Cuban government taps brakes on market reforms
HAVANA | The Cuban government announced Tuesday that it was placing at least a temporary hold on the opening of a private sector that employs more than a half-million people and has become a significant force in the island economy.
Authorities will suspend the issuance of permits for a range of occupations and ventures, including restaurants and renting out rooms in private homes, the government said in the Communist Party newspaper Granma.
The suspension includes the growing field of private teachers as well as street vendors of agricultural products, dressmakers and the relatively recent profession of real estate broker.
President Raul Castro expanded an opening of the economy to private-sector employment in 200 categories of business in 2010. The government says nearly 570,000 people are employed in the enterprises, including hundreds of restaurants and guest houses.