Cuba Loosens Some Limits on Selling Cars
By Julie Alvin
For decades, driving down the streets of Cuba was like entering an automotive time warp. The streets are full of cars from the 1950s, and there's virtually nothing modern.
But with an announcement by President Raul Castro last week, the strict rules are going to be relaxed a bit, and Cubans and foreign residents now have the right to buy and sell cars made after 1959.
Previously, only cars that were in the country before the 1959 revolution could be bought and sold, and only a select few citizens could import cars. So the streets were crowded with decades-old American-made cars.
Now, newer cars can be bought and sold among residents, though such cars have not been widely available to citizens not linked to the government.
"Any car owners can buy or sell their cars to anyone, and for that trade, they only will have to pay a tax," said Eduardo Mesejo, director of Havana's automotive museum.
The new regulations will allow only foreign residents and Cubans who have government permission to import cars. All others will still be limited to cars already on the island.
These altered rules took effect on Oct. 1. What remains unclear is whether this shift indicates a move toward doing away with Cuba's old automobiles.
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I seriously doubt that even if European, Japanese and Korean cars were on the island, they would never have out-lasted old American iron.
BTW, Japanese and European...and Italian cars WERE available to the Cubans, but none, if any still exist on the island.
Most people in Cuba cannot afford new cars! Newsflash! The average Cuban citizen earns $100 per month! Even if Cuba allowed new cars to be sold on the island, only the Castros and their inner circle could afford to drive them. Communist dictatorships cause abject poverty!
Castro is the hero of the American college campus liberal and his Cuba is paradise in their minds.
In his paradise people are driving 50 yr old cars which burn gas at about 10 mpg and pollute about 25 times that of a modern car. I thought conservative Republicans and Tea party members were the ones who pollute and were against smart fuel standards.
And to think Micahel Moore wants our healthcare system to be just like the Cuban system. I wonder what kind of ambulances they have in Cuba.
Would like to get my hands on one of those 50's gems. The Cuban Taxi Driver has proven to the world what is possible with what is on hand. The Cuban government although has failed to realize that hungry children can't eat "ideals." Did you ever wonder why we trot around the globe "freeing" people when our next door neighbors are trapped in the middle 20th Century? Oh, right, No oil in Cuba.
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