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Pictures | Wed Mar 20, 2013 | 6:21pm GMT

Housing Cuba

<p>A woman stands with her child on the balcony of her apartment in Havana March 19, 2013. In November 2011, the government decreed that Cubans could buy and sell homes for the first time since the early days of the revolution, paving the way for a real estate market that has become an exercise in bare-knuckled capitalism. Havana was once considered an architectural jewel with an eclectic mix of colonial homes and modern Art Deco construction, but much of the city outside the touristy Old Havana district is in a dilapidated state after decades of neglect and corrosion from humidity and salty sea air.   REUTERS/Desmond Boylan</p>

A woman stands with her child on the balcony of her apartment in Havana March 19, 2013. In November 2011, the government decreed that Cubans could buy and sell homes for the first time since the early days of the revolution, paving the way for a real...more

A woman stands with her child on the balcony of her apartment in Havana March 19, 2013. In November 2011, the government decreed that Cubans could buy and sell homes for the first time since the early days of the revolution, paving the way for a real estate market that has become an exercise in bare-knuckled capitalism. Havana was once considered an architectural jewel with an eclectic mix of colonial homes and modern Art Deco construction, but much of the city outside the touristy Old Havana district is in a dilapidated state after decades of neglect and corrosion from humidity and salty sea air. REUTERS/Desmond Boylan

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<p>People walk beside a house in Havana's Miramar prime real estate area March 18, 2013.    REUTERS/Desmond Boylan</p>

People walk beside a house in Havana's Miramar prime real estate area March 18, 2013. REUTERS/Desmond Boylan

People walk beside a house in Havana's Miramar prime real estate area March 18, 2013. REUTERS/Desmond Boylan

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<p>People stand at the entrance of their colonial-style houses in Havana's prime real estate area of the "The Malecon" seafront boulevard March 18, 2013.   REUTERS/Desmond Boylan</p>

People stand at the entrance of their colonial-style houses in Havana's prime real estate area of the "The Malecon" seafront boulevard March 18, 2013. REUTERS/Desmond Boylan

People stand at the entrance of their colonial-style houses in Havana's prime real estate area of the "The Malecon" seafront boulevard March 18, 2013. REUTERS/Desmond Boylan

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<p>A car is driven beside colonial-style houses on Havana's prime real estate area of the "The Malecon" seafront boulevard March 18, 2013.   REUTERS/Desmond Boylan</p>

A car is driven beside colonial-style houses on Havana's prime real estate area of the "The Malecon" seafront boulevard March 18, 2013. REUTERS/Desmond Boylan

A car is driven beside colonial-style houses on Havana's prime real estate area of the "The Malecon" seafront boulevard March 18, 2013. REUTERS/Desmond Boylan

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<p>A woman stands at the entrance of her home on sale for $5,000, in Havana's Vedado area March 19, 2013.   REUTERS/Desmond Boylan</p>

A woman stands at the entrance of her home on sale for $5,000, in Havana's Vedado area March 19, 2013. REUTERS/Desmond Boylan

A woman stands at the entrance of her home on sale for $5,000, in Havana's Vedado area March 19, 2013. REUTERS/Desmond Boylan

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<p>A woman stands at the entrance of her home on sale for $5,000, in Havana's Vedado area March 19, 2013.    REUTERS/Desmond Boylan</p>

A woman stands at the entrance of her home on sale for $5,000, in Havana's Vedado area March 19, 2013. REUTERS/Desmond Boylan

A woman stands at the entrance of her home on sale for $5,000, in Havana's Vedado area March 19, 2013. REUTERS/Desmond Boylan

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<p>A health worker fumigates inside a home in Havana September 20, 2012.   REUTERS/Desmond Boylan</p>

A health worker fumigates inside a home in Havana September 20, 2012. REUTERS/Desmond Boylan

A health worker fumigates inside a home in Havana September 20, 2012. REUTERS/Desmond Boylan

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<p>Enrique Rodriguez, 67, sits inside his home in Havana January 4, 2012.   REUTERS/Enrique De La Osa</p>

Enrique Rodriguez, 67, sits inside his home in Havana January 4, 2012. REUTERS/Enrique De La Osa

Enrique Rodriguez, 67, sits inside his home in Havana January 4, 2012. REUTERS/Enrique De La Osa

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<p>Migrant laborer Osleidis (C) and his neighbors work on the final details of his new home built on a piece of fallow state-owned land on the outskirts of Havana July 3, 2012.   REUTERS/Desmond Boylan</p>

