Cuba's sex tourism

Miami Herald:
For the two Cuban girls, 12 and 13 years old, it was just another sex party with foreign tourists — videotaped, fueled with marijuana and alcohol and sometimes involving sex with both men and women.

But this time 12-year-old Lilian Ramírez Espinosa, an asthmatic, gasped and blacked out.

Her badly decomposed body was found five days later on the isolated outskirts of the eastern city of Bayamo.

The girls “had been prostituting themselves for six months, but one of them had to die before the authorities noticed,” said Havana lawyer Laritza Diversent, who is helping with the appeal by one of the defendants in the case.

Lilian’ death on May 14, 2010, is the best documented and most horrifying example of child prostitution to emerge from Cuba since sex tourism began to blossom there in the early 1990s.

Canadian, Spanish and other tourists are flying to the island for sex with minors, a joint investigation by The Toronto Star and El Nuevo Herald has shown, although the extent of the problem remains unknown.

Cuba’s government “resists discussion of issues that might suggest weaknesses in the governing and social system,” said one report on child sex trafficking, written by U.S. diplomats in Havana in 2010.

Diversent said she was not surprised that girls as young as the ones in Bayamo were having sex-for-pay in a country where kids generally start having sex at the age of 12 or 13 and families face shortages of everything from tomatoes to shoes.

“The only thing never rationed was sex,” she said.

What was surprising, Diversent added, was that three Italians and 10 Cubans were tried and convicted in Ramírez’ death.

Read more here:
There is more.

It should be easy to stop this sort of thing.  Cuba is not the only place it happens.  Thailand is notorious for under age sex workers.  In Cuba the sex trade is apparently one of the few things not run directly by the government.  When the Castros are gone and the country is no longer communist, it is possible that Cuba can again be a prosperous location.


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