Editor’s note: This is the second of a two-part series on Cuba’s economic reforms. Part I looked at the reforms to date. Part II examines the challenges facing future efforts.
Cuba's economic reform -- or "updating" of the economy, as the Cubans prefer to call it -- is aimed at introducing market mechanisms to boost Cuba's anemic productivity. "We have to erase forever the notion that Cuba is the only country in the world in which people can live without working," President Raul Castro told the National Assembly in August 2010.
So far, the changes being carried out in the agricultural and small business sectors demonstrate that Cuba's leaders are serious. For all intents and purposes, agriculture is undergoing de facto privatization, and the incipient private sector is expected to become a major contributor to GDP.