Cuba: Foreign cars on sale, but where are the buyers?

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Cuba, Jan 4: Cubans were in for a shock when foreign cars were sold at a price hike of approximately 400% in a car sale! Some of them have termed the prizes as crazy and why not, when a Peugeot 508 whose usual cost is £32,000 ($53,000) in the UK is on 'sale' for a $262,000, a BBC news report said.

Ironically, the state salaries average about $20 a month. In a recent move by the Castro government, car sales have been freed in a series of reforms in Communist-run Cuba. The requirement for a permit to buy a new vehicle has been abolished.

Interestingly, the government argues that the profit made from the sale would be placed in a government fund to develop public transport. But, the question that arises from such a move is how will the government manage to collect funds for the same when there would be no buyers.

It goes without saying that the money is desperately needed as the state of public transport is horrible. In fact, until 2011, regulations allowed the selling of cars before the 1959 make. Whereas for new cars, people needed a much sought-after permit that is accessible only to celebrities, top government officials and athletes.

This is a part of the series of reforms driven by President Raul Castro, aimed at updating the Cuban economic model.

Raul Castro has championed limited free-market reforms since he came to power in 2008.

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