Cuba approves wholesale access that looks to benefit co-ops, but entrepreneurs still shut out

HAVANA – More than a dozen Cuban state-run businesses have been authorized to begin selling their goods wholesale to selected buyers.

A new resolution from the Economy and Planning Ministry says legally registered entities will be able to purchase products including barbed wire, cement, chemicals, aluminum sheets, leather and bus parts.

The measure seems geared toward fledgling independent, non-agricultural co-operatives that are operating in construction, textiles and transport, among other areas.

It apparently does not apply to the more than 460,000 private-sector workers and small-business owners, many of whom say a lack of wholesale access makes it tough to do business.

Details were published Friday in the government’s Official Gazette.

Cuba is in the midst of a limited expansion of non-state economic activity that began in 2010.