The Cuban economy under Raul Castro

Global Business

FILES-CUBA-CASTRO-POLITICS-GOVERNMENTThis file photo taken on December 23, 2003 shows Cuban President Fidel Castro (L) and his brother Raul, Minister of the Revoutionary Armed Forces, chat in Havana, during the last meeting of the Cuban Parliament. (AFP PHOTO / ADALBERTO ROQUE)

Long before the death of Fidel Castro, changes to Cuba’s economy were well underway. For a decade now, the centrally planned economy under his brother and current president, Raul Castro, has been opening the way for Cuban entrepreneurs. And that is expected to continue.

From Havana, CCTV America’s Franc Contreras reports.

The Cuban economy under Raul Castro

In Cuba, some say an entrepreneurial revolution is well underway. From Havana, Franc Contreras reports.

In Cuba, some say an entrepreneurial revolution is well underway.

Under the late President Fidel Castro, vegetable markets were entirely under state control.

MORE COVERAGE OF FIDEL CASTRO ON CCTV

Since Raul became president, it’s easy to find privately operated fruit and vegetable stands around Havana. The owners are allowed to make profits, while customers are also satisfied.

Under Fidel Castro, the Cuban government did away with private enterprise, and held tight control over employment, production and trade.

But during the decade that Raul Castro has been president, Cuba’s centrally planned economy has created more opportunity in many sectors.

Political analyst Rafael Hernandez believes Raul Castro’s economic policies are a continuation of Fidel’s. Still, the current approach is viewed by many residents as more practical.

Tourism is another key that Raul Castro has transformed.

Improved gasoline prices and a stronger economy have made it possible for more of these classic cars to come out to the streets, providing service to more tourists.

Residential neighborhoods across Havana are seeing other changes.

But Cuba’s economy still struggles to advance. The Cuban government and citizens we talked to say the biggest barrier remains the U.S. economic blockade.