The Cuban government announced on Tuesday that it plans to begin allowing medium, small and micro sized private businesses, following the trend of economic reform that has occurred since Raul Castro became president in 2008.
The announcement was made in a 32 page document that was released in a newsstand tabloid. The document said that the move was one part of a master plan, approved by the nation’s communist party last month, that includes social and economic reforms.
While the document didn’t specify exactly what the changes will entail, economic experts have theorized that it may, among other things, give private businesses the ability to import and export products.
Cuba’s Communist government already allows certain private enterprises by self-employed workers, these businesses include the likes of restaurants and hairdressers and hundreds of other job categories.
While the move towards privatization is following a recent historical trend, the means of production in the economy and the distribution of its goods is likely to remain firmly in the hands of the central government.
Of Cuba’s 5 million or so workers, roughly a third are currently employed in the few hundred private business that the government has allowed, many of the workers being part of cooperatives.
The reforms still have to be approved by the Cuban National Assembly, because the Assembly meets only twice a year it may take month before approval.