Migrant laborer Osleidis (C) and his neighbors work on the final details of his new home built on a piece of fallow state-owned land on the outskirts of Havana July 3, 2012. REUTERS/Desmond Boylan

Migrant laborer Osleidis (C) and his neighbors work on the final details of his new home built on a piece of fallow state-owned land on the outskirts of Havana July 3, 2012. REUTERS/Desmond Boylan

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<p>A man holds a pig on a leash while sitting outside his home in Santiago de Cuba December 29, 2008.    REUTERS/Claudia Daut</p>

A man holds a pig on a leash while sitting outside his home in Santiago de Cuba December 29, 2008. REUTERS/Claudia Daut

A man holds a pig on a leash while sitting outside his home in Santiago de Cuba December 29, 2008. REUTERS/Claudia Daut

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<p>Women look out of their apartment window in Havana April 1, 2012. REUTERS/Desmond Boylan</p>

Women look out of their apartment window in Havana April 1, 2012. REUTERS/Desmond Boylan

Women look out of their apartment window in Havana April 1, 2012. REUTERS/Desmond Boylan

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<p>Jose Ramirez stands in front of his house that he is asking $55,000 for, in the city of Ciego de Avila, central Cuba January 3, 2012.    REUTERS/Marc Frank</p>

Jose Ramirez stands in front of his house that he is asking $55,000 for, in the city of Ciego de Avila, central Cuba January 3, 2012. REUTERS/Marc Frank

Jose Ramirez stands in front of his house that he is asking $55,000 for, in the city of Ciego de Avila, central Cuba January 3, 2012. REUTERS/Marc Frank

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<p>A child looks from the window of his house in Havana November 11, 2011.    REUTERS/Enrique De La Osa</p>

A child looks from the window of his house in Havana November 11, 2011. REUTERS/Enrique De La Osa

A child looks from the window of his house in Havana November 11, 2011. REUTERS/Enrique De La Osa

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<p>A man walks past housing apartments in Havana November 11, 2011.   REUTERS/Enrique De La Osa</p>

A man walks past housing apartments in Havana November 11, 2011. REUTERS/Enrique De La Osa

A man walks past housing apartments in Havana November 11, 2011. REUTERS/Enrique De La Osa

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<p>A man hangs up clothes on the balcony of his apartment in Havana August 20, 2009. REUTERS/Enrique De La Osa</p>

A man hangs up clothes on the balcony of his apartment in Havana August 20, 2009. REUTERS/Enrique De La Osa

A man hangs up clothes on the balcony of his apartment in Havana August 20, 2009. REUTERS/Enrique De La Osa

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<p>People walk past a house decorated with mural in Havana July 6, 2009. REUTERS/Desmond Boylan</p>

People walk past a house decorated with mural in Havana July 6, 2009. REUTERS/Desmond Boylan

People walk past a house decorated with mural in Havana July 6, 2009. REUTERS/Desmond Boylan

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<p>A man cycles beside a house in Havana's upmarket Miramar district, November 3, 2011.   REUTERS/Desmond Boylan</p>

A man cycles beside a house in Havana's upmarket Miramar district, November 3, 2011. REUTERS/Desmond Boylan

A man cycles beside a house in Havana's upmarket Miramar district, November 3, 2011. REUTERS/Desmond Boylan

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<p>A woman stands at the door of her home in Havana May 16, 2010. REUTERS/Desmond Boylan</p>

A woman stands at the door of her home in Havana May 16, 2010. REUTERS/Desmond Boylan

A woman stands at the door of her home in Havana May 16, 2010. REUTERS/Desmond Boylan

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<p>A man waits for customers his privately-licensed coffee stall at the entrance of his home in Havana November 21, 2011.    REUTERS/Desmond Boylan</p>

A man waits for customers his privately-licensed coffee stall at the entrance of his home in Havana November 21, 2011. REUTERS/Desmond Boylan

A man waits for customers his privately-licensed coffee stall at the entrance of his home in Havana November 21, 2011. REUTERS/Desmond Boylan

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<p>Men build a new home beside an old palm-tree wood house at a farm in the village of Campo Florido, 40 kilometres (18 miles) from Havana May 3, 2010.  REUTERS/Desmond Boylan</p>

Men build a new home beside an old palm-tree wood house at a farm in the village of Campo Florido, 40 kilometres (18 miles) from Havana May 3, 2010. REUTERS/Desmond Boylan

