Cuban officials on Wednesday legalized the sale and purchase of automobiles for all citizens. The request to buy vehicles has been at the top of many public outcries for decades. Formerly the communist state only allowed cars to be purchased that were manufactured before the 1959 revolution.
The 1959 ban is the reason Cuban streets are largely populated by finned American classics such as the Chevrolet Bel Air and Chrysler Imperials of the 1950s.
Under the states new law citizens can buy all models and years while it is also now legal to own more than one car. Citizens however should be aware that owning multiple vehicles comes with a slightly hire tax rate.
The Cuban government has also made it legal to transfer ownership of a car or sell it outright if a relative leaves the island. Under former Cuban laws if someone emigrated off the island their vehicle was seized by officials.
While the new automobile law was announced in April it did not become a reality until it was published in the Official Gazette.
The Cuban car purchase law goes into effect on Saturday.
In a country where most citizens can’t afford a DVD player and other basic electronics it will be interested to see exactly how many citizens actually purchase a new or used vehicle.