Cuban track and field legend Javier Sotomayor has launched a sports bar. An Olympic volleyball champion has opened a swanky Italian restaurant. And salsa star Hugo Morejon has a first-rate automotive repair shop.
Armed with money and name recognition, Cuban athletes and artists are embracing the new world of private enterprise on the Communist-run island. In doing so, they're exposing themselves to more than a little envy from a population already weary of their perks.
At least a dozen athletes and artists have started private businesses since President Raul Castro began opening Cuba's economy to limited capitalism in 2010, and others have quietly invested in such establishments. Many of the spots have opened in recent months.