Gay Guide

Cuba
Pink Star Rating

4

Capital

Havana

Other Main Cities/Resorts

Santiago de Cuba , Camaguey, Holguin, Guantanamo

Scene and Culture

Cuba is not known for its policies of social liberalism. For the Cuban GLBT community life has been hard with on going repression, including the continuing raiding and closing down of bars and clubs frequented by gays, arbitrary enforcement of Article 303a and closing down of gay groups. The Cuban Association of Gays and Lesbians, which formed in 1994, was squashed and its members taken into custody from their places of employment. There is a small out door gay scene in the Verdado district of Havana centred around Cine Yara and the nearby Malecon sea front. Bars and clubs catering for gays frequently change due to police repression so if you are visiting Havana head for the Cine Yara. In the streets around the cinema you will see gays hanging out so just ask around. Gay repression seems to happen in fits and starts so the number of obvious gays will depend on the prevailing political climate. On our recent visits to Cuba we found the people charming and just loved the Cuban music! However, the the barmy political system and the official homophobia is very waring. Nonetheless it is a totally different destination and has the feel of going back in time. Incidentally, whilst local gays are harassed and discriminated against, gay visitors appear to be left well alone.

Gay Age of Consent

18

Lesbian Age of Consent

18

Straight Age of Consent

18

Legal Notes

Article 303a of the Penal Code of April 30 1988 punishes "publicly manifested" homosexuality with between three months and one year in prison, or a fine of 100 to 300 cuotas for people "persistently bothering others with homosexual amorous advances". Publicly manifested can mean anything taken as a public indication of homosexuality, e.g. clothing or behaviour or transvestism. Application of this law has been very uncertain, due to the difficulties of interpretation.

Population

11.14 million

Currency

US$/ Cuban Peso

Climate

Cuba has a temperate sub-tropical climate due to the moderating influence of the trade winds. There are two seasons. The dry season is from November to April and this is the best time of year to go. The wet season is from May to October when most of the rainfall occurs.

Cuba is subject to tropical hurricanes with one generally occurring every year. Average temperature ranges in Havana are from 18c to 26c in January to 24c to 32c in July.