The Communist government of Cuba announced Tuesday it will legalize small-and medium-sized business ownership, allowing some Cuban enterprises to come out of the dark.
Specifics of the policy shift were laid out in 32 pages in a state-run tabloid, according to the Associated Press. The Cuban Communist Party decided to make this change during its Party Congress meeting, which happens once every five years, and it is the first time the government shared policy plans in specific detail
Currently, businesses in Cuba are barred from selling products abroad or from bringing in outside raw materials since the government does not recognize them as legal.
This policy change is just the latest move in favor of economic liberalization — Cubans gained the right to buy and sell property as of November 2011.
President Barack Obama visited the island nation, which is just 90 miles away from the U.S., back in March. Obama is the first U.S. president to visit the country since Calvin Coolidge.
Cuban officials were angered when Obama met with the country’s business leaders during his visit, because the government did not recognize them as legitimate.
The Carnival Corporation sent its first cruise from the U.S. to Cuba since 1978 in May. Ties between the U.S. and Cuba were normalized in December 2014, meaning that diplomats from both countries can directly deal with one another rather than through intermediaries, as was previously done.
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