HAVANA — A mix of grease and melted cheese drips from the pizza to the concrete floor. It’s a hot day and the man is holding the slice at the counter of a coffee shop. While he waits, the clerk comments on how this is “a country where no one understands.” To which the customer replies, now with his mouth full: “Well yes, and that 21st-century socialism thing is going to have to wait until the 22nd century.”

So far, the government of Raúl Castro has issued nearly half a million licenses for people to work in the private sector. This is a huge change from 1968, when every single job — even shining shoes — was nationalized. During the revolutionary offensive, all small businesses ended up in the hands of the government. Private Cuba was swept away and stigmatized, only to be reborn decades later. In 1993, spurred by an economic crisis, Fidel Castro permitted the reopening of the private sector. This turned out to be Mr. Castro’s worst defeat — one he tried to mask as a victory, as he usually did whenever he stumbled...



Recent Articles

Date Title
10/20/14 Calling time on America's blockade of Cuba
Will Grant, BBC
10/20/14 Cuba’s Impressive Role on Ebola
Editorial, The New York Times
10/17/14 How Business Can Change Cuba
Tim Padgett, Businessweek
10/16/14 Rare Independent Group Aims to Open Debate in Cuba
Michael Weissenstein, AP
10/16/14 Cuba to introduce modern, more secure ID cards
EFE
10/15/14 Still Pondering U.S.-Cuba Relations, Fidel Castro Responds
Ernesto Lodoño, The New York Times
10/15/14 Fidel Castro reprints NY Times embargo editorial
AP, The Washington Post
10/14/14 As times change, Cuban exiles in the U.S. learn it’s possible to go home again
Stephen Wicary, The Globe and Mail
10/14/14 The Castros Are Responsible for Cuba’s Failures, Not the U.S.
Jorge Benitez, The New York Times
10/14/14 Democracy Can’t Take Root in Isolation
Chris Sabatini, The New York Times
10/14/14 U.S. Engagement With Cuba Is Worth the Risk
Ted Henken, The New York Times
10/14/14 Obama Should End the Embargo on Cuba
Editorial, The New York Times
10/14/14 Cuba Doesn’t Deserve Normal Diplomatic Relations
Carlos Alberto Montaner, The New York Times
10/14/14 Cuban-Americans Want More Engagement
Ric Herrero, The New York Times
10/14/14 No Legitimacy for Cuba’s Dictators
Frank Calzon, The New York Times