Sunday, March 16, 2008

Cuba Fact of the Day

"Based on the improved availability of electricity, the government at the highest level has approved the sale of some equipment which was prohibited," the memo said. The list of newly available goods included 19-inch and 24-inch TVs, electric pressure cookers and rice cookers, electric bicycles, car alarms and microwaves. Air conditioners may become available next year, followed by toasters and electric ovens in 2010.

The sale of many appliances was banned in the 1990s, when the end of Soviet subsidies led to an energy crisis and daily blackouts. Subsidised oil from Venezuela is now filling the gap, allowing Havana's policymakers to ease restrictions.

With an average monthly salary of just £8, few Cubans will be able to splash out, but the relaxation was seen as a sign that the government was serious about addressing economic grievances.

-Cuba eases curb on sale of TVs and computers

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