One reality of Cuba’s dual currency system is that some items are subsidized by the government and sold in the Cuban Peso, but many much needed goods and services are sold in the Cuban Convertible Peso or the CUC$.
Many Cubans who do not have the privilege of accessing the CUC through remittances sent from family members living abroad, or tips from the tourist industry, find creative ways to make ends meet.
Travelers may encounter men and women, pejoratively known as jineteros, who informally tap into the dollar economy by profitting off of relationships with foriegners. These encounters often arise as a “chance” meeting outside of hotels or tourist locations. As a general rule of travel, if a stranger approaches you with a deal that seem too good to be true… it almost certainly is. When dealing with Cuban hustlers, a simple shake of the head, "No" or a firm "Dejame en paz" are appropriate ways to respond.
Please understand that Cubans are very friendly and love making conversation with guests in their country. Therefore, do not shy away from conversation or dismiss all strangers who approach you.
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