Cuentapropismo

Cuentapropismo is flourishing in Cuba. These highly regulated small scale enterprises were introduced by the government in an attempt to increase productivity and as alternative employment for thousands of government workers that were laid off. These private businesses are small - a street flower vendor using a groceries cart to set up her shop, a fruit stand or a small store front selling music and dvds. 

Most of the Cubans I spoke to regard these changes as positive. In their minds is a relaxation of the tight regulations that they lived under for many years. Some, however, are worried about too much change too fast. They want a functioning economy that provides them with the necessities of life (and perhaps some luxuries), but are also aware that a transition to a market-based economy comes with many challenges and can result in profound inequities. The Russian and Chinese examples of transition away from socialism are very much in their minds.