The Cuban government has relaxed another decades-old policy, one that is sure to benefit tourists seeking extended stays on the island nation.
Starting this week, permanent residents can rent out what up until now have been restricted real estate properties - mostly condominums. Most Cuban worker cannot afford to rent such properties. The average monthly wage in Cuba, where four out of five of the five million-strong labor force work for the state, is $20. So the primary beneficiary of the change will be tourists. And with Americans traveling to Cuba in record numbers, more Americans should benefit.
Just last month, the Cuban government lifted a five-decade old ban on the purchase of imported cars. Before September of 2011, only vehicles that were in Cuba before the 1959 revolution could be freely bought and sold, which is why there are so many vintage cars still rattling around Cuban streets, most of them American-made.
The new resolution will allow Cubans not only to rent out apartments and condominiums, but to use them for offices or businesses should they choose to do so.