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Cuban may allow citizens to travel overseas, buy property (VIDEO)

Cuba may allow its citizens to travel overseas in the first time in 50 years and will also legalize the sale of real estate and cars, as part of a new economic strategy.

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A farmer with his bicycle and a car wade a flooded road, on Oct. 14, 2010, in the municipality of Bahia Honda, 90 km west of Havana, Pinar del Rio province, Cuba, as tropical storm Paula approaches. (Adalberto Roque/AFP/Getty Images)

Cuba may allow its citizens to travel overseas in the first time in 50 years and will also legalize the sale of real estate and cars, as part of a new economic strategy. 

The government on Tuesday released 313 guidelines approved at a historic Communist Party congress last month aimed at re-energizing the sputtering economy.

Cubans lined up at kiosks to pay the equivalent of 12 cents for booklets outlining the changes, which would fulfill long-time promises, the New York Times reports. 

But the guidelines gave few specifics — such as restrictions, taxes and other potential roadblocks — meaning Cubans will have to wait to see the fine print when the strategy is eventually translated into law by Cuba's National Assembly, the Associated Press reports. 

Cuban expatriates in the U.S. closely followed the changes — many of them under way, having been announced in a number of speeches by President Raúl Castro over the past several months — in the hope of buying potentially valuable real estate through relatives on the island.

Foreign ownership or financing has not been specifically addressed by the government, however. 

The guidelines also make clear that the state is not yet in a position to sell most Cubans new cars through state-owned businesses.

Previously, only cars built before the 1959 revolution could be sold, meaning owners of thousands of Soviet-made Ladas and Moscoviches, as well as tiny Polskis and other cars used in the former Eastern bloc, were stuck with them.

Analysts told the Times that: "simply bringing into the open what had been a black market of house and automobile swaps could be one of the most significant changes to the economy in decades and could inject badly needed cash into the system."

 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/cuba/110510/cuba-castro-travel-real-estate-property-house-sales-cars