America hit Havana well before diplomacy. Since a few years in fact, Raul Castro’s perestroika is allowing foreign investments, small businesses and the buying and selling of real estates (even on the internet). So now-a-days, on the Malecon, Audi and Mercedes show off along the typical old Cadillacs, while elegant clubs have bouncers at the entrance in pure Miami style. Havana’s new rich people live in the Miramar residential district, or in the exclusive El Laguito area: they are businessmen involved with the government, people who become wealthy thanks to the remittances from abroad but also artists, musicians and entrepreneurs in the tourism business.
It’s the new, restricted and creative Cuban middle-class, a group of privileged people who love to show off and wear fashioned outfits. They study in expensive private schools and hang out in exclusive clubs like the Espacio, Sarao’s or the Cocinero, where a dinner may cost just like the monthly wage of a teacher. Here”s where the tropical marxism dream of a classless society comes to its end. “But our model won’t surely be the US one” says a businessman sitting at the Carboncita restaurant. “It will rather be a kind of capitalism Chinese style”.