Of all the countries in the world you might have considered in your search for a “mail order bride”, Cuba probably didn't come in at the top of your list.
That's entirely understandable because Cuba has been closed off from the Western world from the days of the Cuban Missile Crisis onwards. Planting thermonuclear weapons within 90 miles of the Florida coast didn't help that, nor did Castro's choke-hold on power in the country.
Cuba was a communist “success story”, but that didn't stop people living in poverty for decades, and right up to the present day. Socialism is a great idea in practice, but fails every time it's implemented in the real world, and Cuba is proof of that.
But times have changed, and Cuba is now far more open to Western tourism and influence, relaxing dramatically during their economic crisis of the 1990s. The Communist revolution is over in all but name, Cuba is now trying to find a way to save face in terms of its socialist ideals, but in the knowledge that its economy must change.
This is one of the very few countries in the world where Western influence is so limited as to make foreign tourists and guys looking for foreign brides unique, and almost special.
You'll stand out from the crowd here, whether you like it or not. And that means the odds are in your favor when it comes to finding a Cuban bride.
Cuba – Open For Dating (Except for Americans!)
The US embargo on Cuba has had the knock-on effect that US citizens can only visit Cuba when granted special permission. This obviously presents single American guys with a significant challenge when searching for single Cuban women, although that doesn't mean it's impossible.
Anything is possible once you use a little bit of lateral thinking.
These issues don't affect Canadians, Europeans, Australians, New Zealanders, or men from pretty much any other country in the world besides the United States.
Barack Obama lifted many of the travel restrictions to Cuba at the end of his second term in office in 2016. All of a sudden there was an influx of single American guys to Cuba, and Cuban girls were more than happy to hang out with North American guys who were almost alien to them.
But once Trump was elected, he undid most of the positive moves made by Obama, putting many of the travel restrictions back into place. But that left Cuban women with a taste for Western culture, and for American men.
So, you need to understand that Cuba is wide open for dating business for men from anywhere in the world, but American guys have to work around the existing rules.
The good news is that the renewed embargo under the Trump presidency is due for review in August/September 2018, so stay posted for further updates on that.
What To Expect from a Cuban Bride
Some people could quite easily lead you to believe that Cuba is a Caribbean island nation that has been so economically devastated by Communism that it can never recover. In fact, some of the more bitter men out there might convince you that it's a country populated almost entirely by jineteras (prostitutes) who are looking to scam you.
Every word you read just is wrong.
Cuba's economy is struggling, but they offer free school and college/university education for anyone who can pass the entrance exams. Now, compare that to the $1 trillion (yes, really) of student loan debt in the United States.
Who wins that argument?
The myth that the country is overflowing with prostitutes is also a complete and total lie. If anything this island nation has fewer prostitutes than pretty much any other country in the region.
So, what are Cuban women really like?
99% of the women you'll meet here are that killer combination of brains and beauty.
Around 70% of Cuban women are white, or mestizo (mixed race), so they look exactly as you'd expect – Native American influences with Spanish genetics thrown in for good measure.
They have tanned skin, dark hair, brown eyes, and that natural sex appeal that seems so prevalent with Latinas. They're also voluptuous by nature, with curves in all the right places, but thankfully in proportion to their body shape.
Don't be surprised if you wind up meeting a lot of girls named Svetlana or Tanya – a lot of Russians lived in Cuba during the Cold War, so you'll see that influence in quite a few women here.
Cuban women celebrate their femininity, but do so for themselves and not to please others. It's still enough to make most Western men breathe a sigh of relief because they won't have to endure another #MeToo lecture from a raving, bra-burning militant feminist.
Women here have no idea what an obesity epidemic is because most Cubans still have to do their shopping with a ration book. Yes, just like the ration books from World War II. 80% of Cuba's food is imported, so there are no “fat chicks” here, or very, very few of them.
Cuban women have no sense of entitlement because it's not part of their culture. And even the Cuban cariñas who have been exposed to the excesses enjoyed by Western women don't understand it. They see it as nothing more than greedy people with no real values.
Car ownership is also limited here, so most women cycle to get wherever they're going. That leaves you with naturally beautiful women who are also fit, toned and used to exercising every single day.
