Cuba: The times are changing
Cuba has taken a dramatic step away from its socialist policies of the
past, but how has this impacted ordinary Cubans?
People and Power Last Modified: 31 Aug 2011 08:07
At the beginning of this year, the Cuban government took a dramatic step
away from its socialist policies of the past to break new ground: it
began privatising its economy to create private sector jobs and issued
thousands of licences for its citizens to start their own businesses.
The ruling party dismissed 500,000 state employees in a bold experiment
to boost the state and provide an injection of funds into the stagnant
Over half a century since Fidel Castro began a socialist revolution, new
reforms will now allow Cubans to open restaurants, sell flowers, run
beauty salons and barber shops, and become budding entrepreneurs like
But not everyone is convinced that this attempt to overhaul the
Soviet-style economic model will bring much needed improvements to the
Cuba still remains a one party state, poverty is rife, and political
reform is not on the agenda. The US trade embargo, lasting five decades,
remains firmly in place and sanctions continue to affect its population.
Yet for many, these reforms signify a fresh start for Cubans, who are
optimistic that this new progressive model may bring the country out of
Filmmaker Rodrigo Vazquez has been examining how these new reforms are
affecting ordinary Cubans in this new chapter in the country's history