What should visitors to Cuba be aware of?
Travelers may encounter men and women, pejoratively known as jineteros, who informally tap into the dollar economy by profiting off of relationships with foreigners. These encounters often arise as a “chance” meeting outside of hotels or tourist locations. As a general rule of travel, if a stranger approaches you with a deal that seems too good to be true… it almost certainly is. When dealing with Cuban hustlers, a simple shake of the head, “No gracias” or a firm “Déjame en paz” are appropriate ways to respond.
Also, we do not recommend that you buy cigars, rum, or anything products from people trying to sell you such items on the street. More often than not you will be buying an inferior product, sometimes the cigars are made with banana leaves and not tobacco!