- Noticeable difference between the locals and the foreigners
- Extra taxis for foreigners
- Immigration uncommon and against the Cuban law
- Joyful country to spend holidays in
Cuba is in a very unique situation in comparison to other countries, socially and politically speaking. While many foreigners continuously come to visit Cuba, it is not so frequent to see people moving permanently to Cuba.
The political system currently in place on the island makes a very marked difference between the locals and the “extranjeros”, Spanish for foreigners. Cubans are locked into a socialist economic system with fixed wages, prices and rations. This, however, is no good for foreigners, so a separate pricing system is applied to them. This has the added advantage of bringing much needed hard currency (dollars) into the country. So Cuba has a double pricing system currently in force in Cuba. One for its local residents, in pesos, and the other system charged to the extranjeros, generally in dollars. This large price disparity is one of the factors that differentiate the locals from tourists and visitors.
You may also find that there are certain taxis that are used only by extranjeros, while Cubans use another sort. It is against the law for Cuban taxis to carry or accept fares from tourists.
For foreigners, it is one thing to visit Cuba and quite another to actually settle and live there. The two-tier pricing system makes things more expensive in the long run and another problem would be housing. Houses are not for sale to foreigners in Cuba and renting is not so easy either. An application must be made to the government, who then sets the monthly rent. There are foreigners who can be found living in Cuba, particularly in Havana, at the Hemingway Marina. They are mostly Europeans who are vacationing and living on their docked boats or in high priced “tourist houses” located in the vicinity of the Marina.
The majority of extranjeros, however, are passing through, visiting this amazing place and all the wonders it has to offer. There is nothing quite like Cuba.