Murillo said the next 18 months will be the most comple x part of President

Murillo said the next 18 months will be the most

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Murillo said the next 18 months will be the"most complex" part ofPresident Raul Castro's reform program,which has already seen limited openings to private entrepreneurship and a relaxation of many social restrictions."The first stage of the reforms has so far, fundamentally, been the elimination of prohibitions in society," Murillo said in just his second face-to-face encounter with foreign journalists since he rose to prominence three years ago."During what remains of the year 2013 and in 2014, we will work on ... the most profound transformations," he added.Castro's economic and social reforms, which began in 2010, aim to resuscitate a flagging economy with a smattering of free-market principles, though officials insist that a wholesale embrace of capitalism is not planned.After five decades of a state-dominated economy, hundreds of thousands of people have legally gone into business for themselves, private farmers are cultivating landwith the government's blessing and dozens of independent nonagricultural cooperatives were launchedrecently under a pilot program.Change is soonSanchez 12 (Yoani Sanchez, Award-wining Cuban blogger, “2013 May Be Cuba's Lucky Year” <> 12-24-12)I have the impression that for Cubans the next twelve months will not be fatal. Looking ahead, I can predict they will be full of moments of change and great times. Much of the countrywe know will change, for the better, and a little for the worse; new names will emerge on the national stage and others will be finally inscribed in the marble of a headstone. An era will end, making the Mayans right this time. But all this depends, perhaps in the first place, onhow we citizens handlethe challengespresented to us, how aware we are that we are living at a turning point in history. Beginning now I am already preparing and I repeat like a mantra: thirteen, thirteen, thirteen, thirteen, thirteen...
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Democratic reform movements are gaining strengthBatista 11 (Carlos Batista, writer for Agence-France Presse, “Cuban dissidents push for opening to democracy” <?docId=CNG.ba9f54e0e6c83f59a766bc1cfb28d661.61> 6-13-11)HAVANA — Leading dissidents in Cuba have launched a reform planseekinga democratic openingin the Americas' only one-party Communist-run state.More than 40 prominent members of a range of outlawed small parties and movementssigned and issuedthe document calling for new laws and a plebiscite as a transition to democracyafter more than five decades of communism.They called upontheir more than 11 million fellow Cubans to carry out a "genuine national dialogue and start the process of legal changesthat exclude no one, so that Cubans can keep the positive things they have built, and change however they care to, the things they want to change."Dubbed the "People's Path," the document was signed by dissidents including Guillermo Farinas, Laura Pollan, Martha Beatriz Roque, Hector Maceda, Elizardo Sanchez and Oswaldo Paya.
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