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Cuba's telecoms company to allow self-employed workers

Cuba will allow self-employed workers at the country's telecoms monopoly, Etecsa, in the latest in a series of economic reforms to streamline a bloated government bureaucracy. Under the new system, which was announced Monday on the etecsa.cu website, private sector "communications agents" will be allowed to assist with local, regional and international phone calls. They also will be allowed to sell prepaid phone cards and Internet cards, or reload used ones, and also will be able to take telephone bill payments.

Cuba moves towards ditching two-tier currency

HAVANA (Reuters) - Cuba took the first step towards scrapping its two-tier currency on Tuesday in a move which could boost local workers' income and remove a major hurdle for importers and exporters. The government said it had approved a plan to gradually eliminate the dual monetary system which has been in place for the last two decades, part of reforms aimed at improving the Soviet-style economy's performance.

Communist-run Cuba announces move toward currency unification but provides no details

HAVANA - Cuba's government announced Tuesday that it will take the first small, symbolic step toward eliminating a two-currency system that has become an uncomfortable manifestation of economic inequality on the island.

Cuba makes room for private initiative in tourism sector

Havana, Oct 10 (EFE).- Cuba's state-owned travel agencies and tourist entities will be able to book private lodgings and restaurants, the government said Thursday. In a resolution published in the Official Gazette, the Tourism Ministry gives the green light for individuals who rent out homes and rooms or operate restaurants, known as "paladares," to offer their services to the state tourism sector.

Cuba targets dual currency system where waiters out-earn lawyers, but easier said than done

HAVANA - Cuba is the only country in the world that mints two national currencies, a bizarre system that even President Raul Castro acknowledges is hamstringing the island's socialist economy and must be scrapped. Exactly how to do that is the problem. Months after Castro made currency unification a centerpiece of a forceful address to parliament, no details have been made public. But a pilot program operating under the radar might hold clues to a way out.
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