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Natalie Allen writes that the author takes the reader through the history of sexuality in Cuba via interviews with young women and men negotiating their relationships with both foreigners and the socialist state. Megan D. University of California Press. Since the Obama administration announced in December that it would normalize diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba, all eyes have turned to this tiny island.
From Cuba with Love dives into the nexus of sex, money, and deprivation in Cuba since the fall of the Soviet Union and the tightening of the U.
Daigle freely admits that these high stakes made it difficult to interview subjects; many refused to speak with her and those that agreed to be interviewed often refused to be recorded for fear that the recordings could be linked back to them. In the end, Daigle was able to interview just over 50 Cubans who had or sought to have relationships with foreigners.
Most of these subjects were young women, although she reports that she also spoke with several men. From Cuba with Love is plagued by many of the issues that come with ethnographic work, particularly skewed sampling, as Daigle is forced to use a snowball sample to find subjects who are willing to speak with her, but also with personal biases.
In spite of these issues, From Cuba with Love is an informative and enjoyable window into the lives and views of these often misrepresented women and men. Jineteras the women who pursue relationships with foreigners in order to gain access to goods and currency are typically characterized as young, attractive, black or mixed race girls.