Is Cuba “gay-friendly?”
That is a question that has been asked of many destinations, and certainly of some Caribbean island destinations in recent years, and the good news is that Cuba is gay-friendly, to a fairly high degree.
According to Ronen Paldi, President of Ya’lla Tours USA, “Today, with Raul being in the closet and his daughter heading the ‘Gay Coalition’ (she is out of the closet), Cuba is gay friendly.” Ya’lla Tours has been a US Treasury Licensed Travel Service Provider to Cuba since 2002, and has sent thousands of people to Cuba.
How are gay visitors and natives treated in Cuba? Paldi goes on to say that gay visitors experience the same Cuba as everybody else. Cuba is a huge attraction for those who are interested in religion, culture, arts and social interaction with the Cuban people. Cubans who are gay are not persecuted like they were under Fidel’s power, according to Paldi.
Further, Cuba does have a gay social scene. “There are clubs that gay people feel more comfortable going to, and we recommend those clubs as a matter of course,” said Paldi.
While same-sex relationships might not be celebrated in Cuba (public displays of affection are not encouraged), they are fairly well tolerated, and people are free to be themselves.
Paldi reminds potential visitors to Cuba that travel to Cuba is restricted, and US Citizens and foreign nationals living in the United States, must comply with the law in any travel to Cuba.
Guest blogger Rich Davis is the Ya’lla Tours USA sales manager in the Midwest region. He’s based in Chicago.