So much for those so-called cultural exchanges. Any Cuban who tries to interact with foreign tourists without explicit authorization of the Castro dictatorship faces arrest and imprisonment.
Turns out the “Cuba Experts” have been lying to us all this time…
Alleged “harrassing of tourists” could get Cubans jail time
In this edition of Inside Cuba, citizens talk about the State’s law criminalizing communication with tourists.
On the island, tourist harassment is a state law that prohibits contact between Cubans and tourists. The law is intended to deter prostitutes and hustlers from approaching foreigners, but policemen from the island can arrest any Cuban on site if they are seen interacting with tourists on the streets. The sanctions to Cubans include fines and jail time that depend on the degree of their harassment.
Cubans can approach tourists for different reasons. Some try to sell items such as rum, tobacco, or sex services to foreigners, while others approach them for money or goods that they cannot buy with their income. These goods vary from food to clothing items. Others instead, approach them to make relationships and find a way out of the island, and others just want to interact with people who are not from there.
Social interaction between Cubans and tourists is a matter of concern to the Cuban regime, which considers tourist harassment as a social danger, and an unmoral, uncivil activity.