In Isla de la Juventud, a small island off the south coast of Cuba, Alfredo and I decide to tell everyone we’re married. It is a game, a way of survival in a country where foreigners have more rights than Cubans. And on this Island of the Youth, home to Cuba’s foreign exchange students in the years following the revolution, something has gone dreadfully wrong. Not only can Cubans not enter a restaurant or club without a foreigner in tow to fork over the U.S. dollars but here they need to be married to that foreigner.
Alfredo and I are standing at the iron rod entrance gate to Cabaret El Patio and the bouncer, a tall man, thick like a wall, is asking for our marriage papers.