Culture

11 Ways To Get A Cuban To Love You Forever

Ok, let’s say you’re trying to woo a Cuban. First off: Congratulations. You have excellent taste. Second, while we’re not all the same, there are definitely a few things that unite all Cubans, especially when it comes to winning our hearts. We’re here to help you figure that out so, let’s get to it:

Pastelitos de guayaba.

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Credit:  Instagram / @miamando

There are few things in this world more beautiful than a pastelito de guayaba. And when it comes to romance, a really good pastelito — perfectly flaky on the outside, gooey on the inside — will beat out a box of chocolates every time.

A Cuban sandwich, properly made.

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Credit: Flickr Creative Commons / jeffreyw

The “properly made” part is key here. For some reason, people love to remix Cuban sandwiches in truly absurd and sometimes downright horrifying ways. (Just today I saw an image of a Cuban sandwich that contained lettuce and, reader, I nearly fainted.) Why mess with a classic? Leave off the chipotle mayo. Throw the braised, pork-kissed kale compote or whatever right into the trash. Just give us a perfectly-pressed combination of pork, ham, mustard, pickles, and swiss cheese on Cuban bread. That’s what love tastes like.

Chisme.

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Credit: MakeAGif

True, lots of different people love chisme, but for Cubans, it’s a WAY OF LIFE. Bring us the gift of good chisme and we are yours forever.

Really, really good coffee.

Pouring a Cafe Cubano at Versailles, Miami, FL
Credit: Flickr Creative Commons / vxla

We’re not talking about the lukewarm, bean-kissed tears most people call coffee. We mean good, strong Cuban coffee. Caliente, amargo, espeso y fuerte. The kind you only need a teeny tiny little cup for, or else you’ll literally die.

Keeping the Scarface jokes to a minimum.

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Credit: Universal Pictures / NeoGAF

Look, we’re never going to stop people from quoting this movie. Tony Montana is probably the most famous fictional-Cuban-played-by-a-New-York-Italian-dude of all time. So let’s just space the quotes far apart. Maybe we can all agree not to shout “say hello to my little friend” during hookups? Is everyone cool with that?

The scent of violetas.

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Credit: Instagram / @sierrasuggs

Every (ok, most) Cuban children grew up smelling like they rolled around in a field of violets. For to many of us, that scent is one of nostalgia, harkening back to a simpler, better-smelling time before things like nervous sweat attacks and Axe body spray.

Not asking us when we’re going “back to” Cuba.

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Credit: NBC / Tumblr

Not only are there those among us who have never set foot in Cuba, but this is a fraught and sometimes pretty personal question in general. I mean, it’s not the end of the world, but now things are awkward between us. Nothing more pastelitos can’t take care of, but still.

Understanding what we mean when we talk with our hands.

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Credit: PBS / USAHavana on YouTube

Shaking hands up and down can mean “ya se formó” or “I’m so excited” or “my little brother is gonna get in trouble for something I did! Yaaas.” It is important to use context clues to know which one applies. Communication is key!

…And our chins.

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Credit: PBS / USAHavana on YouTube

What can I say. We’re an expressive people, man.

A cookie tin that actually contains cookies.

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Credit: Instagram / @tenderblenderfd

Life is all about little surprises, those tiny moments that brighten our days and keep us going. You know, like opening a tin of cookies (the blue one, always) and finding that it ACTUALLY has cookies inside instead of sewing supplies. If you present us with cookies, you have a fan for life.

Croquetas.

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Credit: YouTube / Víctor Muñoz

OK, YES, A LOT OF THESE ARE FOOD-RELATED. But it’s true that the way to someone’s heart is through the stomach, especially after standing at a little ventanita to order freshly-made croquetas from a woman who calls you “mija/o” and “mi amor.” ?

Hope these tips help. Good luck out there, kiddos!

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Credit: NBC / Giphy

WATCH: Have You Heard Fred Armisen and Horatio Sanz Do Cuban Accents? Here’s Your Chance

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The Miami Herald Apologizes For Including Racist, Anti-Semitic Insert In Newspaper

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The Miami Herald Apologizes For Including Racist, Anti-Semitic Insert In Newspaper

@BillCorben / Twitter

Readers of the Miami Herald and the El Nuevo Herald noticed a racist and anti-Semitic insert in one of the latest editions. The column in the insert compared BLM activists to Nazis while talking down about the Jewish community.

The Miami Herald recently published a racist and anti-Semitic insert.

The offensive piece, written by Cuban exile Roberto Luque Escalona, received harsh and immediate backlash. Escalona expresses his displeasure for the Jewish community and those seeking racial justice by joining BLM with one column.

“What kind of people are these Jews” writes Escalona. He then continues to “teach” Jewish people the history of the Holocaust and claims that BLM supporters are worse than the Nazis during Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass, because the Nazis simply destroyed things and didn’t steal.

The newspaper has apologized for the insert going so far as to admit that it was not properly vetted and that “internal failures” were at play.

According to an open letter, higher ups at the Miami Herald admit to the insert not being read and vetted by the staff. The obvious overlook led to a 40-page insert of right-wing propaganda to be distributed to the readers of both the Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald. Since the publication, the Miami Herald claims to have ended their relationship with Libre, the insert with the racist and anti-Semitic content.