Here's the best way we can think of to sum up Cuban women:
A lot of Western women buy expensive dresses and shoes – sometimes costing thousands of dollars – in the hope that it will make them beautiful.
Your average Cuban girl, on the other hand, already understands what real beauty is, so wears her $10 dress and $5 shoes like they cost $10,000.
And any man with a heartbeat will sit up and take notice of her.
Why Cuban Women Want to Date Men from the West
There's a very good chance your Cuban girlfriend will turn out to be a doctor, engineer, or work in a similar profession. 60% of all doctors in the country are female, for example.
So, that means women are educated to a very high level, and suffer fools lightly. Cuban women are loving and loyal, but more fiery than any of their Latina counterparts.
Do you need to be a college or university graduate to date her?
Nope, but you better have a job and respect your family, or at least understand family is important to her. Cuba, despite Communism, is still a Catholic country so family is valued above almost anything else.
Because the country has remained in relative isolation for decades, tourists and foreign men are still something of a novelty. That's slowly changing, and women Cuban women are still trying to figure out what Western guys are all about.
She probably earns between $25 and $50 per month, depending on her profession, and that includes female doctors and engineers. That means she'll see you as being “rich” because you spend more on coffee every week than she earns in a month.
The weird thing is that Cuban women aren't impressed by wealth. They place way more value on your character, your values and your – there's no easy way to say this – passion between the sheets.
You will be introduced to pretty much everyone she knows, so you need to get your head around that before it happens. These introductions aren't a prelude to a proposal, by the way – it's just something a Cuban girlfriend will do.
You already know that your Cuban girlfriend won’t earn more than about $25 per month, and that means she can't afford to pay for drinks, dinner and dancing. This probably won't bother you, but it's worth mentioning because she won't be able to afford to split the bill with you.
She'll make up for her lack of financial resources in ways that money can't match, like putting real effort into her relationship with you because that's what matters most to her.
Cuban women are very family oriented, and this includes a desire to start her own family. Some professional women won’t want kids, but they’re in the minority.
Cuban Women Pet Peeves?
This is a short list, but an entirely relevant one. Any sign of disrespect shown towards her is an absolute no-no. Don't do it. Don't make assumptions about your value versus hers, especially based on the differences in your income.
Any Cuban girl will also resent the idea that being in a relationship with a man somehow gives him “ownership” of her, or anything even close to that. If she wanted to be “owned” by a man there are thousands of Cuban guys she could date instead of you.
Cheating is also a deal-breaker here. Cubans are sexually liberated, and for women that means being able to express themselves sexually and embracing their feminine ways.
For men it means cheating. Lots of cheating. The weird thing about Communism in Cuba is that it also lent itself to a kind of sexual revolution, but a lot of Cuban guys take it to the extreme.
Apart from that she expects to be treated as an equal in your relationship, with her opinions, input and values appreciated and acknowledged. That includes when you’re dating and after you’re married.
Dating Challenges in Cuba
Internet access is something we take for granted because, no matter where you are on the planet, you can access the Internet.
Getting online here is difficult at the best of times.
And it's not just for the “poor” people – it affects everyone. There are only a few hundred Wi-Fi access points shared between a population of 11 million people, so you can see how that might cause a problem.
If you want actual numbers to back that up, there's one Wi-Fi hotspot for every 45,000 people. Smartphone ownership isn’t very common, and Internet access on those devices is limited to whatever hotspots are available in the area.
Despite this, the Internet dating scene is alive and well and enjoying a lot of growth. Just bear in mind that if you don't hear from your cariña for a few days it's because she probably can't afford to talk to you.
Learning Spanish is a necessity for any guy who wants to meet and date single Cuban women. Some women living in the larger cities might speak a little English, but it's rare.
Cuban girls are open to the idea of marriage to a Western guy, but if you can't hold down a basic conversation with a woman here, then you're already off to a bad start.
The language barrier is an example of the biggest cultural difference here – Cubans have had no reason to learn English for the last several decades, so don't expect them to. Plus, Spanish is a relatively easy language to learn, but remember that Cuban Spanish is slightly different to European Spanish.
Another potential issue for American guys is that getting a visa to visit Cuba can be difficult when you're flying from the United States.
