Cuba cancels car import program
Thu Mar 4, 2010 6:58pm EST
HAVANA, March 4 (Reuters) – An import program that brought flashy new
cars to Havana streets dominated by old U.S. and Russian vehicles has
been canceled, the Cuban government said in a resolution published this
Cyclical Consumer Goods
In the online edition of the Official Gazette, the communist government
said "irregularities have been observed" in the program without
explaining what they were.
Since April, Cubans with cars had been allowed to import vehicles to
replace pre-1990 models, with the goal of cutting fuel consumption and
pollution on the Caribbean island.
The old models were turned over to the government, which regulates the
purchase of cars and restricts who can get them.
It was not known how many vehicles had come in under the program. But
shiny new cars and SUVs, some luxury makes such as BMW and Mercedes,
began popping up among the 1950s American cars that still rumble through
Cuba and the Ladas that came during the island's 30-year alliance with
the Soviet Union.
Artists, athletes and doctors posted abroad are among those allowed to
have cars and some of the few Cubans who can afford them. The only cars
that can be freely bought and sold are the old U.S. models that predate
the 1959 Cuban revolution.
In recent months, some Cubans had bought the old cars, which are sold
for between $3,000 and $40,000, to be able to import a new car to
replace them. (Reporting by Rosa Tania Valdes; Editing by Jeff Franks
and John O'Callaghan)
Cuba cancels car import program | Reuters (5 March 2010)