The Globalization of Sex Tourism and Cuba: A Commodity Chain Approach

Authors: 
Publication Type: 
Volume: 
36
Number: 
4
Page Numbers: 
63-88
Month/Season: 
Published On: 
2002

During the past decade Cuba has become a haven for international sex tourists. How do we explain this phenomenon? This article contends that the Cuban experience must be understood as part of a set of larger global processes. It utilizes a commodity chains framework in order to uncover the links between the local sex tourism industry and these larger international processes. The framework highlights aspects of production and consumption of an illicit blobal commodity and shows how tourism aimed at consuming sexual services has become a truly global industry in recent years. It also, however, seeks to avoid global determinism by showing how particular aspects of the Cuban political economy and policymaking have shaped the local development and organization of the Cuban link in the chain.