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HAVANA PORTFOLIO : Back in the Barrio

October 02, 1994

From mid-August to mid-September, nearly 32,000 Cubans set off in makeshift rafts and leaky boats, heading for America. They left behind the oldest and the youngest, the women, the underground entrepreneurs who are surviving, if not prospering, in Cuba's minimal economy. The rafters were mostly young men, mostly from urban neighborhoods, where battered, filigreed buildings are overcrowded but rent free, where the food lines are long and the choices are few, where the revolution is down but not out, and where there is, once again, no exit.

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