Interesting news from Cuba:
EL PASO, March 31 -- The government of President Raúl Castro has lifted a ban on Cubans staying in hotels on the island, tourism industry employees said Monday, in an apparent end to a policy that exiled bloggers and other critics had dubbed "tourism apartheid."
The reform was not announced in state-run media, but hotel employees speaking on condition of anonymity said they were preparing to open their doors to Cuban citizens Tuesday. Luxury hotels and bars in Cuba had previously been the province of well-heeled foreign tourists. Cubans will also be allowed to rent cars under new rules, sources said.
Castro has enacted multiple reforms since succeeding his ailing older brother, Fidel, on Feb. 24. He has ended a ban on private ownership of cellphones, done away with rules that required farmers to buy materials from state-run stores, voided a rule that forced residents to pick up prescriptions at inconveniently located pharmacies and lifted a ban on purchases of electronics.
The electronics reform, which also goes into effect Tuesday, will let Cubans buy computers, microwave ovens and car alarms, among other items.
Cuban state workers make an average of $19 a month. On that salary, it would take nearly two years to earn enough for one night at the Saratoga.
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