Small and medium-sized private enterprises have been allowed to establish themselves in Cuba.
The change came about a month after the biggest protests since the revolution that brought Fidel Castro to power in 1959. Under the new rules, companies with up to 100 employees will be allowed.
Thousands of Cubans have taken to the streets due to the shortage of essential goods, restrictions on civil liberties and the way authorities have handled the coronavirus outbreak in recent days. At least one person was killed during the protests and hundreds were arrested.
The government claimed that the protests were provoked by the United States. US President Joe Biden has imposed new sanctions on Cuban police and warned that the Communist regime will impose additional punitive measures if protesters do not respond to protesters’ demands for radical change.
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In recent months, the Cuban government has stepped up reforms to modernize the economy and avert the island’s worst economic crisis in 30 years. Partly because of the impact of US sanctions, chronic shortages of food, electricity and medicine have been exacerbated by tougher measures against Covid-19.
In February, the government decided to open most of the government-controlled economy to the nascent private sector, with the exception of key areas such as health, media and education.
It is estimated that about 600,000 Cubans work in the private sector, which represents about 13% of the workforce. But they were asking for a legal structure that would openly allow their work.
The green light for small and medium-sized enterprises was given on Friday during a session of the Council of State in which President Miguel Díaz-Canel participated by videoconference.
“The Council of State adopted the resolution, which envisages the inclusion of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in the economy as part of the productive transformation of the country,” said the statement published on the Assembly’s website. national.
Prime Minister Manuel Marrero Cruz said in June that “there are limits that cannot be crossed” and warned that authorized private activities would not be allowed to go too far.
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Oniel Díaz, an expert on business development in Cuba, told French news agency AFP that the new law is an important step that many Cubans have been waiting for for years.
“For the Cuban economy, this represents a big step forward with medium and long term implications,” said Oniel Díaz.