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Cuba loosens some limits on selling cars

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Cuba loosens some limits on selling cars

Post by SMOKNZ on October 5th 2011, 7:15 am

For decades, driving down the streets of Cuba was like entering an automotive time warp. The streets are full of cars from the 1950s, and there's virtually nothing modern. But with an announcement by President Raul Castro last week, the strict rules are going to be relaxed a bit, and Cubans and foreign residents now have the right to buy and sell cars made after 1959.

Previously, only cars that were in the country before the 1959 revolution could be bought and sold, and only a select few citizens could import cars. So the streets were crowded with decades-old American-made cars.

Now, newer cars can be bought and sold among residents, though such cars have not been widely available to citizens not linked to the government.

"Any car owners can buy or sell their cars to anyone, and for that trade, they only will have to pay a tax," said Eduardo Mesejo, director of Havana's automotive museum.

The new regulations will allow only foreign residents and Cubans who have government permission to import cars. All others will still be limited to cars already on the island.

These altered rules took effect on Oct. 1. What remains unclear is whether this shift indicates a move toward doing away with Cuba's old automobiles.

Could you imagine driving only cars made before '59? That would be really cool! cheers
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