Cuba to Allow Barbers and Hairdressers Free Enterprise
Cuba appears to be loosening the strings on its barbers and hairdressers by allowing them to pay rent and expenses for their shops but keep their remaining profits. The plan will allow a developing free enterprise system where the barbers and hairdressers can set their own fees and can keep what money is left after taxes, rent and other expenses are paid.
This is a departure from the Soviet style communist system that Cuba has adhered to since the revolution in 1968 which saw the dictator Batista ousted. The other Soviet style economic system is N. Korea. Other communist countries have modified their economic models to allow for-profit retail enterprises.
The measure marks the first time state-run, retail-level establishments have been handed over to employees since they were nationalised in 1968, however the government has not announced the new policy, nor has the state-run media reported it.
The new policy has not been announced through official channels, but is attributed to a gradual change in policy by the current Cuban president, Raul Castro, brother to Fidel. While it may seems trivial to some, the allowing of some free enterprise in Cuba may signal that country's willingness to move away from the Soviet model of economy.