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First co-ops open in Cuba

July 01, 2013, 18:08 UTC+3

Most of them are associated with the agricultural market

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HAVANA, July 1. /ITAR-TASS reporter Ivan Valyuk /. Socio-economic changes in Cuba have reached a new stage: today in the country started to work as ‘pilot’ the first 124 cooperatives, including 12 private, created outside the agriculture segment.

"Thus, we put on cooperative management activities that were not productive in the government-run enterprises,” told the Granma newspaper expert Grisel Abreu. “It also allows the state to get rid of those issues that are not of primary importance for the development of the economy.”

Of the total number of cooperatives an overwhelming majority - 99 - are associated with the agricultural market, located in the central provinces of Havana and Artemis, and Mayabeque, 12 - with the construction sector, six - with cars service, five - with transport logistics. Cost of products and services will be determined, subject to certain exceptions, on the basis of supply and demand.

“The cooperatives are not the result of the privatization process, they will only manage state property, which ultimately belongs to the people,” commented to the newspaper Toledo Ruben Diaz, head of the Standing Committee on Implementation and Development, which oversees the "mainstreaming" of the socialist model of the island state.

Within the framework of transformations started in 2010 Cuban authorities began a controlled expansion of opportunities for self-employment and downsizing in the public sector. In addition, they have allowed citizens to relatively easily buy houses and used cars, as well as significantly eased immigration legislation.

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