Written by Kieran Proctor

Support For The Cuban People – Don’t Fall For The Scam

If you’re planning to visit Cuba, you’ve no doubt read that one exemption for Americans to visit Cuba is a ...

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 like me, you’ve no doubt experienced many people standing around 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 visa box that reads ‘support for the Cuban people’. So that you can visit Cuba. Just don’t hand money out to every Cuban, 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 generate from passengers 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 seem 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 and Instagram.

To illustrate my point, let’s take a Cuban I know, in Havana. 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’s 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 nonsense, is now 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, when I want.

Having money allows me to pay for any surprises, that life might throw my way. And if I want to eat at certain restaurants, or stay in hotels in a foreign country, I can. Whenever or wherever I want.

Why, when I work for hard for my money, would I 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 newspaper again, a hurricane comes, tourist season slows or any one of a number of other uncontrollable events, occurs. And then Bob can no longer afford to access the internet. Or afford to even own a device, to access the internet.


What Do The Younger Generation Of Cubans Do When They Run Out Of Money?

They hustle tourists. They look for sugar daddies or sugar mommies. Or they 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 they 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’ll 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 and spend it on junk. They’ll 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 a Cuban 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.

Support for the Cuban People

Where Can I Get More Information About Cuba?

I’ve made my Complete Guide To Traveling Cuba available on this website. And I recommend you read it, before traveling to Cuba. It will help you navigate Cuba and Cuban society.

My Cuba travel guide will save you a lot of time and money on your next trip to Cuba. Cuba is not the sort of destination in which you can arrive unprepared. Read the most complete Cuba Travel Guide.