But questions still loom for many of the neighborhood entrepreneurs who stop by Jorge's stand on an eventful Saturday afternoon in June. The self-employed — hairdressers, cabbies, plumbers, sellers of artisan crafts, and many food industry workers — express some doubts: They wonder what will happen if their ventures grow and they find themselves unable to hire more employees than the limits allow. They question whether the reforms will be permanent and whether the government will continue to ease and adjust tax schedules. Some aren't sure their new enterprises will survive.

Maria, a retiree who sells party supplies from her home, has trouble attracting customers. "Sometimes it's days or even weeks before I sell anything," she says.

And Luis, who rents rooms to tourists, worries the neighborhood is becoming less attractive. "There needs to be more spaces people can rent to conduct their business. Otherwise, this neighborhood is going to look less and less like people's homes and more like a bunch of timbiriches [small shops]."

But many are also eager for what the future may hold. The recently released "guidelines" pamphlet is sold-out at nearly every news kiosk, and the proposed changes are the subject of discussions all over the neighborhood, from the street corner to the dinner table. On this day, for example, a private taxi driver wonders whether Article 265 — which states the government will "study a policy that facilitates Cuban residents traveling abroad as tourists" — will materialize quickly. "That would be buenísimo," he says, spouting a list of locations he dreams of visiting.

And from his daily post on a railed porch, Jorge has watched the neighborhood where he grew up change from week to week. First there were only a few vendors, only a couple of signs advertising services. Now most of his customers are cuenta propistas themselves.

Still, he says, it's too early for him to speculate about what the large-scale effects of policy change will be or what Cuba will look like in ten years. "Those are all lofty, theoretical questions, and to be honest, I measure my life in the day-to-day," he says, as Yunior sprinkles shredded cheese over a small piece of dough.

Earlier that day, the young employee, who had been working at the food stand for only three months, announced it would be his last week. He had saved a small amount of money, just enough to open a juice stand.

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11 comments
JJ9988
JJ9988

Can they all go back to Cuba now, so we can make Miami part of America again?

JJ9988
JJ9988

What a POS country filled with POS people.

Ernie Sandoval
Ernie Sandoval

It is the perfect opportunity for ALL CUBANS IN MIAMI to RETURN HOME TO CUBA. Adios pollos Cubanos y Cubanas.

Lucy
Lucy

It is very sad when one reads a prejudiced, discriminatory, and ignorant comment,which tends to separate people who live in and love this country. It shows only ignorance. But, I guess this kind of comment applies to you, as well, as your family's ancestors came to America from another country. Read your history my friend. The only one that has a right to say this is the American Indian. Thank God that you are in the minority with your comments, as the majority welcomes people of all races, religions, culture, etc. That is what has made America Great....for all. Otherwise, you yourself would not be here to make such a comment. You'd be back in whatever country you came from. We don't need haters in America. We need peacemakers.

loveit
loveit

I hope all of you making the juvenile and ignorant comments soon cease to reproduce or go back to whatever country your ancestors are from.  Leave the US in a better place rid of racism and hate.  I don't care what ethnicity you are, if you're going to hate just leave...the majority don't want you around nor do you represent the majority sentiment. 

Erivisam79
Erivisam79

The Castros, are the reason why you see million of cubans living in United States, dreaming about one day, go back to that sweet island, that they took for them, and nobody can say sh..t. If you did not born in Cuba, you better shit up.

Hernan
Hernan

You have no idea what are you talking about, people in Cuba still have no money to buy milk for their kids, my uncle just arrived from Cuba two weeks ago, this is just a distraction and you worthless reporters post whatever you find without researching. There will not be entrepreneurship, and there will not be a future until communism is eradicated.

Hans Schuman
Hans Schuman

That's EXACTLY why the fat. pork-like Cubans who have been milking America for decades should GO HOME TO CUBA and help their "countyrmen". LOL - the only thing Cubans seem to think about is eating fried pork rinds and gaming the system.

Gamalr
Gamalr

But at least tere is some taste for private work tat could help start someting bigger

Ariel
Ariel

Amen brother!!

 
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