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MYSTERY ISLAND

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You resolve, for example, when you have a relative abroad who frequently sends a few hundred dollars to the fam- ily "inside," You resolve when you steal resources from the State (from a chick- en thigh to a box of chicken thighs), or use an office with some authority to sell favors or services (it can be exchang- ing housing or simply obtaining needed documents without a wait). You resolve when you work with tourists who tip, or when you work with an empresa mixta, a Cuban- and foreign-owned business, in which the foreigners (taking on the fis- cal burden) pay their Cuban employees under the table in addition to the salary the State gives them. The doctor who ac- cepts gifts from his patients also resolves or, even worse, the teacher who takes what's offered by parents interested in their children receiving good grades. All these people are resolving something.In the last three years, the new government in Havana under Ral Castro has tried to find solutions to these complex economic and social problems. The public acknowledgment that "structural and conceptual" changes to the system are necessary to guarantee its survival was accompanied by specific economic and social policies designed to stimulate certain means of production, service and even morale. These include allowing Cubans to buy computer equipment and cameras in stores that take CUC currency, to enter hotels on the Island where previously only foreigners were allowed, to have cellular phone service, and to rent empty Stateowned stores that are now largely overgrown with weeds. The new reforms also eliminate salary caps and allow Cubans to have more than one job. There has been an opening up on issues such as sexuality and the right to sex- reassignment surgery, and a new flexibility on the canons that govern artistic and cultural expression. Limits have been placed on the privileges that certain government bureaucratic sectors and their employees have enjoyed for decades. And moves are afoot to ensure Cub

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