Victoria Burnett writes:
. . . [T]he pace of change has been too slow for people like Yelena López de la Paz, who went bust because of competition, lack of experience and low margins. She opened a snack bar on her block last July, and made about $100 profit the first month, selling pizzas, juice from her mother’s homegrown mangos and chewing gum sent by her grandmother in Miami. Then three snack bars opened nearby, and by the time she closed in November, Ms. de la Paz was taking home a dollar a day.
More in the current dynamics of the Cuban economy here (NYT). Burnett says many interesting things, including:
Not all the entrepreneurs are struggling. Some restaurants and taxi services are making profits, and Carlos Saladrigas, a Cuban-American businessman, said during a visit to Havana in March that he knew of people “making a lot of money, even by American standards.”
If Cuba were open to markets it would probably be the South Korea of Latin America. The main reasons are: it is a highly educated country and it is economically homogeneous (relatively speaking), two characteristics that were important for South Korea at the beginning.