In recent months, quiet reforms have been taking shape in Cuba under President Raśl Castro. Castro wants to combine the state-run economy with market-based reforms in the hope of transforming the country into a sort of Caribbean Vietnam. To reduce expense, the government recently laid off 500,000 employees. They are now permitted to open shops and handicraft business, sell real estate, cars and home-grown vegetables, among other businesses. Here, a woman sells juice, videos, music CDs and DVDs near Havana.