For me, they are just like anyone else. Armando: I don’t know about Cubans in general. So that the people can have another type of leisure, a healthy kind. However, fears those reforms went too far and have fostered too much inequality have prompted a crackdown in recent years on the sector, which now employs around 600,000 people. Armando: (After a moment of silence) I don’t know. Ok, with 24 hours in Havana, Old Havana (La Habana Vieja). gave me a complex image of the country. Dylan: Can you explain more about your ideal recreational space? And what I’m interested in, is that the license to be Cuban never change. The second night I was in Havana, I interviewed a Cuban man on the malecón (the famous ‘esplanade’ that spans Havana’s coastline). “The president of my CDR gave me a list of 29 elderly people and I decided to give them a meal for free every day,” he said. Armando: The ‘Cubanhood’ will never be lost. Dylan: Have you had or have you thought of creating a private business? Dylan: There are many ideas outside of Cuba regarding what type of country it is. It helps improve raw products. What is your occupation, and what did you study at university? Dylan: What stereotypes do Cubans have of foreigners? It’s going to put itself in line with what it believes will develop the country. This is what the Cuban has, the Cuban is like that. With these conversations, I hoped to document the Cuban identity. Once a completely government-run industry, the state has largely begun to exit the restaurant business in lieu of private enterprise. Then first three cases of the pandemic hit Cuba on March 11. A look inside a growing private business in Cuba Packaging and printing company employs 35 workers, has provider in Hialeah Dylan: For you, what does it mean to be Cuban? Thirteen days later, authorities suspended classes, shut airports and told foreign tourists to stay in their hotels pending a trip off the island. It’s not that anyone is making a mistake. These are changes that need to happen for the country to develop. The name of the interviewee has been changed and certain details may be censured to protect the identity of the interviewee. Armando: Yes, like everything. When tourists come with their cultures, we have their culture. Sometimes the two are even joining forces to combat the common invisible enemy. ( Log Out / Dylan: In what part of your Cuban identity do you feel the most pride? For you, what does a modern culture look like? HAVANA (Reuters) - Upmarket restaurants are delivering free meals to the elderly, while a fashion firm donates face masks. The average monthly salary in Cuba is $24. Dylan: What are your personal and career-oriented plans? Then first three cases of the pandemic hit Cuba on March 11. Dylan: Do you want more or fewer tourists to come to Cuba? Thanks to Cuba’s location. “I am optimistic,” said Gregory Biniowsky, a Canadian living in Cuba and cofounder of the now-shuttered Nazdarovie restaurant. They earned their money and are living on their savings.”. I also wanted to conduct interviews with Cubans to show my experiences in Cuba to those who haven’t visited the country and gotten to know the Cuban people. I could be a tourist in your country and you can be a tourist in mine and look how we get along. In the wake of President Obama’s landmark visit to Havana, many Americans have turned their eyes toward Cuba's business and economic potential. The Cuban system, like that of any other country, comes with both positive and negative elements, but above all, the more complicated issues were difficult to understand as a foreigner. You have already told me a little about this, but what is your opinion of tourism in Cuba? Armando: Well. Many of private workers saw a sharp increase in their incomes. That is the conception that we have. Armando: I studied English. There the Cubans import merchandise from China or Europe, they have warehouses that are supplied by private suppliers, where in a little 16×16 nook I have seen more services and products than in the Carlos III [shopping mall in Havana]. So what I’m interested in is that the people don’t lose value in the license to be Cuban. Armando: There are people who have places with billiards and a cafeteria, but what I am thinking of, no one has done. The U.S. embargo makes it harder, but they manage to get small quantities of materials from the U.S. -- some of it from Hialeah. Yojani Cristin, who works at the business, said he makes about $70 a week, $280 a month. Armando: I don’t know about Cubans in general. Dylan: Ok, well how would you start a business like the one you are describing? During his time living and working in Cuba, he covered some of the most significant stories in a post-Fidel Castro Cuba. Dylan: If you could speak another language, what would it be? Armando: More should come! The pandemic, which has infected at least 1,400 people and claimed more than 50 lives in Cuba, hit at a time when the economy already was sluggish. Armando: I am an analyst in the –––––– laboratory and I studied pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Havana. Cuba has also long provided subsidized food at eateries for the elderly nationwide, and is now dishing out free meals for those on low incomes. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. He had a dozen cars — classice Chevrolets and Fords thaT arrived before the 1959 revolution — conveying photo-snapping foreign tourists along Havana’s seafront Malecon for $30 an hour. That will never change. I hope there are more interviews like this one. It is an offer. Now his business caters to hundreds of customers, most of them state-owned industries. “After the cancellation of (U.S. airline) flights to the provinces, there were limits on people who came.”. “Let’s hope everyone comes onboard and cooperates in the same way to overcome this difficult moment.”. At the end of the day, they are helping a lot because the wealth is distributed. See here for a complete list of exchanges and delays. Armando: I’m not sure…how most people make businesses, work, work and save money, I don’t know. “We’d like to focus on getting people masks who need them most,” she added. “We are at an impasse,” said Álvarez, co-owner of Nostalgicar, a family business launched nine years ago. He has also sent some of his workers to the U.S. for training. Armando: I don’t have the resources to start a private business, but if I did I would create a recreational space for the youth to enjoy. The Cuban is very hospitable and welcoming. Armando: Yes, yes, let’s see…how can I explain it? Those are my professional desires, and also I want to be a good person in life. Álvarez said he was thinking of offering his workshop to repair the cars of others. HAVANA – A private business in Cuba is flourishing despite a lack in materials. The Trump administration has tightened the U.S. embargo and Venezuela, which had been a key supporter of the island, itself has plunged into crisis. I also planned to discuss the new small private businesses that were legalized in the recent years. Interview with Armando in Havana. For you, what image do you want the world to have about your country and the Cuban people? In January 2017, Hatzel Vela became the first local television journalist in the country to move to Cuba and cover the island from the inside. With 24 hours in Cuba, there are many places I could tell them to go. Dylan: Thank you, buddy, for speaking with me. Legal entrepreneurs, who first emerged in the tough days of the 1990s following the collapse of Cuba’s aid and trade with the Soviet Union, have had to struggle with occasional waves of disapproval from the state, which has imposed strict limits on the size and types of activities allowed, as well as the impact of U.S. sanctions that have aimed to squeeze off the flow of tourists. Co-founder Lauren Fajardo said they had already collaborated with one group that provides assistance to the elderly, donating 160 masks. Armando: No, nothing. Some entrepreneurs are trying to adjust rather than throw in the towel. With 24 hours in Cuba, there are many places I could tell them to go. “The private sector, especially the most attractive businesses ... entered this already suffering a contraction due to the hardening of the (U.S.) embargo policy toward Cuba, which included the closure of cruise ships,” said Omar Everleny Pérez, a local economist. It has to do with the way in which people think. Economist Emilio Morales of the Miami-based Havana Consulting Group estimates Cuban citizens received some $3.6 billion in remittances in 2018, in addition to an estimated $3 billion in goods brought to the island by visiting emigrants. A business consultancy calls on its clients to donate hygiene products and artisanal soap shops gift their wares to low income households. I had the opportunity on a daily basis to speak with Cubans that I would meet at the University of Havana, on the streets, at the bus stop, etc. Normal like you and me. We can’t maintain them. All quotes delayed a minimum of 15 minutes.
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