Informacion economica sobre Cuba

Cuba expands private sector against malaise – Summary

Havana – Cuba took another step Sunday to expand its private sector,
announcing that people will be allowed to operate small business and
hire workers and that its large state employee roster would be whittled
down.The measures, announced by President Rau

Posted : Mon, 02 Aug 2010 02:16:41 GMT
By : dpa

Havana – Cuba took another step Sunday to expand its private sector,
announcing that people will be allowed to operate small business and
hire workers and that its large state employee roster would be whittled
down.

The measures, announced by President Raul Castro at a session of the
National Assembly, come as the Caribbean island grapples with economic
malaise.

"The Council of Ministers has agreed to expand self-employment as a
possible alternative for redundant workers," Castro declared.

Castro, who has ruled Cuba since his brother and legendary revolutionary
leader Fidel Castro fell ill in 2007, said that the "enormous roll" of
state employees would be reduced in stages, starting this year. He did
not mention numbers, but in April the president said 1 million of the 5
million state employees were redundant.

Castro also warned political opponents that the recent decision to
release 52 political prisoners should not be interpreted as an
invitation to subvert the country. "Those who attempt to endanger our
independence will not escape with impunity," Castro said.

Economic Minister Marino Murillo Jorge, speaking on the sidelines of the
assembly, declared that the economic measures were adjustments to the
socialist economy, and that Cuba would never adopt a free market economy.

The economic measures are a "structural change" in Cuba's socialist
economy, Castro said, made in the interest of "preserving and
developing" the social system and "making it sustainable in the future."

The assembly discussed a variety of current economic woes, from poor
productivity and bureaucracy to corruption, with some of the blame put
on the global economic recession and natural weather disasters.

Sugar and coffee production, two of the mainstays of Cuba's export
economy, are both dramatically down.

Castro also criticized the "paternalistic" attitude toward work and said
Cuba has to erase the notion that it is the only country in the world
where it is possible to "live without working."

In Cuba, 95 per cent of the economy depends on the state. After the
collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, Cuba lost its mainstay
of economic support, and Cuban authorities authorized some small businesses.

But the government later stopped granting company licenses to individuals.

Castro said economic results for the first half of 2010 were
"encouraging" and emphasized the increase in the number of tourists.

http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/news/337511,sector-malaise-summary.html


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