Apartheid en Cuba
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    Reforms by Raul Castro in Cuba – update

    FACTBOX-Reforms by Raul Castro in Cuba
    Thu Apr 10, 2008 2:04pm EDT

    April 10 (Reuters) – In the six weeks since he succeeded his ailing
    brother Fidel Castro, Cuba's new leader Raul Castro has introduced a
    series of reforms to improve life in the communist Caribbean island state.

    Following are some steps taken so far, as Castro moves to lift what he
    calls "excessive prohibitions:"

    * Lifted ban on Cubans buying consumer goods such as computers, DVD
    players, microwave ovens and other electronic appliances previously
    prohibited due to an energy crisis.

    * Cubans can now stay at hotels and beach resorts previously reserved
    for foreigners only, ending a "tourism apartheid" that was a source of

    * As of April 14, Cubans will be allowed to freely buy and use cellular
    telephones, something that had been available only to government
    officials and foreign companies.

    * Decentralized agriculture to allow private farmers more leeway to
    decide how to use their land, what crops to plant and what supplies to
    buy. Farmers granted leases to unused land.

    * Reduced bureaucracy for filling medical prescriptions and began
    revamping the family doctor program in response to complaints it was

    * Removed ceiling on wages to create incentives for workers and improve
    Cuba's economic performance.

    * Additional reforms are expected to include allowing Cubans to buy and
    sell their cars and easing restrictions on travel abroad.


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