Jineterismo is a term used in Cuba to describe a number of illegal or semi-legal economic activities related to tourism in Cuba, outside the government proscribed norms. These activities include prostitution and pimping, as well as other forms of hustling, such as selling black-market and counterfeit goods. The term derives from the Spanish jinete meaning horserider. The word jinetera means "jockey" in Continental and Standard Spanish, but in Cuban slang is a female sex-worker. A jinetero is a pimp, or a hustler. (A male prostitute is called a pinguero.) Jineteras in Cuba earn between US$5 and US$200 for sexual encounters with foreigners.
Sex tourism, indeed prostitution generally, has been officially prohibited in Cuba. However, this has not reduced its prevalence. One reason that sex tourists may select Cuba over other destinations is the low rate of HIV infection within the Cuban population, and it has been argued that Jinetaras have played a significant role in Cuba's tourism boom.
According to commentators such as Cynthia Pope, the issues surrounding prostitution and jineterismo in Cuba are shaped by "the political ideology that female sex work is an extension of pre-Revolutionary U.S. imperialism and colonialism." One such commentator, Lisa Wixon, compares jineteras more to the heterai of ancient Greece than modern prostitutes.
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