Cuba authorises private activity in majority of sectors

HAVANA (AFP) – Cuba announced on Saturday that private activity will be authorised in most sectors, a major reform in the communist country where the state and its companies dominate economic activity.

The measure, which was unveiled last August by Labour Minister Marta Elena Feito, was approved on Friday during a meeting of the Council of Ministers, according to the daily Granma, the official newspaper of the ruling Communist Party.

Until now, private activity – which has been authorised in Cuba since 2010 but whose real boom dates back to the historic warming of ties between Cuba and the United States (US), initiated at the end of 2014 under Barack Obama – was limited to a list of sectors set by the state.

“The previous list of 127 (authorised) activities has been eliminated,” the Labour Minister said.

From now on, a list will determine the sectors reserved for the state, which will be a minority: “Of the more than 2,000 activities in which private work is allowed… only 124 will be limited, partially or totally,” Feito said, without giving further details, though they are expected to include industries considered strategic to the state, include media, health and defence.