Sunday, August 13, 2006

Marriages of convenience...

or as an excuse to see how the other half lives?

Oswaldo Paya is not exactly my favorite Cuban dissident but this interesting article about him in the UK's Times Online reveals something I didn't know about Cuba.

Through access to the “convertible peso”, as the tourist currency is known, the revolutionary elite can eat in the best restaurants and visit hotels while the proletariat is effectively banned from such places.

To qualify for a permit to stay in a hotel, ordinary Cubans must show a marriage certificate to prove they are on honeymoon. It is not uncommon for couples to marry — and divorce two weeks later — simply to be able to enjoy the rare treat of a few days in a “convertible peso” zone.

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