Archivo de Economy and Business
Archivo Economy and Business
I think that the Cuban government made a wise and necessary decision, in today’s economic conditions in our country, by approving Decree-Law No. 302, which modifies Law No. 1312, the “migration law” of Sept. 20, 1976.
Photos: Darío Leyva The government’s new policy for promoting small private businesses island-wide has triggered an avalanche of initiatives. Many people have fixed up their homes to coexist with their own businesses. Doorways, terraces, garages and even interior rooms are being converted daily into retail spaces that have become the mainstays of some families’ finances, to a good extent. However, many of these businesses have failed for lack of a strategically-placed locale.
Photos: Jorge Laserna Havana is a city inevitably linked to its bay, the center of its economic, political and social life during the colonial period and well into the republican period. You could say that the bay helped form the extroverted, hospitable and boisterous nature of Havana’s residents. Since the 1990s, however, both the Bay of Havana and the city are undergoing real transformations.
Centuries ago, when voyagers and geographers ventured to name the island of Cuba the “Key to the Gulf of Mexico”, they never imagined the role that the Bay of Mariel would come to play in the 21st century to justify that designation. Located 28 miles east of Havana, the Port of Mariel is expected to become the most modern and important industrial port in the country and in the Caribbean region.
There is a music and dance show production company in Havana that has made it to the top of the list for a wide range of the city’s young people. It is P.M.M (which stands for Por un mundo mejor, or “For a Better World”), a project whose initial purpose — according to its creator, Héctor Díaz Yáñez — was to throw parties.
Illustration: Fabián Muñoz In the Cuban comedy Se permuta (ICAIC 1983), by director-screenwriter Juan Carlos Tabío, the memorable Rosita Fornés plays the role of Gloria, a humble seamstress with dreams of getting ahead in life who begins a career as a “permutera”, or real estate agent, by moving from Guanabacoa to El Vedado to take her daughter (Isabel Santos) away from her suitor, a lowly mechanic (Mario Balmaseda), and in the end almost ends up with the mansion that she always dreamed of having.
Photos: Alain L. Gutiérrez y Cortesía de La Guarida One of the many Havana buildings built at the turn of the 20th century, 418 Calle Concordia, is home to La Guarida restaurant. Enrique Nuñez tells us that more than 15 years ago, he and his wife had the idea of turning his mother’s apartment into a “paladar,” or private restaurant, to take advantage of the fact that this home had become a very attractive place for people who were visiting Cuba.
I arrive after a long walk and the building’s stairs promise a long way up. And it is. As I climb, I am accompanied by excellent drawings, painted on the walls. I ask for Papito and I am shown in. Even though I have come unannounced, he will grant me a few minutes of his time. I wait on a sofa, watching him go from one customer to another, cutting hair, combing. This is a hair salon different from any other I’ve ever seen, full of artwork and antiques rescued from oblivion.
Photo: Alain L. Gutiérrez The culture of a people suggests the majority of the times, its artistic sensitivity, its way of speaking and writing a language, its ancestral customs, its beliefs, myths, even its sports abilities, but never in its Law. But the legal system that the States establish to organize the society and daily life are also the creation of regular, common people and reflect their values of good and evil, just and unjust, ethical or contrary to morals.