But, if you were to fly to Mexico instead, for example, and then on to Cuba, you wouldn't have any such difficulties in entering the country. Yes, you might need to work the system a little bit to get to Cuba, but once you meet the women here you'll realize it was worth the effort.
Again, the above entry issue only affects guys from the US – Canadians, Europeans and Australasians aren’t affected by this.
Finding Cuban Brides
As we mentioned at the start of this article, Cuba probably wasn't the first place on your international dating list of locations to visit, but there's a lot of opportunity here for meeting women.
Cuban women are more than open to the idea of dating and marrying foreign guys, but there's a little more work involved on your part to make that happen.
Just remember that you're doing this to find your future wife, so it's more than worth the legwork you put in at the start of the journey. Romance in Cuba is never rushed, and there's a lesson to be learned from that.
Because the average monthly income here is so low any women you find on dating websites are deadly serious about meeting a guy. Even if the website only costs $5 per month, that's still 20% of her total monthly income. To put that in perspective it's the equivalent of being charged about $400 per month for a dating site in the United States.
Women on Cuban and Latina dating sites have invested a lot of what little money they have to find the man of their dreams, so they deserve a lot of credit for doing that.
Do online dating scams exist?
Of course, but the same rules apply here as they do elsewhere: Never send money or gifts, and never share personal details she has no business knowing.
Dating Agencies & Romance Tours
The lack of public Internet access means that Cuba resembles Russia at the end of the Cold War, in that “mail order” bride agencies exist and are the best way to meet Cuban women.
What we usually advise guys to do is go online, chat to as many girls as possible, get to know the interesting ones, and then plan your next move from there.
When looking for a Cuban bride you need to focus just as much on dating agencies as you do online dating.
If you're interested in a romance/singles tour to Cuba then contacting an international dating agency is the best place to start. You’ll pay for the privilege, but dating agencies should be part of your overall plan.
You do always have the option of traveling to Cuba alone, but that really only applies to non-Americans because of the embargo on tourist visas to the country. American guys have the option of traveling to Cuba via Mexico, or another Caribbean nation, which is inconvenient but works almost every time.
If you do plan on traveling to Cuba alone you should know that all hotels are at least partially owned by the state, so your best option is to stay in a “Casa Particulares” which is the equivalent of a guesthouse, or bed-and-breakfast.
Airbnb is a great way to find places to stay in Cuba, with prices starting from around $20 per night, but after that the sky is the limit.
Getting Married in Cuba
Your Cuban girlfriend will need her identity card and a copy of their divorce certificate, if applicable. One odd requirement is that your fiancée will require a medical certification to confirm she's not pregnant, but only if she has been divorced for less than 300 days.
The “foreign boyfriend” requires a lot more documentation to get legally hitched in Cuba:
- Your birth certificate
- Your passport and visa
- Documented proof that you are single
- A divorce certificate if you are divorced
You will also need a translator to translate your documents into Spanish, which must then be authenticated by your country's consulate or embassy.
One thing to be very aware of is the amount of time it takes to assemble your documents, get them translated, and finally make their way through the system here – this can take up to 3 months in total.
You need approval from the Cuban government to take one of its citizens overseas, just in case you were toying with the idea of eloping with your fiancée.
The fact that Cuba has been so isolated for so long means that it's never been swamped with foreign guys looking to get married. The women here are pretty conservative by nature, have strong family values, and if given the choice are quite happy to settle down and start a family.
That makes it one of the better places in the world to meet, date and marry a woman who shares the same values as you. Just remember that cariñas are not nearly as shy and retiring as women in other Latin and South American countries. So you need to love women with a bit of fire in their belly, and with brains to burn, too.
Cuba is the undiscovered country when it comes to international dating, and it looks set to remain that way for years to come.
|What does it cost to marry a Cuban woman? (excluding wedding)|
|Dating Site||$29 per month x 6 months||$174|
|Flights||$300 x 4 (roundtrip prices from US)||$1,200|
|Romance Tour (optional)||$695 + $300 for flights (5 day trip)||$995|
|Hotels/Apartment||$60 per night (2 x 10 day stay)||$1,200|
|Visa Costs||$2,025 (K1 spousal visa)||$2,025 (revised for 2018)|