Cuban gov­ern­ment taps brakes on mar­ket re­forms

The Washington Times Daily - - WORLD -

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.

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