SPECIAL REPORT: “Cuba’s little capitalists are ready to rumba”

Fri May 4, 2012 3:30pm IST

By Jeff Franks

HAVANA May 2 (Reuters) – When Ojacy Curbello and her husband opened a restaurant at their home in Havana in late December, not a single customer showed up.

It was a disheartening debut for Bollywood, the first Indian restaurant in the Cuban capital. Curbello worried that their dream of cashing in on recent reforms in this Communist-run country would collapse.

The next day customers began trickling in. As word spread, the trickle became a flood. Many nights the couple had to turn people away or serve them at the family dining table and call in extra help. Today they are planning to increase the 22-seat capacity by expanding their 1950s home and putting tables and a bar in what is now their bedroom.

“It has been amazing how quickly it has taken off,” said Curbello, still looking slightly stunned. She sat with her husband, Cedric Fernandez, a Londoner of Sri Lankan descent, in the main dining area, hung with prints of Indian figures.

Bollywood’s story is an example of how life is slowly changing in Cuba since President Raul Castro launched a string of limited economic reforms in 2010.

Continue reading Here: Mark Frank SPECIAL REPORT Cuba’s little capitalists are ready to rumba

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