LIFESTYLE

Cuba's Shadow Economy
Nearly anything can be bought in Cuba's thriving black market -- if you have a "friend," or the right telephone number. 
">

cuba_economy_man_car

June 10: A man checks the engine of his water cistern truck in Old Havana, Cuba. One goal of Cuban President Raul Castro's economic opening is to legalize at least a portion of the black market so that those making a living from it will register themselves with authorities and pay taxes, and there is some evidence it is working. 

(ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Cuba_The_Secret_Economy

June 20: A man who did not want to be identified molds gold into a false tooth in his workshop in Havana. Cuba made official last month it is legalizing the sale of real estate and cars and expanding the ranks of private cooperatives that could serve as engines for the sputtering economy, among other major changes.

(AP)

Cuba_The_Secret_Economy_8

June 21: Roberto, who did not want to give his last name, fills bottles with a homemade soft drink to sell from his home in Havana. 

(ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Cuba_The_Secret_Econo_Sala

June 20: A woman has golden teeth put in her mouth at the workshop of a false tooth maker in Havana. The sale of gold is regulated, so those who melt it down for use in false teeth are not able to get licenses and continue to be part of the black market. The tooth maker charges up to $40 per tooth, including installation, using gold melted down from jewelry and trinkets he buys from secret suppliers. 

(ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Cuba_The_Secret_Economy_1

June 20: Gold is weighed after being molded to make teeth in a workshop in Havana.

(ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Cuba_The_Secret_Economy_2

June 20: A man who did not want to be identified melts gold to make gold teeth in his workshop in Havana.

(ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Cuba_The_Secret_Economy_4

June 20: A man who did not want to be identified cuts gold to make into teeth in his workshop in Havana. 

(AP)

Cuba_The_Secret_Economy_5

In this Monday, June 20, 2011 photo, a man who did not want to be identified molds a tooth with wax in order to make a gold tooth in his workshop in Havana.
(AP)

Cuba_The_Secret_Economy_7

June 21: Roberto, who did not want to give his last name, makes a homemade soft drink to sell from his home in Havana. 

(ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Cuba_The_Secret_Economy_6

June 21: Roberto, who did not want to give his last name, holds a CO2 cylinder to make carbonated drinks to sell from his home in Havana. 

(AP)

Cuba's Shadow Economy

Nearly anything can be bought in Cuba's thriving black market -- if you have a "friend," or the right telephone number. 

More From Our Sponsors