5 false assumptions about Cuban life

We all make assumptions. We do it all the time. These assumptions can be about pretty much anyone or anything. It’s so easy to think that we know what’s going on in someone else’s head. We don’t really know; we make a guess based on our imagination, past experiences or wishful thinking. As expats, we are frequently faced with such assumptions and we need to explain things that are obvious for us. That’s why we gathered a list of the false assumptions people make about Cuban life, to help spread the truth.


Safety. This is an unusually safe place against pickpockets and more violent crimes such as gunfire or drug terrorism. Due to the CDR (Committees for the Defense of the Revolution), there is someone in every neighborhood in charge of keeping the peace. As one Cuban friend told me, “We Cubans know how to stay in line.”


Dressing standards. Although there is limited access to clothing stores you will notice Cubans are very proud of their appearance. Prepare to be embarrassed that Cubans are well-groomed and well-ironed, even in sweltering heat and without clothes dryers.


Music. Cubans love their Enrique Iglesias (Spaniard) and Marc Anthony (New York) music, but is glaring how obviously Pitbull (Miami, Cuban-exile parents) is missing. But these international pop stars have stiff competition with homegrown Cuban modern-day stars such as Aleksander Abreu and Gente de Zona.


Salsa, rum and cigars. Yep, the media has it right. In Cuba you are going to discover amazing salsa dance opportunities, the Havana Club rum is truly unique and makes the best mojitos. The cigars…you will have to judge for yourself!


Picadillo and Jerked pork. These are the Cuban foods we get in Miami, where meat is easy to obtain. In Cuba there is much less pork and little beef available. Chicken is imported from U.S. poultry companies.