Cuba considers economic changes
By Associated Press
August 2, 2011
HAVANA – Cuba's Parliament began one of its business-packed twice-yearly
sessions yesterday, a gathering that might enact some of the changes
that the government has promised in efforts to revive the stalled
economy with a dose of private enterprise.
General guidelines for the overhauls were approved by the Communist
Party at a summit in April, but there has been relatively little action
since. It is up to parliament to turn the recommendations into reality.
President Raúl Castro, who took over definitively from his older
brother, Fidel, in 2008, has said officials are going at their own pace
on the changes and will be neither hurried nor delayed.
Foreign journalists were not invited to attend the session of the
Already the government has licensed nearly 200 types of private-sector
activity in which Cubans can go into business and hire employees, though
Castro emphasizes that the country is not abandoning socialism and there
is no sign that any large industry will be privatized anytime soon.
Also pending are potentially blockbuster changes such as allowing Cubans
to freely buy and sell homes and cars for the first time since the 1960s.