January 13, 2009

OUTLASTED ANOTHER:

Calling all cars: Cuba recruits free-market taxis (WILL WEISSERT, 1/13/09, AP)

Cubans with classic American cars — or even rusty Russian sedans — are being encouraged to apply for taxi licenses and set their own prices for the first time in nearly a decade as the communist government turns to the free market to improve its woeful transportation system.

Under regulations published into law this week, Cuba is applying a larger dose of supply-and-demand to an economy that remains 90 percent under state control.

The move by President Raul Castro's government also breaks with the policies of his ailing brother Fidel, who long accused private taxis — legal and otherwise — of seeking "juicy profits" and fomenting a black market for state-subsidized gasoline that Cuba "had sweated and bled" to obtain.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 13, 2009 7:58 PM
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