The Cubans, also known as Los Cabrones, are a Latin street gang in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories. In both games they are led by Umberto Robina and are based in the Little Havana district of Vice City. Cubans are considered the prominent gang in the southern end of the mainland, considering that they defeated both Cholos and the Haitians. The gang serve as one of the player's allies in both games they appear in.
In 1984 the Cubans are known as the Los Cabrones and are in conflict with a Mexican street gang named the Cholos, over control of Little Havana. According to MeTV, this wasn't the first time the Cubans had been involved in gang warfare and that there were many more before it.
Umberto Robina employs Vic Vance to aid him in his fight against the Cholos. Umberto Robina asked Victor to prove his worth to his gang by picking up a package from Downtown in a race with Hilberto, Carlos, Fernandez, Ronaldo and other Cuban gang members.
Vic then begins to work with the Cubans, which includes killing various Cholos gang members who are causing havoc in Little Havana, and picking up Alberto Robina from the Hyman Memorial Stadium to avoid a possible abduction and/or murder. The Cubans eventually win the war with the Cholos after stealing their weapons supply and destroying the warehouse they had been stored in.
By 1986, the Cubans found themselves in a war with the Haitians. Umberto Robina contacts and employs Tommy Vercetti to aid him in the war with the Haitians. After completing a boat challenge with Rico, Tommy begins to help Cubans against the Haitians. Following this, Tommy Vercetti helps steal a van full of drugs, killing various Haitians for two briefcases and blowing up a factory owned by the Haitians.
Tommy Vercetti is, however, also working for Auntie Poulet, the leader of the Haitians. Auntie Poulet drugs Tommy with her Juju Juice and has him collect three briefcases before the authorities, blow up boats and Cuban gang members using a remote controlled plane and killing various Cuban gang members in a fight between the Cubans and Haitians. Auntie Poulet eventually tells him that she no longer needs his services.
Tommy eventually returns to working for Cubans, and helps them destroy a Haitian drugs factory in Little Haiti. The final result of the war between Cubans and the Haitians is unknown. Umberto Robina and Cuban gang members also treat Tommy Vercetti as an equal, with Umberto once saying: "Tommy, to us, you Cuban".
Cuban gang members are either seen wearing white sleeveless shirts with a Japanese symbol and writing, red bandanas and jeans, or a fedora hat, light yellow shirts and black pants in Vice City. By 1984 their outfits were more simple, usually wearing polo shirts or short sleeved shirts, slacks and moustache or stubble. They are armed with 9mm pistols.
Prominent Appearances in Missions
- GTA Vice City Stories
- GTA Vice City
- Supply & Demand
- Stunt Boat Challenge
- Cannon Fodder
- Naval Engagement
- Bombs Away!
- Dirty Lickin's
- Trojan Voodoo
- The Cubans are likely based on the Marielitos, the name of numerous gangs who were descended from refugees who came to the United States during the Mariel boatlift, and were active in the 1980s.
- Cuban gang members will still engage in gun fights against the Vercetti Gang, but will not attack Tommy himself.
- The outfit worn by Cuban gang members in GTA Vice City is another of the game's numerous references to the TV series Miami Vice—their clothes are based on a prominent extra seen in the show's pilot episode, in the scene where Rico Tubbs first arrives at Miami International Airport. The clothing worn by the Cuban's rivals, the Haitians, is based on another extra walking alongside the first.
- The Cubans are the only gang seen in game of VCS to not have empire sites, probably because they are allies with the Vance Crime Family. They never attack each other and will even talk with Vance gang members if their groups are ever walking by each other in Little Havana.
- However, even though the Cubans are allied with Victor Vance, they still attack him if he attacks them or carjacks a Cuban Hermes with a member inside.
- It is possible that the Cubans can achieve "Least Favorite Gang" status in the game's stats if the player kills many members of them. If they reach this status, they will attack Victor on sight. Otherwise, the Cubans and Victor are allies.
- The Cubans have two true arch-enemies: the Cholos and the Haitians. They will immediately attack each other on sight if they meet on the streets in both games.
- It is interesting to note that in GTA VCS, when the "Pedestrians Riot" cheat is activated, the Cubans are the gang that will attack the player for most of the times despite being allies with him. It is unknown why they are doing this. Other gangs in the game will only attack him if he targets them.
Cuban-American discrimination controversy
The third version of GTA Vice City had all references to the Cuban and Haitian people removed, (along with a number of other trademarks), in response to Cuban and Haitian groups in the United States, who threatened to use action against Rockstar Games, on the basis that they were being discriminated against. This is why in GTA Vice City Stories the gang is referred to as Los Cabrones as opposed to simply "The Cubans," as they were in GTA Vice City. Los Cabrones literally means "The Bastards" in Spanish.
Oddly enough, in the third edition of Vice City, unlike the Haitians, the name Cubans wasn't censored within the game dialogues and subtitles.