Cuba says private sector freeze will not last years

HAVANA, (Reuters) – The Cuban government said yesterday the freeze on new licences for some private-sector occupations would not last years, in an attempt to reassure citizens worried about an apparent pause in the liberalization of the economy. Communist-run Cuba last week said it was suspending issuing licenses for popular activities like renting out rooms in homes while it took new measures to “perfect” the functioning of the nascent private sector and curb wrongdoing.

“We are not talking about a very long period of time. We are not talking about years,” Labor Vice Minister Marta Elena Feitó said in an interview aired on state-run television. “We are talking about a normal work procedure to approve these norms.”

Feitó said around 1,600 applications for licenses for affected occupations filed before the freeze was announced would be processed.

The number of self-employed on the island has more than tripled to 567,982 since President Raul Castro in 2010 launched his plan to open up the centrally planned economy to more private initiative and market forces. For many Cubans, self-employment or work at cooperatives offers an opportunity to earn more than the average state wage of $30 per month.

The Cuban government legalized nonagricultural cooperatives five years ago.

Worries that the government is reneging on its reform plan were exacerbated on Friday when one fast-growing cooperative said it had been ordered to shut down.

Scenius, which provides accounting and business consultancy services mainly to state companies, said the order came after the finance ministry complained it was offering skills outside its official remit.

Scenius General Director Alfonso Larrea denounced the order on his Facebook page for destroying the “faith of 300 cooperativists … and thousands of Cubans who believed it was possible to dream.”

 

Comments  

Caribbean leaders launch plan for world’s first ‘climate-smart zone’

Caribbean leaders yesterday announced the launch of a new public-private coalition to create the world’s first “climate-smart zone”, according to a release from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).

T&T cop killed during botched restaurant robbery

(Trinidad Guardian) Special Reserve police officer Richard Babwah was killed on Monday evening during an attempted robbery at a Chinese restaurant in Arouca.

Caribbean’s largest solar-powered plant for Jamaica

(Jamaica Gleaner) Ground is to be broken today at Paradise Park, Westmoreland, for what is being described as the largest solar-powered plant in the Caribbean.

T&T cop killed during botched restaurant robbery

(Trinidad Guardian) Special Reserve police officer Richard Babwah was killed last evening during an attempted robbery at a Chinese restaurant in Arouca.

Venezuelan migrants pose humanitarian problem in Brazil

BOA VISTA, Brazil,  (Reuters) – Last August, Victor Rivera, a 36-year-old unemployed baker, left his hometown in northern Venezuela and made the two-day journey by road to the remote Amazonian city of Boa Vista, Brazil.

Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly.

We built stabroeknews.com using new technology. This makes our website faster, more feature rich and easier to use for 95% of our readers.
Unfortunately, your browser does not support some of these technologies. Click the button below and choose a modern browser to receive our intended user experience.

Update my browser now

×