Saturday, January 4, 2014

It's now legal to buy a new car in Cuba. This is what passes for "reform" in socialist countries.

Cubans are now able to buy modern cars freely for the first time since the revolution in 1959. - BBC via ◼ Ron Nehring

Now, Cubans will no longer need the government's approval to buy new cars from state-owned sellers.

But prices remain out of reach for many.

The BBC's Sarah Rainsford, in Havana, says a new Peugeot 508 estate at a showroom in the Cuban capital is on sale for an extraordinary $262,000 (£160,000).

That is eight times more than what it would cost in Britain, for example.

And used cars are not much cheaper. Our correspondent says a five-year-old Peugeot 206 is priced at $85,000 (£52,000).

The vast majority of people in Cuba earn a state wage of around $20 (£12) per month.

The government says some of the profits from sales will go towards developing Cuba's decrepit public transport system.

◼ Meanwhile: ‘This cannot possibly be real’: Rolling Stone’s five economic reforms sure sound like Marxism - Twitchy