Hardest part of reform lies ahead, Cuban gov't daily says

Havana, Apr 16 (EFE).- The most complex and important parts of the reform plan launched in Cuba to update its socialist economic model are yet to come, Communist Party daily Granma said Tuesday.

"Despite the results, we're not satisfied. The tasks that remain ahead of us will be the most complex, the ones with the most importance and impact," Granma emphasized in an editorial.

The official daily devoted a whole page to an analysis of the agreements reached at the 6th Communist Party Congress of April 2011, where the economic plan undertaken by President Raul Castro as an instrument for "updating" Cuban socialism was ratified.

The package includes expanding the scope for self-employment and small businesses, among other measures.

The updating of the model also includes slashing public payrolls, more autonomy for the management of state-run companies and the elimination of "unnecessary" social subsidies.

"The country has moved in these 24 months to the rhythm of the demands coming from those accords," Granma wrote.

The daily emphasized that what was agreed to has not become a "dead letter" and mentioned advances in the revising and modifying of several laws, restructuring state ministries and administrative entities and changes in banking policy.

Other measures have been connected with tax and immigration reform and the authorization of private buying and selling of automobiles and homes.

The paper mentioned that all the adjustments have taken place amid an international economic and financial crisis and while the economic embargo implemented by the United States against the island in 1962 remains in force.