People often see pictures of Cuba pre-Castro and see a booming economy and a Las Vegas-like appeal. One of the reminders of this are the cars. The Economist states that Cubans have not been allowed to buy cars freely that were made after 1959 also known as the time of Castro’s revolt. This has nothing to do with the fact that Cubans like antique cars.
Raul has brought some reforms to Cuba, since his take over. Those being:
- Cubans are allowed to stay in hotels that were once only for tourists.
- Cubans can rent their own cell phones.
- Cubans can buy microwaves, DVDs, and Computers.
The question remains will Raul change the car market? Cars that are brought in after 1959 are state property and usually are only given to workers and higher ups in the Communist party.
I believe that anyone that would read this would support a Cuban being allowed to own their own car after 1959. It is obvious that the Cubans want this themselves, as there is a black market for other cars. A 1980s Mercedes goes for $35,000 on the black market.
Sure, most Cubans are poor and will not be able to afford cars, computers, and cell phones but this should not stop the government from deregulating the industry. I can not think of any advantage other than political handouts for this rule to stay in place.
So Raul free the car market!