When tourists vacation in Cuba, they might take walks on its warm beaches, take pictures of its colorful architecture, or enjoy rich Afro-Cuban culture. Parallel to these scenes is the people who work in Cuba’s tourism industry, supplying entertainment to tourists to consume during their stays in paradise. This paper discusses Cuba’s tourism industry during its “Special Period,”: a time in the 1990s when Cuba reintroduced the dollar into its economy and reopened its tourism industry. The reintroduction of the dollar created increased racial inequality, especially among Afro-Cuban women. This research examines the increase in racial inequality during the Special Period by discussing Cuba’s racial history. It then looks at the effects of Cuba’s re-dollarization and tourism industry on Afro-Cuban women. This paper concludes with discussions about how Afro-Cuban women are battling against misrepresentations from Cuban tourism.



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