Chop and Change

Newsweek - - NEWS - YAMIL LAGE

Havana—a man cuts hair in a bar­ber­shop in the Cuban cap­i­tal on Au­gust 2, one day af­ter the Cuban gov­ern­ment tem­po­rar­ily froze the is­su­ing of new li­censes to var­i­ous kinds of pri­vate en­ter­prises, in­clud­ing restau­rants, tu­tors, dress­mak­ers and homes that rent out rooms. Pres­i­dent Raúl Castro had opened 200 cat­e­gories of busi­ness to pri­vate-sec­tor em­ploy­ment in 2010; now, more than half a mil­lion peo­ple, about 5 per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion, are em­ployed in this part of the econ­omy. Al­though busi­nesses al­ready in op­er­a­tion can con­tinue, the sus­pen­sion of per­mits has raised con­cerns that Cuba is back­track­ing on plans to open and re­form its econ­omy.

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