Cuba, Cuba, Cuba – who doesn’t want to visit Cuba?
Everyone wants to visit Cuba, the island whose name is also the title of the infectious disco hit by the Gibson Brothers, back in 1979. Famed for its colourful buildings, lush tropical beaches, friendly people, cigars and rum, as much as for its history of revolutions and communist past, the country is on almost everybody’s ‘bucket list.’
Shaped a little like a banana, Cuba is the largest of the Caribbean islands and stretches sort of east-west about 100 miles south of Florida’s southern tip. The nation’s history reaches back 6,000 years and was home to Amerindian tribes until well into the 15th century. Gaining independence from Spain in 1898, the country became a republic and was presided over by the dictatorship of Batista until his removal in 1959, when the nation came under the communist rule of Fidel Castro. Three years later, the world almost toppled into a Third World War because of the Cuban Missile Crisis and the disastrous Bay of Pigs campaign.
Part of Latin America, Cuba is multiethnic, its people and cultures developing from many different origins, including cultures brought in from Spain, Africa, and its connections to the communist ways of the Soviet Union.
Geography and tourism.
With a year-round mean temperature of 21° C, the country really is an island paradise, although its position near the Gulf of Mexico puts it slap bang in the path of powerful hurricanes, especially during the months of September and October. While the greater part of the country is flat and agricultural, a range of mountains along the south coast, Sierra Maestra, rises to a maximum height of 2,000 metres above sea level. It is here on the south coast that the infamous US Naval Station Guantánamo is situated, approximately 50 miles east of Santiago de Cuba, the island’s second largest city with a population approaching half-a-million.
During the communist era, tourism was a restricted industry, holiday-makers being kept in special resorts isolated from the islanders. However, after communism’s spectacular collapse in 1989, Cuba has hugely increased the numbers of visitors to the country and now enjoys status as the third-most popular Caribbean tourist attraction.
Havana, the capital, sits on the northern coast near the western end of the island and has a population of about 2.25 million. Other major cities include Camagüey, Holguín, Santa Clara and Manzanillo. With a coastline measuring 2,319 miles, the country has no shortage of fantastic beaches – good places to be on the look-out for the gorgeous sun-tanned senoritas.
If your interests include flora and fauna, this is definitely the place to be. Cuba has the most varied plant and animal life of any Caribbean country. From being home to the world’s smallest bird, the bee hummingbird, the island also harbours a large blue lizard and some awe-inspiring see-through butterflies.
Stuff to eat!
When it comes to fortifying the inner soul, you’ll discover an excellent mixture of Spanish and Caribbean cuisines, both of which use various spices to liven up their dishes. A Cuban’s staple diet consists of black beans and rice and plantains, served with shredded beef, pork and a wide variety of tropical fruits. Perhaps because of the food rationing, which the country has come to accept, all dishes are served at the same time, starters, mains and desserts placed on the table and readily accessible.
Cuban women and their stereotypes
As with all Latin people, Cubans are very friendly, close, and share a great sense of community. Everywhere you look there will be people chatting – over a cup of coffee, sitting on a wall overlooking the sea, and on every street corner. Cubans like to know what’s going on, and gossip thrives in the social network.
- Tradition plays a large part in this stunning country, and though the status of men and women used to be regarded respectively as breadwinner and housewife, times have changed. While the female will still play the pivotal role of housewife and cook, she’ll be more liberated than in other Latin countries – more on a footing with the women of Spain and Italy. She will expect her man to lend a hand around the house and maybe also to partake in the preparation of meals.
- Though the country suffers from a high divorce rate, your partner will be independent, yet passionate and loving. And, because a high percentage of Cubans in the professional spheres of work are female, your other half will be able to go some of the way in helping to support the family.
- Like most Latin countries, Cuba’s predominant religion is Roman Catholicism, about 60%, with the other Christian sector, Protestantism, accounting for around 5%. Marriage is an important part of Cuban society and, despite there being one or two unsavoury rumours regarding Cuban females, your Caribbean beauty will look after you, cherish and respect you, and keep the house looking spick and span. But you need to reciprocate in a similar fashion. So, nothing out of the ordinary here!
- Cuban women love kids and are great at looking after them. It’s fun, fun, fun all the time! And with the wonderful climate most of the leisure hours are spent out of doors, chatting with the neighbours, strolling through the markets and listening to various forms of street music.
- The women and girls of amazing Cuba love to look good – and this is something at which they excel. They, their men also, take great care when it comes to their appearance, style and hygiene. In the larger cities, such as Havana and Santiago de Cuba, the inhabitants will parade themselves as if on a fashion walkway. They dress elegantly, walk tall, and look stunning, no matter whether their clothes come from some latest fashion boutique or just consist of a T.Shirt and a pair of old jeans.
What about fun, fiesta, passion and good times?
Music and fiesta are central to the Cuban soul. Think Tres and Son, and Rumba, Mambo and Salsa, and then snap your fingers to the irresistible beat of a funky Latin rhythm. Think also of the music of Gloria Estefan, who was born in Havana but whose family fled to Miami on account of the revolution. Movement and sensuality is what life in Cuba is all about. Look good, feel good, and strut your funky stuff.
Blessed with a good sense of humour – again, this might be aided by the warmth of the sun – and the Cuban style of saying whatever’s on one’s mind, the way-of-life on this island is truly open with scant regard for political correctness.
How do I get to charm one of these beautiful Cuban women?
Good question – with an easy answer. Visit the country and you’ll find that the people come to meet YOU. This is especially the case in the larger cities, where the inhabitants are more used to greeting strangers. Rated as some of the world’s friendliest people, Cubans excel at chattering about this, that, and just about everything, and, as already mentioned, have no qualms about expressing their views – right or wrong. So, be prepared but don’t let things get out of hand. Remember to be polite and courteous, and you’ll be on the path to success. Although in comparison to most of the rest of the world Cubans are fairly poor, they are fiercely proud people and will shower you with friendliness and warm hospitality.
Again, as mentioned before, all Cubans are very particular about their appearance. Remember this and act on it. Before going to meet your date, look in the mirror and think carefully about whether you’d like to meet yourself! Do you look fresh and confident or do you resemble something that the cat dragged home? Yep, appearance is vitally important – we’re out to impress, not depress. Clean clothes and clean looks are imperative, so when you come back to your hotel after a day on the beach, take time to organize yourself into something that looks like a human being.
The cities are full of interesting bars and restaurants, so ask your partner where she’d like to go – she’ll know better than you the best places to visit. And never forget that chivalry goes a long way – even in this day and age. When you come to a door, open it for your date and allow her to pass through ahead of you. And though she’ll be inclined to talk the hind leg off a donkey, listen and show interest, and try to remember everything she’s telling you.
All the other romantic stuff – gifts, flowers, and one or two compliments – should of course also be included on your first few dates. All women like to feel special, so take it upon yourself to be that charming guy she’s been searching for.
How do I meet a Cuban woman?
However, don’t write too much – no one wants to read an essay. A few lines should be enough, but make sure they are short and catchy, enough to tell the world who you are and what you want. You can also add a photo, or two.
Again, they should be the genuine article, not a photo-shopped version of a super hero. Remember, on the day of the BIG MEET your prospective partner will expect to see the same person they fell in love with when they read your dating site profile.