
In reality Bob is one flush of the toilet away from being homeless. If the old lady upstairs uses newspaper to wipe and flushes it again, his house will be flooded with sewage and he can’t afford to move. If he has a bad month and no tourists come to Cuba, he won’t be able to afford to eat anything but food stamp chicken and rice.
Yet if he doesn’t get the work done, I won’t be coming to the rescue with cash the next time there’s a disaster. My tolerance level for Cuban bulls**t is now near zero.
Older Cubans Understand Money
Older Cubans understand that the real value of money is the ability to choose. The ability to choose where to eat, what to eat, where to go and what to do.
Money for older Cubans also provides them with a savings safety net that allows them to cover future needs. If something breaks they know that they have the money to fix it. They work hard and save for the future. And I do the same.
I make a lot of money. I work 12-16 hour days even when I don’t need to. And I work hard so that I have a bank balance that allows me to go where I want and when I want.
Having money allows me to pay for any surprises life might throw my way. And if I want to eat at certain restaurants or visit specific hotels in a foreign country, I can. Whenever or wherever I want.
Why when I work for hard for my money would I want to just give it away to someone else? Why would I give it to someone like ‘Bob’? He’s ‘happy with his life’. A life lived on the verge of poverty and homelessness.
As long as Bob can afford the internet to keep up with those Kardashians or watch telenovelas the world is all roses, right?
Well, of course, that is until the lady upstairs flushes, a hurricane comes, tourist season slows or anyone of a number of other uncontrollable events occurs. And then Bob can no longer afford to access the internet or own a device to use it.
What Do The Younger Generation Of Cubans Do When They Run Out Of Money?
They hustle tourists. Look for sugar daddies or sugar mommies. Or buy and resell goods for a markup.
But the Government has moved to prevent the side hustle of buying and reselling goods. The Cuban Government introduced price controls and made it law that the prices of items must be clearly marked on goods being sold. So ripping off other Cubans is a dying business. Thank goodness for that and kudos to you, Cuban Government.
Yet the avenue to hustle tourists or put on the poor Cuban routine is still available to the younger generation. They will give you some sob story about how they desperately need money to cover some emergency or fund some disaster that’s befallen them. They may even offer to pay you back.
In reality if you give them money you will just be feeding the beast.
They will take that money, spend it on crap and then go back to watching the Kardashians, telenovelas or posting photos on instagram to make their lives seem glamorous. When in reality they’ll once again be one flush away from homelessness.
Should You Give Money To Support The Cuban People?
The short answer is no. The longer answer is still no, but instead help them with the tools and skills necessary to make money.
If you remove the earnings roadblocks for them and they sit around watching the Kardashians, like Bob does, then the next time they’re desperate for cash it will be entirely their own fault. And they will have nobody to blame but themselves.
Don’t give money to Cubans. The slogan ‘support for the Cuban’ people is a scam. Their future is in their own hands. If they don’t seize that future themselves, it’s entirely their own fault.