|President Raúl Castro spoke
to Cuba’s Parliament.
Cuba considers economic changes
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 National Assembly.
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.