New Entrepreneurs in Cuba Get Mixed Results

""According to ABCNews.go.com, “There was no colorful bunting to mark the grand opening, and no way to advertise in the local press. There was not even money to hand out fliers in this decaying Havana neighborhood of potholed streets and crumbling one-story homes.”

“So when the freshly-painted front window of the tiny pizzeria swung open on the most important afternoon in Julio Cesar Hidalgo’s life, nobody noticed at first. Hidalgo and his girlfriend Gisselle de la Noval waited for half an hour, then another, and another. Finally, 92-year-old Estrella Soto shuffled up to the takeout counter and ordered a medium pizza with onion toppings.”

“‘I love it,’ she declared, and Hidalgo and de la Noval have barely sat down since. They sold seven more pizzas in the next 15 minutes, and a total of 30 on their March 8 opening day. The following Saturday they had their best afternoon yet, churning out 60 pies from a used gas oven that looks too narrow even for a small family’s needs. It has been six months since President Raul Castro opened this tightly-controlled communist country to a smattering of free-market capitalism, in the most significant change to its economy in decades.”