A couple walks along the beach in the resort area of Varadero, Cuba. Varadero is home to upscale hotels and resorts that cater to foreign tourists. David Gilkey/NPR hide caption

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A fisherman walks the streets of Mariel, on Cuba's northwest coast. In the distance, construction is underway on the Port of Mariel, where the government is creating a special free-trade zone. David Gilkey/NPR hide caption

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Cuban entrepreneur Barbara Fernandez Franco oversees two employees in the small living room of her home in Havana, the Cuban capital. Her boyfriend, Michel Perez Casanova (right), works in the tourism industry but also helps with her business. David Gilkey/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption David Gilkey/NPR