The FINANCIAL — HAVANA. The Cuban economy will remain planned and centralized but the government could loosen its tight control over small businesses, the Cuban economy minister said, according to RIA Novosti.
"It is an updating [not reforming] of the economic model where the economic categories of socialism, not the market, will take priority," Marino Murillo told reporters at a meeting of the National Assembly on August 1.
The possibility of economic reforms has been broadly discussed among domestic and foreign experts ever since Raul Castro replaced older brother Fidel Castro as Cuban president in 2008.
However, the new Cuban leader has been reluctant so far to make any major changes in domestic economic policies.
Murillo said the Cuban government did not plan to copy the market socialism of China or Vietnam.
"I think the Cuban model is a very Cuban model, which is oriented on revolution and socialism," the minister said.
According to estimates, the government controls over 90% of the Cuban economy that has been experiencing a severe economic crisis in the past two years.
Murillo attributed the country's economic woes to economic embargo imposed on communist Cuba by the United States in 1962.
"We cannot forget that the most powerful country in the world is our enemy," the minister concluded.