Cuba to allow first US dollar home rentals in 50 years
HAVANA (AFP) – Cuba is to allow some houses to be rented in US dollars for the first time in 50 years as well as the opening up of small businesses as it seeks to shed 500,000 public jobs, state media said Friday.
"From October, the ban on renting accommodation in the Cuban convertible peso (equivalent to the dollar) will be lifted," the daily Granma said.
The move will apply to "people who have permission to live abroad, or those who live in Cuba, and leave the country for more than three months," the official mouthpiece of the ruling Communist party said.
Those people will also be allowed to rent out their cars, it added.
Cuba has been under a US economic embargo for almost five decades. And the communist authorities only permit those Cubans who are married to foreigners or who have work contracts abroad to leave the island and return when they want.
Those people who have been given state housing since 2001 or who have carried out repairs on their homes will also be allowed to rent them, but with time limits.
Cuba is preparing to embrace the free market the hard way by laying off hundreds of thousands of public sector workers in the next six months.
Cuba's main labor organization said Monday it expected 500,000 jobs to be eliminated from the public sector by March 2011 "along with a parallel increase in the non state sector."