In Cuba all trade was nationalized in 1968, including up to the street vendors, even those selling ice with syrup like in this cart / Photo: Raquel Perez.
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The opening of tourism substantially improved some state cafes but far from stopping theft, it increased it. Lots of food and drink on offer are brought by the waiters themselves to make some extra money / Photo: Raquel Perez.
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Even places with a lot of tradition suffered the consequences of the state bureaucracy, as La Bodeguita del Medio faced serious problems buying mint to prepare mojitos until the opening allowed to buy directly from farmers / Photo: Raquel Perez.
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Most state facilities are underutilized and the profits they produce are minimal compared to those managed by private hands / Photo: Raquel Perez.
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Most of food at state cafes is shown in the street without any protection. When the state is judge and jury it gets harder to require health from itself / Photo: Raquel Perez.
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The competition generated by self-employed with their paladares was the coup de grace for many of the state restaurants. They are better in atmosphere, food quality and especially customer service / Photo: Raquel Perez.
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Since self-employed workers were authorized, the number of private cafes and restaurants multiplied by 10. In fact it is one of the most popular self-employed activities / Photo: Raquel Perez.
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Quite a few of these businesses were financed with money and equipment sent by migrants to their families or by some who have repatriated to manage them by themselves / Photo: Raquel Perez.
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Before the opening of the self-employment gastronomy offer was very scarce and lines long. Today anywhere on the island you can eat a pizza or a sandwich, without having to wait for hours / Photo: Raquel Perez.
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In some places private businesses have mushroomed. An example is the alley located opposite the college of engineering (CUJAE) where you can eat fast, varied and cheap / Photo: Raquel Perez.