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Some women want a man to secure their future. And then there's her.

Her name is Minerva and she's very clear about her money, her man, and her future.

Some women want a man to secure their future. And then there's her.
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The Atlantic Philanthropies

Meet Minerva.


She has no problem vocalizing what she wants.

"...to be very independent. I find everything for me myself. My food, my clothes, my shoes... And now I take care of myself alone."


And, she's not afraid to admit that she doesn't need a man.

"I don't have to ask anything of a man. I don't have a husband exactly for that reason. Because I have no need. I had one. But, well, I got divorced because I don't have that thing of needing to be next to a man. I have no need for it because I'm very independent."

I've never met Minerva, but I feel like I know her. Or, at least, women just like her.


Just to be clear, she's not saying that she hates all men. She's just acknowledging that she can support herself without relying on someone else for a meal ticket.

The really interesting part about all of this is that Minerva is not only a single woman, but she's also an entrepreneur living and working in Cuba, one of the last Communist governments.

She runs a small pizza and ice cream shop on Obispo Street, which is slowly becoming a bubbling economic hub.

"Places that were closed are now restaurants, cafeterias — all kinds of things. They're giving people the opportunity to open their businesses. Their own businesses. Before, here, there were no private businesses and now everyone's got one. It's changing a lot and I think it's going to change more."

Transitioning leadership may be one of the reasons behind this shift. Raul Castro made a bunch of sweeping reforms after stepping in as Cuba's president in 2008, due to his brother Fidel's failing health.


His laundry list of changes still has some folks clutching their pearls. That list includes huge economic reforms to encourage small-business growth, and he is even trying to improve relations with the U.S. Getting the 55-year-old U.S. trade embargo on Cuba lifted is part of Castro's goal, which President Obama is all for.

But when it comes to the love that Minerva has for her beloved Obispo Street, she's not interested in politics.

"Politics doesn't have anything to do with it. For me, I like my country a lot. I adore my country. And I have thought about leaving for fun, to run around, to see things, to know things. But not to stay. Because I like what's Cuban."


Today, the new face of Cuba includes clothing store owners, artisans, and female business owners like Minerva.

"It's not as if anybody gets so much out of it, to be rich. Maybe somebody's got more than other people because they're bigger, but it's not like they're going to become millionaires. It's enough to survive. Enough to live. But not more than that."

For Minerva, running a shop out of what used to be her living room isn't just about being in control of her own money, for independence' sake. It's also about caring for her family.

"My grandchildren, I dress them. Their mother works but doesn't make enough for that. She's very young and so I'm the one who supports them. ... My father is now very old and doesn't have much family. I help him and my son."

To check out more of Minerva's compelling story, watch below.

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

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