By Juan O. Tamayo
Cuban government efforts to open its doors to more private enterprise cut state payrolls and lure foreign investors face a string of restrictions and complications, several U.S. academics said during a seminar Saturday in Coral Gables.
The island’s communist government “has a love-hate relationship with the private sector,” said Mario Gonzalez-Corzo, a Cuban-born professor at the City University of New York.
Ruler Raúl Castro has been allowing more private economic activities in hopes of jump-starting a Soviet-style economy since he succeeded brother Fidel Castro, temporarily in 2006 and then officially in 2008.
But while up to 485,000 Cubans are reported to be licensed to work in low value-added jobs such as tailors and seamstresses, there are many constraints, Gonzalez-Corzo told the University of Miami’s Institute for Cuban and Cuban American Studies (ICCAS).