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Cuban reforms

Recently announced agricultural reforms in Cuba could be the springboard for more changes, says a state newspaper. The official Granma newspaper also welcomes the lifting of restrictions in several sectors of the economy.

It will now be easier for state workers to own their homes and pass them on to their children. Wage limits are to be removed to allow more incentives. Raul Castro has introduced a series of reforms since taking over as president from his brother Fidel in February. These include the removal of some restrictions on the purchase of electrical goods such as mobile phones, microwave ovens and DVD players.

The state has also lifted a ban on its people staying in hotels previously reserved for foreigners – a measure which has only now been officially acknowledged in the latest edition of Granma. The housing reforms will mainly affect people who could lose their state housing when they retire; this includes military families, sugar and construction workers, doctors and teachers. According to government figures, about 85% of Cubans already have legal title to their homes, our correspondent adds. Buying and selling property is still not allowed, however.

The wind of change or the beginning of the end for the last revolution?

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