Cuba approves 498 non-agricultural cooperatives in the last year

The Cuban government approved 498 non-agricultural cooperatives since the first 124 were created a year ago as a new model of economic enterprise, Cabinet secretary Homero Acosta said.

Of the 498 approved, 283 are now in business, chiefly in the sectors of restaurants and related services, Acosta said Friday in the closing speech of an international congress of attorneys held in Havana, according to a report by the official AIN news agency.

The Cuban National Assembly in July 2012 extended the cooperative formula to more than 200 non-agricultural activities, including restaurants and “technical and personal services,” in order to try out a kind of economic enterprise that for years was only permitted in the farming sector.

The creation of cooperatives is applicable to both the state sector and self-employed workers.

As for the legislative changes introduced over the past five years on the island, the official said that unnecessary prohibitions have been eliminated in such fields as buying and selling vehicles and real estate, activities that for decades were not permitted.

These measures are part of a plan of economic reforms promoted by Cuban President Raul Castro to “modernize” the island’s socialist economic model and reactivate its depressed economy.

By EFE, Fox News Latino

September 20, 2014

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