The green light has been given for an eagerly awaited reform in Cuba. Rules on the buying and selling of cars have been relaxed for the first time since the 1959 revolution.
Authorisation will still be needed for the importing of foreign vehicles, but Cubans are now free to buy and sell without permission.
Taxi driver Fabio Brito said: “It’s what they had to do, because you can do this in every country in the world. Why should we be different, independent of what the world does? We need to be in step with the world. We didn’t ask to go apart from the world, because if we do we’re not going forward.”
Up until now only cars that were in Cuba before the revolution were allowed to be freely bought and sold.
One state worker said: “With what money [can I buy a car]? I have to ask Raul Castro for one. This is a state job and they don’t pay enough for that.”
The liberalisation of car sales is just one of more than 300 reforms approved in April at a congress of the Communist Party.