Dating love cuba
“When they see us, when they see the age difference – me with a tourist – they think I’m a jinetera,” she says, but that is one thing that Yakelín is clear that she is not.She never went looking for a relationship with a tourist, nor does she know many foreigners.After spending her teenage years at a boarding school in the countryside, she had elected not to continue to university and was back in Havana with her family.Like so many others, her family worked hard to make ends meet, and Yakelín was looking for ways to lighten the burden.Beyond that, she wants nothing to do with politics – she does not see the point in even broaching the subject.When I ask about the future, Yakelín takes a moment to think, looking across the patio at Jean-Claude where he sits, conversing with a friend a few tables away while we talk.When it came to sexual liaisons with said foreigners, the Cubans in question were (and continue to be) presumed to be women of colour.Noelle Stout argues that, far from being a “misnomer for prostitution”, the term ‘jineterismo’ is indicative of a more emancipatory paradigm that challenges traditional notions of the victimised prostitute and recasts them with greater agency and power.
He suggested that, since I was en la lucha [struggling to get by], you know, he suggested that I no longer be in the streets [looking for leads on work, food, clothes] and that he was going to help me resolver mis problemas [solve my problems]. Jean-Claude is married, but Yakelín says that in spite of that they have a “formal relationship” – she lives in a comfortable casa particular, for which he pays, and they spend every afternoon together.
John as a place to take stock after a day of research and to write my field journal.
There were a number of regulars there, mostly foreigners, but one couple caught my eye in particular – a young woman and her older companion, easily thirty years her senior and clearly foreign, even to my untrained eye. John, had once glanced pointedly in Yakelín and Jean-Claude’s direction and said wryly, “Fieldwork.” I finally spoke to them on a sweltering afternoon in June.
While Claude’s money has certainly profoundly improved her circumstances, she insists it is not central to their affective bond and that she is not seeking a way out of Cuba – she would like to see France, certainly, but she would miss Cuba far too much to leave it forever.
Yakelín knows what her relationship looks like to outside observers, particularly given that she does not currently have a job, so she is very careful not to court trouble in other respects – she regularly attends meetings of her local Committee for the Defense of the Revolution (CDR), and she is a dues-paying member of the Federation of Cuban Women (FMC).