Those responsible at the Miami Herald admitted to not reading the insert before it was distributed.

“We are deeply sorry that inflammatory, racist and anti-Semitic commentary reached our el Nuevo Herald subscribers through LIBRE, a Spanish-language publication that paid our company to have the product printed and inserted into our print edition as a weekly supplement,” reads part of an open letter to readers. “The fact that no one in leadership, beginning with us, had previously read this advertising insert until this issue was surfaced by a reader is distressing. It is one of a series of internal failures that we are investigating in order to prevent this from ever recurring.”

Readers are outraged that the newspaper would allow such offensive things to be published and distributed.

The right-wing conspiracies pushed by Libre are part of a larger Spanish-language disinformation campaign targeting Cubans in southern Florida. The community has been inundated with disinformation ahead of the 2020 election preying on the fears and ignorance within the staunchly conservative Cuban community.

“It’s difficult to measure the effect exactly, but the polling sort of shows it and in focus groups it shows up, with people deeply questioning the Democrats, and referring to the ‘deep state’ in particular — that there’s a real conspiracy against the president from the inside,” Eduardo Gamarra, a pollster and director of the Latino Public Opinion Forum at Florida International University, told Politico. “There’s a strain in our political culture that’s accustomed to conspiracy theories, a culture that’s accustomed to coup d’etats.”

The disinformation is targeting Cubans because of the growing Latino communities who tend to vote Democratic.

According to Politico, the campaign is Cuban specific. The Puerto Rican, Nicaraguan, Colombian, Venezuelan, and Dominican communities in Florida, which continue to grow, typically vote Democratic. These shifting demographics have left Republicans doing anything it takes to keep a strong hold of the Cuban community, even by means of racism, anti-Semitism, and disinformation.

READ: Politicians Need To Stop Assuming That The Latino Vote Is A Monolith Because It Is Not The Truth

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Cuba Locks Down Havana To Stop Covid-19 As Cubans Struggle To Afford Everyday Items

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Cuba Locks Down Havana To Stop Covid-19 As Cubans Struggle To Afford Everyday Items

Ivan Bor / Getty Images

Cuba has been one of the hemisphere’s coronavirus success stories — but a sudden outbreak in its capital has brought on a strict, two-week Havana lockdown. Residents of the capital city will be forced to stay-at-home for 15-days, while people from other parts of the island ill be prohibited from visiting – essentially sealing off the city from the outside world.

Meanwhile, the Coronavirus pandemic has pummeled the island’s economy and has left many everyday items out of reach for many Cubans. Some are being forced to turn to ‘dollar stores,’ where the U.S. dollar is once again accepted as hard currency – something now allowed since 1993.

Officials have ordered a strict 15-day lockdown of Havana in an effort to stamp out the spread of Coronavirus in the capital.

Aggressive anti-virus measures, including closing down air travel, have virtually eliminated COVID-19 in Cuba with the exception of Havana, where cases have surged from a handful a day to dozens daily over the last month. 

A daily curfew from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. was instituted Tuesday. Most stores are barred from selling to shoppers from outside the immediate neighborhood in order to discourage people from moving around the city. 

Some Havana residents complained that the measures were complicating the already difficult task of buying food in a city hit by constant shortages and endless lines for a limited supply of basic goods. Some provinces that saw no new cases for weeks have begun detecting them in recent days, often linked to travelers from Havana.

The start of in-person classes for students was also indefinitely delayed in Havana, while schools opened normally in the rest of Cuba.

To enforce the lockdown, police stationed on every road leaving Havana are supposed to stop anyone who doesn’t have a special travel permit, which is meant to be issued only in extraordinary circumstances.

Under the strict new lockdown measures, anyone who is found in violation of the stay-at-home orders face fines of up to $125 per violation, more than triple the average monthly wage.

The island nation had seemed to manage the pandemic well – with fewer cases than many of its Caribbean neighbors.

Credit: Ivan Bor / Getty Images

The island of 11 million people has reported slightly more than 4,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, with fewer than 100 deaths, one of the lowest rates in the region.

The government made face masks obligatory in the early stages of its pandemic response, and in the first months of the crisis police aggressively fined and even jailed people for violations. 

That vigilance slackened somewhat as Havana moved out of the first, strictest phase of lockdown in July, when public transportation restarted and people returned to work. The number of coronavirus cases then began to climb again.

Meanwhile, the Cuban economy has tanked and residents are struggling to make ends meet now more than ever before.

Credit: Yamil Lage / Getty Images

The pandemic has hit the island’s economy particularly hard. Much of the island relies on agricultural and tourism – two sectors that have been decimated by Coronavirus.

As a result, many Cubans are struggling to afford everyday items. Rice – which used to sell for about $13 Cuban pesos per kilo is now going for triple that.

In an effort to allow Cubans better access to goods, the government has began recognizing the U.S. dollar as official currency. This is extraordinary as mere possession of U.S. dollars was long considered a criminal offense. However, the measure draws a line between the haves and have-nots, one that runs even deeper than it did before the pandemic.

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