Cuba issues free-market reform
Decrees allow land leases, islanders to sell own produce
Will Weisser / Associated PressHavana -- Cuba has issued a pair of surprising free-market decrees, allowing foreign investors to lease government land for up to 99 years -- potentially touching off a golf-course building boom -- and loosening state controls on commerce to let islanders grow and sell their own fruit and vegetables.
The moves, published into law in the Official Gazette last week and effective immediately, are significant steps as President Raul Castro promises to scale back the communist state's control of the economy while attempting to generate new revenue.
"These are part of the opening that the government wants to make given the country's situation," said Oscar Espinosa Chepe, a state-trained economist who is now an anti-communist dissident.
REUTERS/Enrique De La Osa (CUBA - Tags: SOCIETY POLITICS)