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Saturday, November 12th 2011

19:47

Cuba legalizes sale of private property

Cuba's government has given its citizens the right to buy and sell their homes for the first time since the 1959 revolution.

The long-awaited reform, published in the government's Official Gazette, is one one of the most substantial reforms introduced by Raul Castro, Cuba's president, to liberalize the island's Soviet-style command economy while maintaining the communist system..

Phil Peters, a Cuba expert at the Lexington Institute in Arlington, Virginia, said the move could have broad ramifications for the Cuban economy, where the cash-strapped government is encouraging the growth of self-employment as it attempts to cut a million jobs from its bloated payrolls.

"The ability to sell houses means instant capital formation for Cuban families. It becomes a source of capital at the grassroots level," Peters said. "It is a big sign of the government letting go."

Al Jazeera's Jesse Mesner-Hage reports.


Source: Al Jazeera - http://youtu.be/ZJSlZLFqss8




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