Hope for change hot in Cuba while Raul Castro stays quiet

( dpa )- What's cooking in Cuba's political kitchens? A lot, according to analysts, politicians and people on the street.

However, a month into Raul Castro's presidency, the menu of reform remains uncertain, although some of the ingredients are starting to become known.

Rumour , leaks and vague comments on official media appeared to indicate the direction of possible changes - including the free sale of some agricultural products, and even of computers and home appliances, more flexible migration rules or the end of the veto of Cubans on the island's luxury resorts.

However, there has been no official confirmation of any of these possible moves.

Raul Castro himself encouraged expectations of change in his inaugural speech on February 24, when he said he would move to end an "excess in prohibitions and rules" within the "coming weeks." He also tackled other problems, like the double currency or the need to increase productivity and undertake "structural reform."

A high official said in recent days that authorities are contemplating the elimination of "all" prohibitions that have become "obsolete," to allow people to live "in a more natural and normal way." However, he gave no concrete details.

Indeed, one month into the new government - after the decades-long rule of Fidel Castro - the only thing that was clear was that reform, whatever it may be, will not be introduced through high-profile announcements.

Rather, it is likely to be implemented gradually and with discretion - like the sale of some tools for farmers, which has already started in some provinces after only a passing mention on state radio.

Such secrecy "does not make anything easier," dissident economist Oscar Espinosa Chepe complained. He said that the new approach fits the new president's general attitude. "Raul Castro has always been very prone to working silently, in a discrete way."

"Not legalizing change entails a danger, because at any point they can backtrack, it builds no confidence," he told Deutsche Presse - Agentur dpa .

The problem is that many changes in the communist Cuba do not need specific legislation, because they would be reforms to measures undertaken "out of need" in the severe crisis of the 1990s, following the collapse of the Soviet bloc. The prohibition of using luxury hotels is one such measure.

Diverse sources have confirmed the trend in the country in recent weeks.

"There is underground movement," a European diplomat said in Havana.

And even Washington has acknowledged tactical changes under Raul Castro.

The longing for reform is so great among the Cuban people that even official media have had to deal with it.

"I see with worry that some people are hoping that the announcement of certain measures will solve by itself, from one minute to the next, accumulated domestic, spiritual needs, or be reflected automatically on consumption," Granma chief editor Lazzaro Barredo said recently.

Cuban news agency AIN was forced to put a brake on rumour about an appreciation of the peso, linking it to "speculative considerations" and calling people not to fall for "unfounded rumour ."

For Espinosa Chepe , this popular involvement is perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of what is happening in Cuba.

"There is a very strong consciousness growing in all sectors, including the PCC (Cuban Communist Party) itself. It is this element, Cuban public opinion, which will finally guarantee change," he said.

One month into Cuba's new era, some tastes of change may be about ready, and there is clearly a hunger for change. However, it remained to be seen just how rich the complete menu of reform would be.

