Sunday, November 6, 2011
So what is it that American Communist and Socialist don't get?
SANTA ISABEL DE LAS LAJAS, Cuba (AP) — On sleepy streets plied by rickety horse-drawn carts and rusting 1950s automobiles, the sounds of commerce are once again being heard in Cuba's countryside.
A private sandwich shop has opened in a town previously served only by a grim state-run cafeteria. A woman sells trinkets from a small spot of shade. A weathered farmer in dusty jeans has rigged up an ancient ice cream machine and is selling cones for 8 cents a pop.
Out of sight of Cuba's dollar-spending tourists, in areas where money from overseas relatives trickles in only sporadically, dusty towns like this one slowly are being revitalized by a series of private enterprise initiatives ushered in by President Raul Castro.
Visits to more than a dozen towns in the central provinces of Cienfuegos and Sancti Spiritus found private businesses popping up on every main street, places hard hit by the decline of Cuba's sugar industry and the general economic malaise that has settled over the country after more than half a century of Socialist rule.