Desde Dentro de Cuba.

Distribuido por Cuba Free Press, Inc. -

Havana, October 8, 1998, Cuba Free Press.


LAS TUNAS Three "tuneras" (women from Las Tunas) of different ages freely described their lives as prostitutes. The ways in which they became involved in this trade are so coincidental that they give rise to the theory that their conduct is not merely accepted by the society in which they live. Far from helping them change their ways, this society even augments their raison detre.

The three agreed to our conversations without fear or distrust. However, only one was willing to give her true name and address. The others wanted to remain anonymous. Their experiences are proof of the moral decadence of this society and a living reflection that permits us to focus on an alarmingly corrupt phenomenon.


Of medium height, dark of skin, 40, with a tender look about her, straight hair, a tiny figure. Mother of a 6-year-old daughter. Divorced, without a registered job and training for only one: Prostitute.

"I have lost morality but I keep us alive," she explains.

Name: Mariselis Bez Borjas. Address: Camilo Cienfuegos Avenue,Buenavista Community, City of Las Tunas.

She sums up her life with tranquility while making herself comfortable on the bed she shares with her daughter. "I have nothing; only my daughter. For her I do this. At first I was ashamed. Sometimes I wonder what will happen to me. But, what else can I do?"

Mariselis is a woman who learned to walk without looking backwards. Cubans are her Johns. She has never gone to bed with a foreigner. She arrived at prostitution through necessity. "I had nobody to give food for me or my daughter. She is blameless. The men promised me things and said they needed me. And, you know."

Before she took the final step, though, she visited every government office in Las Tunas trying to find some other kind of job. Nobody offered any kind of help; none exists for her.

Her home? Its a tiny room with the walls and roof made of cardboard. Inside, a bed, a table which holds a few cooking and eating utensils. A kerosene lamp sits on an old box. Three chairs are crowded together, reducing the space. One chair holds a fan. One window, without a lock, allows air to enter.

There is no bathroom. "My necessities," she explains politely, "I do in my neighbors house. And I bathe here outdoors in the patio, underneath my clothes."

While I take notes, she insists that I publish everything "so the truth about Cuba will be known." She tells me goodbye with confidence. I ask if I can take some photos. "Sure. So when the people see my face they will know you are not lying. And dont forget to list my address. Who knows, maybe some foreigner will want to look me up!"


Thats the name well give her. When first I saw her she was hospitalized in a Las Tunas hospital. Serious events have distorted her personality and she cant escape depression.

She is thin yet conserves her beauty. She cries a lot. She isolates herself from the other patients and everything makes her feel bad. Her mother, a country woman, takes care of her daughter, age 6.

Sandra pushed the medical team to cure her. When she felt a little better, she asked to leave.

Later I saw her in a city market. She was elegantly dressed. High heels, a scandalous perfume, clothing tightly fitted. At her side was a white man double her size, who allowed her to lead him around. He spent his money carelessly, even giving tips. She let him impregnate her: "A child with this man would be my best luck," she thought. But this foreigner, who gave her anything she asked for, suddenly changed when he learned his girl was pregnant.

"He left me without looking back," she later explained." She has never heard anything more about him. "But that wretch will pay," she said, "After all, God is still in his heaven."

Today, Sandra does not look her age of 27. And now she is the mother of another baby girl. She practices prostitution occasionally. "I cant leave the baby alone for very long; shes only a year old. But, yes, I do it. Whos going to care for us?"


The street is her best friend.

She lives in a fringe neighborhood in a tiny house with her family. Among all the persons there at home, nobody has a job. Marcia is of mixed races, somewhat dark skinned. Slim; her clothing is tight. She has a special grace for seduction.

"I cant stand being at home," she says, explaining why she spends so much time on the street.

Her clothes somehow call attention to her status as a street girl, a "jinetera." "Thats what they call me and it doesnt matter to me. After all"

She doesnt hunt for strangers, just watches for money. If someone has a $US dollar, thats the best. Her clients usually are Cubans because those are the ones closest to her haunts. Men over age 50 are her best clients. "They pay more and are more delicate," she says with a tart smile.

She looks tranquil. Her glance, which expresses the invisible, quickly brings around the men who want her. She is 17 and has three years of experience.

I asked her about the revolution and socialism. She replied with disdain, "That is bull, man! How I wish it was otherwise; everything is a lie."

Marcia uses marijuana. "That way time passes faster and one feels like they were in another world." She laughs while saying that she is "a crazy one." There is no doubt that she lives, lost in herself, in a world that offers her nothing.

Prostitution in Las Tunas is going to increase. The causes are found in these three witnesses. You will reach your own conclusions.

Ramón Humberto Colás, Cuba Free Press.

P.O. Box 652035
Miami, FL 33265-2035
Copyright © 1998 - Cuba Free Press, Inc.