Is Cuba on the Rise?
Seismic changes in the communist economy built by Fidel Castro are enriching some Cubans, scaring others, and sparking imaginations. Will the Caribbean gem shine again?
Imagine Havana with billboards advertising competitive prices on repairs for cars. Imagine those cars are not 1950s Chevys but the newest models off a US assembly line. Imagine those same cars lining up at a McDonalds takeout window. For many Cubans who have lived their entire lives "making do" in a nation without industry and entrepreneurial opportunity, this latest fissure of reform is seismic—for better or worse. But most observers say any opening, even after the 84-year-old Castro is gone, would most probably follow a Chinese model that tolerates a degree of free market with a heavy government hand.
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