Havana florist and doll shops are among businesses prohibited for American shoppers

Repeating Islands


A report by Mimi Whitefield for the Miami Herald.

Inside a small old Havana shop are dolls inspired by Norse fairy tales, Native American dolls with their own teepee, elf dolls, an updated version of the Santeria deity Ochún in a gold dress, and baby dolls in career outfits.

The elaborate muñecos seem innocent enough, but this shop is among 180 Cuban businesses that the United States says are tied to the Cuban military and therefore off limits to American visitors. It was placed on the U.S. Department of State’s prohibited list in November in a move designed to keep financial resources out of the hands of enterprises owned or controlled by the Cuban military.

Also on the prohibited list are a Mercaderes Street florist shop where buckets of yellow, lavender, pink, coral and red roses and small floral arrangements await customers, and several other picturesque Old Havana stores…

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