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Letter from Cuba

Bella Thomas enjoys eating beetles and butterflies in Cuba's emerging private sector

In the 1920s, Andr? Breton described Cuba as the most surreal country in the world. In the 1990s, as the country emerges slowly from communism, a visitor can witness much weirder things than Breton would have seen. Take government policy on restaurants.

One of the first cautious experiments in private enterprise in Cuba is the paladar, the new private restaurant. The name derives from a venue in a Brazilian soap opera that was played on Cuban television a few years ago. The oddity is that a new word should be required at all. “Restaurant,” after all, is an international word…

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