HAVANA TIMES — The Cuban government is back in the motel business renting rooms out by the hour, after decades of having been closed down. The stated goal: to “diversify people’s options for making love”, local media have published today.
In Cuba, there were dozens of such facilities, which were known as posadas, but in the 1990s, the last ones closed down and were given to citizens who had lost their homes to the hurricanes that struck.
Due to the national housing shortage, and especially in Havana, it’s quite common for several generations of a family to live in the same apartment or house, some couples even share the same home after they divorce because they don’t have any other choice.
Private entrepreneurs took advantage of the Cuban people’s demand for privacy and were renting out rooms for three hours for these romantic encounters for 5 USD.
“A high figure for the average Cuban,” the weekly newspaper Trabajadores pointed out. In Cuba, the average salary doesn’t reach 30 USD per month and many Cubans earn between 15 and 20 USD.
Those without privacy at home and who couldn’t pay this sum had to go to “parks, dark stairways, the beach and even the Malecon,” wrote Trabajadores.
“We want to revive this service which is in high demand, it has a great social impact and it is very lucrative, there’s no doubt about it,” stated Alfonso Munoz Chang, the director of the Provincial Housing Company in Havana.
Now, the Cuban State wants to make it easy again for people to make love and the project will begin with the “Vento” motel, a two-story building with 16 rooms with bathrooms. Later, the project will extend to “La Monumental”, “Eden Arriba”, “Eden Abajo” motels and the “Ocho Vias” hotel.
“Thinking about how to diversify people’s options to make love isn’t unfounded,” the weekly newspaper Trabajadores wrote. “It’s a reality which concerns everyone and it can’t become a luxury.”
The following photos by Juan Suarez are of buildings that used to be “posadas” that were turned into residences in the 1990s.
Click on the thumbnails below to view all the photos in this gallery