August 18, 2016


Cuba's Startup Path to Entrepreneurship (Kamilia Lahrichi, Aug. 18, 2016, US News)

[A]n entrepreneurial spirit is taking hold in the country. Spending is increasing to invest in the tourism sector, such as hotels and restaurants. Cuba's future economic health may depend on a private sector maturing outside of state government regulations. [...]

The growing embrace of entrepreneurship is having a subtle effect on Cuban society, says Cárdenas, the coordinator of the El Toque digital platform.

"I don't think that the young Cuban entrepreneurs see themselves as the new face of capitalism that will take down socialism," Cárdenas adds. Still, he notes a shift away from more than 50 years of Cuban history under communist rule that, as he says, focused on, "... the great social project, the 'mass' - which was the term used.

"We've changed the focus from the collective history to individual stories."

In March, U.S. President Barack Obama met with Cuban entrepreneurs to jump-start the economy. Obama's visit, during which he called for an end to the U.S trade embargo with the country, meant that new doors would be opened for Cuban entrepreneurs, Cárdenas says.

"Cuba is only 90 miles from the U.S. It has to create its future by counting on the U.S.," he says. "But one shouldn't think, either, that Cuban entrepreneurs are nothing without the U.S. "You can blame the government, people or the law. But at the end of the day, you're the one responsible for not trying."

Adds Causa, of A la Mesa: "We're throwing ourselves in the digital era with great optimism."

Posted by at August 18, 2016 12:23 PM