Subscribe to Trend in Google News! Subscribe
Azerbaijani Ombudsman talks about measures on Armenia's execution of decision of Int'l Court of Justice (UPDATE)
Azerbaijani Ombudsman talks about measures on Armenia's execution of decision of Int'l Court of Justice (UPDATE)
Azerbaijan working to prepare Budget Code (UPDATE)
Azerbaijan working to prepare Budget Code (UPDATE)
Tactical-Special Exercises held in Azerbaijani Nakhchivan (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Tactical-Special Exercises held in Azerbaijani Nakhchivan (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Loading Bars
Latest
Seven U.N. peacekeepers killed in central Mali explosion
Bayern Munich 3-0 Barcelona: Xavi's side crash out of Champions League
Erdogan praises new economy model, calls for trust in policies
Olaf Scholz elected new German chancellor
Georgian gov't allows Covid-19 booster five months after last shot
Turkey’s COVID-19 numbers decrease despite winter worries
Georgia shares data on most exported goods to Azerbaijan
Iran RIPI among 25 leading patent holders in oil, gas nanotech
Johnson imposes COVID-19 'Plan B' in England to contain Omicron
Azerbaijan-Iran to take steps to increase trade turnover – Iranian ambassador
Pfizer, BioNTech vaccine neutralises Omicron with three shots
Azerbaijan proposes new version of budget rule – minister
Azerbaijan working to prepare Budget Code
Iran is ready to start co-op with Azerbaijan, Russia in synchronization of power grids - minister
Azerbaijan appoints new president of Wrestling Federation
EIB, EBRD assess financing opportunities for Georgian business
Central Bank of Azerbaijan puts into circulation new 20 qepik coin
Turkmenistan launches production of Shir deri branded shoes
Uzbek Statistics Committee publishes leading regions in terms of food production
Georgia seeks funding for underground gas reservoir construction
Uzbek Commodity Exchange announces its weekly quotes of commodities for export
Tactical-Special Exercises held in Azerbaijani Nakhchivan (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Iran and Syria to launch a joint mercantile exchange
Central Bank of Azerbaijan to put into circulation new 20 manat banknote soon (PHOTO)
Iran discloses amount of money provided for purchase of agricultural machinery
Russia’s Astrakhan Business Center in Baku to attract businessmen, humanitarian reps - governor
Oil prices expected to strengthen again in 2023
Iran`s Khodro, Saipa automakers receive green light to raise prices on cars
Azerbaijan shares predictions on GDP growth rates for 2022-2026
Iran's Bahar Azadi gold coin prices dip
Indian Oil Corporation renews deal to buy up to 2 MT of oil from Russia's Rosneft
Azerbaijan boosts chemical exports for 10M2021
Foreign Secretary, Bangladesh Foreign Minister discuss COVID-19 cooperation
Number of passenger planes received by Iran’s Gorgan International Airport up
Baku State University opens tender for security services
Indian DRDO carries out successful test firing of surface-to-air missile
Turkey ready to mediate to reduce tension between Russia, Ukraine – President Erdogan
Kazakhstan shares forecast on oil production volume by 2030
Iran produces 5 million doses of domestic Noora COVID-19 vaccine
Bahrain parliament approves value-added tax increase to 10%
Challenge for OPEC+ beyond 2022 may shift towards managing upside risks
Israel budget deficit falls to 4.6% of GDP yr/yr in November
Gas withdrawal from European UGS 19% above average in December — Gazprom
India develops AESA radar to make IAF fighters more lethal
Iran`s National Development Fund voices readiness to back mega projects
Iran's trade with China declining
Iran seeks to boost trade with Syria through private sector
Pfizer, BioNTech vaccine neutralises Omicron with three shots
Red Cross to build regional logistics hub in Georgia
Kazakhstan reports increase in purchase prices for new housing
SOCAR Petroleum among largest taxpayers in Ukrainian fuel market
Azerbaijan launches construction of tunnels on Horadiz-Jabrayil-Zangilan-Aghband highway (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan, Iran hold discussions on development of co-op in oil-gas sector
Armenian troops shoot at Azerbaijani military positions in Kalbajar
Azerbaijan's activities in energy sector - commendable, says Iranian minister
Azerbaijan shares data on number of vaccinated citizens
Azerbaijan confirms 1,210 more COVID-19 cases, 1,853 recoveries
US-led global release of strategic petroleum reserves may accelerate oversupply
Initial acquaintance with minefields maps provided by Armenia creates impression of inaccuracy – ANAMA
Main goal of Google Pay - to ease payment possibility for users, says head of operations strategy
Azerbaijan shares data on oil export to Switzerland for 10M2021
Azerbaijan discloses oil exports to Greece over 10M2021
bp says delivery of final major equipment packages for ACE complete
bp talks latest progress in ACE platform construction
Georgia shows positive growth in tourism revenue recovery – TBC Capital
Russia begins sea trials of 'Peter the Great' cruise ship - Astrakhan governor
Iran sees increase in volume of cargo loaded/unloaded in Genaveh port
Azericard looks to expand innovative payment tools in Azerbaijan
Uzbekistan reveals main countries in terms of imports for 10M2021
Several wheat varieties sown in Azerbaijan's liberated lands (PHOTO)
Central Bank of Azerbaijan plans to develop standards to support open banking technologies in 2022
Azerbaijan, Russia’s Astrakhan to co-op in dev’t of North-South transport corridor – Astrakhan governor
Central Bank of Azerbaijan unveils five main directions of digital payment development strategy
S&P Global Ratings announces Uzbek Ravnaq-bank's credit rating
China's Venus Medtech buys Israeli co Cardiovalve
Central Bank of Azerbaijan to develop document on conceptual approach to digital currency creation in 2022
Uzbekistan names leading countries in terms of exports in 10M2021
National Bank of Georgia reduces mortgage loans term
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for December 8
Tesla sold 52,859 China-made vehicles in November
Azerbaijan developing new training programs for qualified workers – minister
UAE to allow establishment of acquisition companies
MasterCard eyes expanding non-cash payment opportunities for public transport in Azerbaijani regions
Light Industry Development Project in Georgia getting support from USAID
Azerbaijani Ombudsman talks about measures on Armenia's execution of decision of Int'l Court of Justice
IRICA shares data on Iran’s steel, iron products export
Azerbaijan, Iran discuss issue on construction of bridge and pedestrian crossing over Astarachay River
Social Democrat Olaf Scholz elected as German chancellor
Iran to launch new power units for TPPs
Lithuanian BS/2 to expand its business in Azerbaijan
Eurasian petroleum production to continue positive trend by 2022
Cargo transportation via Iran's Urmia International Airport increases
Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan to build industrial trade and logistics complex on border
Europe to see increase in petroleum, other liquids output
MasterCard implements projects to expand contactless, non-cash payments in Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan researching to create digital manat
Russian S7 Airlines launches regular flights to Uzbekistan
Azerbaijan assigned social payment to 20,000 families of martyrs from early 2021 – minister
National Bank of Georgia tightens monetary policy rate
Personal exhibition of Brazilian street artist to open at Azerbaijan's Heydar Aliyev Center
All news