A few months after the much talked-about new licenses for self-employment, what has spread the most are small businesses selling food, some new paladares — small private restaurants — and small snack bars. These last, according to the regulations, cannot have tables or chairs, and do have been renamed by ordinary people as quick-stops.
Cubans, in a desire to break into this new and coveted opportunity, have not hesitated to prove once more their initiative, putting makeshift counters in their doorways where they display their offerings. The customers choose to eat standing or sitting on the edge of the curb.
Some of the new businesses are better equipped, one can sense they have FE (Families in the Exterior), because they have more resources to establish themselves.
Artisans have also taken a step forward, putting little tables with their work in the doorways of their houses or on the sidewalk.
Others have used the space intended for a car, which is conspicuously absent, converting it into an attractive shop. In general, the majority of citizens, especially those not too young, want to believe that this new possibility will improve their status. The oldest of us remain a little skeptical, because we have already seen this film before.
March 5 2011