Cuban president defends role of private sector in national economy

Sunday, 2018-12-23 14:42:58
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Plaza Carlos Tercero at Avenida Salvador Allende between Arbol Seco and Retiro streets, Havana Centro is a large shopping mall with 3 floors, always crowded with people, sometimes with long queues at the shop entrances. (Source: Havana Guide)
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Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel on December 22 defended the role of the island's private workers in building the national economy and called for elimination of prejudgments against the private sector.

"Self-employed workers are not enemies of the Revolution. They have emerged as a result of updating our economic model," said Diaz-Canel during his speech concluding the ordinary session of Cuban Parliament, while emphasizing they must operate in accordance with the law.

The president said it is necessary to create the proper conditions for the private sector to operate according to the new regulations implemented two weeks ago, and that the law officials must act "with fairness, rigor and ethics."

On December 7, the Cuban government put into force a series of modified regulations regarding the activities of the private sector in the Caribbean nation.

Private work re-emerged in Cuba in 2010 as part of the reforms initiated by former President Raul Castro, with the aim to improve efficiency and productivity.

According to figures from the Cuban Labor Ministry, almost 600,000 small entrepreneurs are currently running private businesses on the island. They employ about 1.3 million workers, some 20 percent of the country's work force.