Cuban Court Recognizes that Young People are Dazzled by Foreigners / Laritza Diversent

The Tunas Court on February 25, recognized in its Ruling No, 92 that young Cubans “are dazzled in the presence of a foreigner, seeing the possibilities of fashionable clothes and shoes and visiting historic sites,” in a case having to do with human trafficking.

Seven people from Las Tunas were sanctioned by the court for renting, without authorization, space in their home to an Italian who had sex with five young people, 2 who were 16, one 18, between 2005 and 2010. The ages of the others were not mentioned.

The Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, in June 2000, invited the government to expand its official programs through which Cubans could achieve economic independent, as a way of eliminating the need for prostitution.

The initial indictment was for the crime of pimping and human trafficking, although only three of those implicated were fund guilt by the court. The rest were fined for illegal economic activity. The owners who sentenced administratively also faced the demand for the confiscation of their homes.

The main players were arrested at the end of March 2010. Weeks later, the authorities found the body of a 12-year-old girl, apparently murdered, in Granma province. The case circulated in the media at the beginning of February of this year. Following the death of the minor 3 Italian citizens at least 12 residents of the eastern territory were detained.

Following the discovery of the body, the police authorities unleashed a major operation in Bayamo concentrating on the residents of that city who rented their homes to foreigners, the majority of which were confiscated.

The preliminary investigation didn’t mention the Italian citizens who were arrested barely two weeks later, nor the links between Lillian and the foreigners. However, the popular version of the events suggested that the minor visited a rental house where the foreigners were having a party, and there she consumed quantities of alcohol and drugs.

In June 2010 the United States reaffirmed Cuba as a country that traffics in persons. The American government, from 2003, has included Cuba on the black list for “not meeting the minimum parameters for the elimination of human trafficking and not making significant efforts to this effect,” it said in its report.

The island is “principally a source of human trafficking of children, particularly for their commercial exploitation within the country.” The country to the north is concerned because prostitution is legal for children of 16 and 17. In the Cuban legal code there is special protection for children under 14 with regards to the crimes of pimping and human trafficking.

The international committee, which provides protection to females, also recommended that the Island government delve into the causes of prostitution and the impact of adopted preventative and rehabilitative measures, in order to make them more effective.

Cuba actively prosecutes prostitutes, mostly young, under the crime of pre-criminal dangerousness. In the majority of cases, for their rehabilitation, they are subject to correctional work with internment in farms. The age of criminal liability on the island is 16. In this case the court did not rule on the matter.

April 10 2011