Men build a new home beside an old palm-tree wood house at a farm in the village of Campo Florido, 40 kilometres (18 miles) from Havana May 3, 2010. REUTERS/Desmond Boylan

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<p>A man sits in the door of his house in Holguin July 25, 2009.    REUTERS/Enrique De La Osa</p>

A man sits in the door of his house in Holguin July 25, 2009. REUTERS/Enrique De La Osa

A man sits in the door of his house in Holguin July 25, 2009. REUTERS/Enrique De La Osa

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<p>A woman carries a ventilator outside her house as Hurricane Ike approaches in Playa Giron on the south coast of Cuba September 8, 2008.    REUTERS/Claudia Daut</p>

A woman carries a ventilator outside her house as Hurricane Ike approaches in Playa Giron on the south coast of Cuba September 8, 2008. REUTERS/Claudia Daut

A woman carries a ventilator outside her house as Hurricane Ike approaches in Playa Giron on the south coast of Cuba September 8, 2008. REUTERS/Claudia Daut

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<p>A man walks past a house in San Antonio de los Banos, Havana, June 27, 2007. REUTERS/Enrique De La Osa</p>

A man walks past a house in San Antonio de los Banos, Havana, June 27, 2007. REUTERS/Enrique De La Osa

A man walks past a house in San Antonio de los Banos, Havana, June 27, 2007. REUTERS/Enrique De La Osa

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<p>A woman stands on the balcony of her house, which is located along the block-long painting known as "Callejon de Hamel" (Hamel street) in Centro Havana October 10, 2006.  REUTERS/Jorge Silva</p>

A woman stands on the balcony of her house, which is located along the block-long painting known as "Callejon de Hamel" (Hamel street) in Centro Havana October 10, 2006. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

A woman stands on the balcony of her house, which is located along the block-long painting known as "Callejon de Hamel" (Hamel street) in Centro Havana October 10, 2006. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

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<p>A family steps out of a house next to a door decorated with doves in Havana March 17, 2007.    REUTERS/Claudia Daut</p>

A family steps out of a house next to a door decorated with doves in Havana March 17, 2007. REUTERS/Claudia Daut

A family steps out of a house next to a door decorated with doves in Havana March 17, 2007. REUTERS/Claudia Daut

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<p>Children sit at the door of a house next to an old man in Havana December 3, 2006.    REUTERS/Carlos Barria</p>

Children sit at the door of a house next to an old man in Havana December 3, 2006. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Children sit at the door of a house next to an old man in Havana December 3, 2006. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

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<p>Meple, a psychologist and university professor, walks down the staircase as his seven-month old daughter Africa takes a nap on a mat on the floor at their home in the Cerro neighborhood in Havana July 22, 2007.   REUTERS/Claudia Daut</p>

Meple, a psychologist and university professor, walks down the staircase as his seven-month old daughter Africa takes a nap on a mat on the floor at their home in the Cerro neighborhood in Havana July 22, 2007. REUTERS/Claudia Daut

Meple, a psychologist and university professor, walks down the staircase as his seven-month old daughter Africa takes a nap on a mat on the floor at their home in the Cerro neighborhood in Havana July 22, 2007. REUTERS/Claudia Daut

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<p>Juan Carlos Flores, a poet and performance artist, lights a cigarette in the kitchen of his apartment in Alamar July 17, 2007.   REUTERS/Claudia Daut</p>

Juan Carlos Flores, a poet and performance artist, lights a cigarette in the kitchen of his apartment in Alamar July 17, 2007. REUTERS/Claudia Daut

Juan Carlos Flores, a poet and performance artist, lights a cigarette in the kitchen of his apartment in Alamar July 17, 2007. REUTERS/Claudia Daut

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<p>Film historian Zoia Barash, 72, drinks a cup of tea in her apartment in Havana September 5, 2007.   REUTERS/Claudia Daut</p>

Film historian Zoia Barash, 72, drinks a cup of tea in her apartment in Havana September 5, 2007. REUTERS/Claudia Daut

Film historian Zoia Barash, 72, drinks a cup of tea in her apartment in Havana September 5, 2007. REUTERS/Claudia Daut

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<p>People stand outside their house in Havana January 1, 2009.   REUTERS/Enrique De La Osa</p>

People stand outside their house in Havana January 1, 2009. REUTERS/Enrique De La Osa

People stand outside their house in Havana January 1, 2009. REUTERS/Enrique De La Osa

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