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Self Employment in Cuba

In Cuba Policy Debate, Theories Don't Cut It

Mauricio Claver-Carone | Posted 06.02.2014 | Politics
Mauricio Claver-Carone

It's time for those who theorize that closer business ties to Cuba will trigger economic and political reform, and want to scuttle U.S. sanctions, to face some inconvenient truths.

Cuban Regime Ambivalent About Self-Employed, While the People Can't Live Without Them

Yoani Sanchez | Posted 05.27.2014 | Latino Voices
Yoani Sanchez

The day started with a certain nightmarish atmosphere. The little sip of morning coffee was missing, because the seller with a thermos and paper cups wasn't on the corner. So she dragged her feet to the bus stop, while keeping an eye out for a collective taxi. Nothing.

The State Can't Compete, Forces Cuban Entreprenuers Back to the Black Market

Yoani Sanchez | Posted 11.06.2013 | World
Yoani Sanchez

Reluctant -- or unable -- to compete, the Cuban State has put an end to the business of "trapi-shopping." Several of the best-known and air-conditioned places have already closed their doors to the public.

Cuba: Where 'Merchant' Is a Dirty Word

Yoani Sanchez | Posted 11.23.2013 | World
Yoani Sanchez

Why, instead of so much persecution, don't they authorize the work of "merchant." Buying, transporting and reselling articles in high-demand should not be a crime, but rather a regulated activity that also contributes to the treasury through taxes.

Cuba: When "The Bad Guys" Carry Calculators

Yoani Sanchez | Posted 11.14.2013 | World
Yoani Sanchez

Resellers, the corner vendors, families remodeling their homes, self-employed workers and farmers, are the focus of this crackdown. No one is safe. Dressed in plain clothes or uniformed, the soldiers of this new battle reinforce the feeling of constant surveillance.

Cuba: A Man With Neither Privilege Nor Obedience

Yoani Sanchez | Posted 11.09.2013 | World
Yoani Sanchez

Beto doesn't like talking about the past. For the first time he has something of his own, something no one has given him.

New Regulations and Fees Threaten the Supply Chain of Cuba's Newly Minted Entrepreneurs

Yoani Sanchez | Posted 09.04.2012 | World
Yoani Sanchez

The pepper is of carved wood and a seasoning container on the table says "Sedano's" in green letters. The private restaurant waits for the supplies that will arrive this Saturday in an enormous delivery transported by a "mula" -- a mule.

Dumpsters Into Clothespins: The Economy of Desperation

Yoani Sanchez | Posted 07.07.2012 | World
Yoani Sanchez

There are many ways to measure the physical state of a nation and one of them is listing what people loot from public spaces.

Absurdities and Frustations on the Path to Self-Employment in Cuba

Yoani Sanchez | Posted 01.16.2012 | World
Yoani Sanchez

In the fine print of the "street vendor" license, however, it is unclear how long Tony can stand in one place. Each inspector interprets in his own way how long these "nomadic dessert sellers" can occupy the same site.

Cuban State Penalizes Private Businesses For What It Does Itself With Impunity

Yoani Sanchez | Posted 12.12.2011 | World
Yoani Sanchez

The state seems to have a free right-of-way -- literally -- to invade spaces, pushing pedestrians out into the streets, or constructing the greatest atrocities without any accountability to the people who live there.

Rediscovering Lost Flavors

Yoani Sanchez | Posted 05.25.2011 | World
Yoani Sanchez

Timid colored awnings spring from nowhere and under newly opened umbrellas fruit smoothies and pork rinds are sold, while the doorways of some homes a...

The Devaluation of Piracy

Yoani Sanchez | Posted 05.25.2011 | World
Yoani Sanchez

With their colorful covers and nylon sleeves, the new supply of CDs and DVDs fills every corner of my city. Selling music, TV series and movies is one...

When Life Imitates a Charlie Chaplin Movie... You Know You're in Cuba

Yoani Sanchez | Posted 05.25.2011 | World
Yoani Sanchez

If the authorities believe that slightly loosening restrictions on entrepreneurs will keep the system from falling apart, they are underestimating the sense of urgency that runs through the Island.

Evidence of the Shipwreck

Yoani Sanchez | Posted 05.25.2011 | World
Yoani Sanchez

Overnight, the guarantee of full employment -- one of the most publicized benefits of Cuban socialism -- has come to an end. And so the propaganda apparatus announced our authorities' worst nightmare: the day the system collapsed.

Will a Half Million Laid Off Cubans Find Work in Private Enterprise?

Yoani Sanchez | Posted 05.25.2011 | World
Yoani Sanchez

Raul Castro's government has announced that half a million state employees will be terminated and that self-employment will be expected to pick up the slack.

Lobster, Shrimp and Beef: Will Cuban Laws Against Their Possession Change?

Yoani Sanchez | Posted 05.25.2011 | World
Yoani Sanchez

In a private restaurant, Humberto serves lobster, shrimp and beef. The meats are of great interest to the police; under Cuban law their possession, without the proper papers, can lead to long prison terms.