Cuba releases new economic guidelines without major changes

HAVANA – Cuba’s ruling Communist Party has released a new set of economic guidelines that emphasize the slow-moving and limited nature of the country’s reforms amid a sharp national economic downturn.

The guidelines “recognize the objective existence of market relationships.” But they also restate Cuba’s commitment to a centrally planned economy.

The document says that concentration of property and wealth will not be permitted.

It also promises to advance internet service “gradually, according to our economic possibilities” in one of the world’s least-connected nations.

The 274 guidelines update a document that laid out President Raul Castro’s vision of economic reform at the Cuban Communist Party’s twice-a-decade congress in 2011. Those reforms have allowed growth of tens of thousands of private businesses ranging from self-employed cobblers to high-end restaurants.