Cuba Liberates Its Hair Salons

Lucky barbers and beauticians will be able to work for themselves
By Caroline Miller,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 13, 2010 8:54 AM CDT
People sit on the sea wall near the Concert for the Homeland held at the Anti-imperialist Tribune in Havana, Saturday, April 10, 2010. Cuba held two concerts dedicated to the nation's revolution.   (AP Photo/Javier Galeano)
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(Newser) – Raul Castro has decided to get the Cuban government out of its citizens' hair. Barber shops and beauty salons with three or fewer seats will now be allowed to be owner-operated rather than run by the state. Cuba-watchers see the tentative loosening as the start of a long-anticipated—or at least hoped-for—privatization drive five decades after Fidel nationalized all small businesses, the BBC reports.

The younger Castro has been taking baby steps toward capitalism, allowing some unproductive land to be given to farmers and some taxi drivers to work for themselves. But this is the first move in the retail and service sector, and it hasn't even been publicly announced, says the BBC.

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