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Articles, Opinions and Papers

September 2014
The Cuban Domestic Trade department put the number eateries being privatized at 9,000 -- compared with 1,261 private family-run restaurants already operating. The state will still own the land the restaurants sit on.
The Cuban government approved 498 non-agricultural cooperatives since the first 124 were created a year ago as a new model of economic enterprise, Cabinet secretary Homero Acosta said.
(Reuters) - Cuba's experiment with free-market reforms has unintentionally widened the communist-led island's racial divide and allowed white Cubans to regain some of the economic advantages built up over centuries.
August 2014
MIAMI – Cuba is a land that remains a mystery to most Americans. Are the economic changes instituted in recent years by President Raul Castro working? Can the dissident movement ever gain enough traction to overthrow the Communist government? Just how good is its acclaimed but flawed health care system? How many superstar baseball players are left down there? But when looking to the future of the island – a post-Castro period that is often contemplated by American government officials, business owners eager to explore that market and Cuban-Americans curious about their role in the island's future – one question intrigues me most: What kind of human capital is left in Cuba?
When you’ve spent your entire life on a communist island where staples like eggs and chicken are rationed, lunch in Miami can be overwhelming. Ask Sandra Aldama, a Cuban mother and former special education teacher who made her first visit to the United States this month. Settling into a downtown Italian restaurant as waiters whizzed by with plates of fettuccine alfredo and veal parmesan, Aldama was almost certainly reminded of what the average Cuban can’t get at home.
What the administration can do is remove obstacles to the incipient Cuban private sector. Let’s start with the Internet. The United States should do everything we can to facilitate Internet access for Cuban citizens. Ordinary Cubans wait for hours to purchase Internet time at Cuban telephone company offices, the closest thing there is to Internet cafes.
If a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, perhaps a significant economic and social opening might gain footing in Cuba with the success of Sandra Aldama’s soap micro-business, or Marianela Pérez’s Pizzeria Nella.
A fledgling private sector is taking root in communist Cuba. Last week a group of Cuban entrepreneurs made an unprecedented visit to Miami to learn how to run a business -- and to convince Americans they’re the real deal.
One of the Cuban women makes fancy soaps. Another is a party planner, and a third owns a combination beauty parlor-gym. One owns a restaurant; another dreams of expanding her pizza parlor “to the rest of Cuba and more.”
July 2014
HAVANA — Cuban parliamentarians met Saturday in one of their twice-annual sessions, with the country’s limping economy and the 2014 budget foremost on the agenda.
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