Middle-class activity begins to take root in Cuba

07/24/2013 | New York Times (tiered subscription model), The

A new class of Cuban consumers has emerged that is spending on a wide range of modest luxuries. This has partly been the legacy of President Raúl Castro, who has overseen certain economic reforms since taking control in 2008. The new consumer class has provided opportunities for entrepreneurs, who are creating businesses such as makeshift movie theaters and car washes. Nevertheless, some Cubans remain cautious about broadcasting their increased earnings. "It's a Cubanized version of middle-class activity, in that it's not that ostentatious," explained Virginia Tech geography professor emeritus Joseph L. Scarpaci.

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