HAVANA (New York Times) — The river where Jonas Echevarria fishes cuts through neighborhoods brimming with new fine restaurants, spas and boutiques, springing up in Cuba’s accelerating push toward private enterprise.
Tattered mansions and luxury apartment blocks speak of old wealth and new. A bounty of private restaurants known as paladares serve pork tenderloin, filet mignon and orange duck to tourists, Cuban-Americans visiting relatives and a growing pool of Cuban entrepreneurs with cash to spend.
These were things Mr. Echevarria, with only a few eggs, some plantains and a handful of rolls in his pantry, would not be having for dinner.
In his neighborhood, a shantytown called Little Swamp on the fringe of the Rio Almendares and the margins of society, few people have relatives sending money from abroad, food rations barely last the month, and homes made of corrugated tin, wood scraps and crumbling concrete fail to keep out floodwaters.
Nobody goes to paladares, much less has the money to start one.