“HAVANA – When Cuba legalizes buying and selling real estate by the end of the year – as the government promised again this week – many expect a cascade of changes: higher prices, mass relocation, property taxes and a flood of money from Cubans in the United States and around the world.
Private property is the nucleus of capitalism, of course, so the plan to legitimize it here in a country of slogans like “socialism or death” strikes many Cubans as jaw-dropping.
Indeed, most people expect onerous regulations and, already, the plan outlined by the state media would suppress the market by limiting Cubans to one home or apartment and requiring full-time residency. Yet even with some state control, experts say, property sales could transform Cuba more than any of the economic reforms announced by President Raul Castro’s government.”
These pictures are great…more from the excellent P Blog on the Denver Post
A worn staircase in an old house that has been subdivided and is in use by several families, known as a “solar,” in Old Havana, July 28, 2011. Experts say that even with some state controls, property sales, announced recently by the government that some would be permitted, could transform Cuba more than any other economic reform announced by President Raul Castro’s government. (The New York Times) #
A man gets a haircut in Central Havana, July 26, 2011. The area is one of the most heavily populated of the Cuban capital since many of these old buildings have been subdivided to house multiple families. (The New York Times)
A mother and son sleep in the livingroom of their house in Central Havana, July 27, 2011. Other family members sleep in a room known as “barbacoa (the barbecue),” a windowless floor added atop their current dwelling for added space. (The New York Times)