14ymedio, Nelson García/Juan Izquierdo, Havana, 8 October 2023 — The atmosphere is electrifying, and the music is very loud. Everyone knows him and wants to know – both in Havana and outside Cuba – the coordinates for the most exclusive bar in Cuba: Mío and Tuyo (Mine and Yours). Prostitution, drugs, the best alcohol and the best cigars – multiple rumors surround the administration of the premises. It is claimed that the owner, Elio Ahumada, is a close friend of Raúl Guillermo Rodríguez Castro, alias El Cangrejo (The Crab), Raúl Castro’s grandson and bodyguard. Allegedly armored by the regime, Ahumada has a slogan on social networks: “Speak comment, defame.” The gossip can only give publicity.
Located in Miramar, on 5B and 42nd streets of the municipality of Playa, the white fence of Mío y Tuyo, in addition to the security personnel who guard it, makes one thing clear: not just anybody can get in. It’s commonly said that only the “beautiful people” go there – with the intention of spending “the best nights in Havana” – but also the wealthiest, the one who dresses best and the one who has the most contacts, in addition to having transportation to return home in the early hours of the morning.
Behind the bar, with dark glasses and a cocktail shaker in his hand, the bartender prepares everyone’s favorite drink. Some are known, like a mojito, and some are far-fetched, like a social-climbing coyote. There are no limits, and the radiant bottles behind him attest to this: for whiskey, Johnnie Walker – blue label, one of the most expensive – Ballantine’s and Chivas Regal; for vodka, Grey Goose Magnum and Belvedere; for rum, wonders from one shore to another.
Those who prefer to smoke have a special patio and comfortable benches. There are also three exclusive VIP areas: to the left and right of the entrance door, and another at the back of the lounge. Many have gotten drunk at these tables, to which Ahumada’s Instagram attests, everyone from Rihanna to Gente de Zona, from Alexander Abreu to Isaac Delgado and Paulo FG. Sandro Castro, Fidel Castro’s grandson, is also seen often. From time to time, security guards let in someone “poor”: it’s a strategy, some say, so that no one accuses its owner of practicing social apartheid.
What is the secret of Mío y Tuyo? What guarantees its continuous supply, its survival as a business, in the midst of a devastating economic crisis? Who protects Elio Ahumada? The “friend” in the dome who is most often pointed out is the famous grandson, who has been photographed more than once in the bar in the company of several young women. However, nothing – except the operation at full speed of the establishment – can show the link.
“Elio is a personal friend of El Cangrejo,” Omar, a former security employee of Mío y Tuyo, tells 14ymedio. “He earns his slice of money in exchange for sponsoring the place. He enjoys the open bar and all the free services provided, in addition to being able to organize private parties.” For Omar, the strategy is clear: “The Crab is the real owner; Elio is just a facade.”
Mary, a young woman who used to clean the bar, says that it’s a cover for the regime’s “dirty business.” “More than once I saw people using cocaine in the bathrooms,” she says. “When I told the management, they turned a deaf ear for a while. Shortly after, Elio himself told me that he would dispense with my services.”
To the alleged businesses of sale and consumption of drugs is added, according to observations in the bar and the comments of former employees, an orderly system of prostitution
To the alleged businesses of sale and consumption of drugs is added, according to observations in the bar and comments of former employees, an orderly system of prostitution. The young women entrench themselves in the VIP areas and wait for the arrival of potential customers: foreign businessmen, wealthy Cubans and members of the leadership who usually themselves show up with several women.
The jineteras (hookers, or prostitutes) of Mío y Tuyo have free admission and a well-defined “space” in the lounge. When they manage to “hook” a client – whom they monitor and select from the VIP platforms – they take him to the dance floor. Although they often go in groups – in case the client can pay for an orgy – there are also “independent” ones, who must then give a commission to the administrators.
The security guards preserve order among the “girls” of the bar and the “independents.” There can be no conflict in the facilities, and that’s why they are so scrupulous about who enters and who stays out. No one knows who may be behind the surveillance cameras. After all, another motto of Elio Ahumada, which seems like a private joke among friends, is that the luxurious bar is “more yours than mine.”
Translated by Regina Anavy
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