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Cuba Allows Sales of Computers, DVD Players

Cuba Allows Sales of Computers, DVD Players

Fidel Castro only stepped down as Cuba’s president last month after nearly 50 years as the island nation’s leader, but one major change is already on the way for Cuban citizens: Reuters is reporting the country is getting set to allow unrestricted sales of DVD players and computers.

Currently, only businesses and foreigners are allowed to purchase computers in Cuba, and until last year DVD players were actually seized at Cuban airports. The Cuban government still restricts sales of mobile phones, and Internet access remains tightly controlled.

Cuba is apparently lifting the restrictions because of improvements to the country’s electrical grid; however, the government doesn’t plan to allow sales of air conditioners until 2009, and sales of toasters and electric ovens will be prohibited until 2010 due to limits on Cuban electrical infrastructure.

Cuba also plans to approve unrestricted sales of electric bicycles, car alarms, microwave ovens, electric pressure cookers, and rice cookers. Televisions are already available.

Cuba banned the sale of many electrical appliances in the early 1990s; the collapse of the Soviet Union ended that country’s oil exports and economic subsidies to Cuba. In the last few years, Cuba has worked to upgrade its electrical grid by purchasing generators from nearby Venezuela.

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