Wed, Jul 05, 2017 - Page 7 News List

State-run love motels come back in Cuba

Reuters, HAVANA

Cuba is reviving a network of state-run “love motels” in Havana where couples can rent rooms by the hour as the government seeks to “diversify options for love,” the official trade union weekly Trabajadores said on Monday.

Havana boasted dozens of such posadas until the 1990s, when the remaining few were given to Cubans left homeless by hurricanes.

Privacy has became elusive for lovers, given a housing shortage that forces many families to live in the same apartment and people to live together after their divorce.

Private establishments have filled in the gap for some, the trade union weekly wrote, but many cannot afford to pay about US$5, or one-sixth of the average monthly state wage, for three hours of bliss.

The less fortunate must resort to “parks, dark staircases, the beach and even the Malecon [seafront],” Trabajadores wrote.

However, now the state wants to make lovemaking easier again.

“We want to revive this service that is in high demand, has a big social impact and without a doubt is very profitable,” Alfonso Munoz Chang Provincial Housing Company of Havana was cited as saying. “We will start with what we call Hotel Vento, a two-story building with 16 rooms with bathrooms.”

“The city needs this,” Hotel Vento administrator Maria Sterling was cited as saying, adding that employees would be “very enthusiastic” as wages would likely rise with the extra work.

Next, authorities are to restore some once-famous love motels like La Monumental to their former glory, Munoz Chang said.

“To think about how to diversify options for love is not farfetched. It is a reality that concerns everyone and cannot become a luxury,” Trabajadores wrote.

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