Cuban citizens will be able to freely buy new and used cars for the very first time since the island country converted to communism in 1959. Previously, citizens were only able to buy and sell cars without government approval if they were built before the revolution, which accounts for the spectacular array of vintage American metal on the island, according to a report by Automotive News.

But changes two years ago allowed newer models to be sold to individuals, provided they obtained approval from the country's communist government. The new regulations strip the approval process, though, as part of a push by the country's president, Raul Castro, to increase freedom for average citizens.

Castro, who took over for his ailing brother, Fidel, in 2008, has pushed for increased freedom and less government oversight in the country. Although the nation is opening up its automotive market, it may not be quite so affordable to all citizens - newer models may include a 100-percent tax, meant to fund Cuba's public transport system, according to the Communist Party's newspaper, Granma. Still, the move is likely to be good news for the growing number of private businesses in the country.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 138 Comments
      TED
      • 1 Year Ago
      Cuba, ninety miles offshore from the United States. It should be a no brainer that the 3 American Car companies supply the cars to the Cuban people and increase American jobs. It won't happen The Germans,Japanese and Koreans will get the business. Even these cars won't come from US assembly plants because of the non-working, archaic embargo. Jobs in those countries will increase. We trade with China which has a worse human rights history than Cuba. We trade with Viet Nam , which is also communist. Trade not embargos are moving these countries to improve human rights. If we really wanted to bring Cuba back to a democracy at lightning speed we would open up trade and allow Americans free access to the country as tourists and business people. This is one place where American capitalism could bring about democracy, Especially now with the end of the communist USSR which supported the totaliarism in Cuba but is now a non player.
        Ducman69
        • 1 Year Ago
        @TED
        If you think illegal immigration from Mexico is bad, wait and see what would happen if they allowed free trade with Cuba (their government doesn't want it either). The entire country would be smuggled out to Miami within a weekend, and Florida would go bankrupt in a month and turn into Cuba 2.0 under the economic strain of that.
        Chris
        • 1 Year Ago
        @TED
        All that may work that is if Cuba would get on board with it as well. They're not exactly our best friends, and the embargo goes both ways.
      lunaastroid
      • 1 Year Ago
      IT'S long overdue lets make peace with Cuba . we trade with Russia and Chnia now lets open trade with cuba Cuba is a Beautiful island and would be a great place for Americans to take Vacation lets put the past behind us and help rebuild Cuba in 2014
      Sekinu2
      • 1 Year Ago
      Sooo mnay awesome cars. These cars are 50 plus years old and still used daily. try that with a scion lol
      lc5401
      • 1 Year Ago
      I would like to trade my 2012 honda for one of those vintage 1950's cars in Cuba.
      mbluetyphoon
      • 1 Year Ago
      I will take any of those beastly old bombs any day over a new vehicle made today. They have character and will turn all heads.
        john96xlt
        • 1 Year Ago
        @mbluetyphoon
        So, go buy one. They're on eBay, located in the South West. Its not like these cars are impossible to find elsewhere.
          kqr
          • 1 Year Ago
          @john96xlt
          Yep. They're for sale in the US all over the 'net, only the stateside ones typically haven't been held together for decades with bailing wire, tape, soup cans, and farm implement parts.
      elysianfields08
      • 1 Year Ago
      Lots of classics down there
      ronnycorona
      • 1 Year Ago
      I wonder how they've managed to keep them from rusting out. 50 years on an Island should have turned them all into derelicts by now.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      hemusbull
      • 1 Year Ago
      Note, the new law is for cars manufactured after 1959. The vehicles manufactured before 1959 are free to buy as previously! LOL
        landskp4u
        • 1 Year Ago
        @hemusbull
        Many of the pre 1959 cars may be worth 10x what they originally cost. A new car might be cheaper at this point.
        ak841
        • 1 Year Ago
        @hemusbull
        What does free to buy mean ?
      FuelToTheFire
      • 1 Year Ago
      "meant to fund Cuba's public transport system" And THIS is what happens in a communist country. People are deprived of their right to own cars. The public transport system is dumbed down to the lowest common denominator, for the ignorant peasant commoners NO respectable person would EVER use public transport, EVER. I can't remember the last time I used it. Why the hell should I be paying for some peasant moocher's ride on a bus? Buy your own damn wheels. Cities across the uS should take this initiative and should stop all of their public transport efforts.
        sadiemae1214
        • 1 Year Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        They aren't "deprived" of owning cars, they own cars......classic ones at that! Those cars are worth a fortune in this country. AND, I'M a RESPECTABLE person and I use public transportation. Saves on gas and I don't have to drive in circles downtown looking for parking, plugging a parking meter full of quarters every half hour or paying $5.00 to park in a private lot for an hour while I run errands. Not everyone owns cars, not everyone has a drivers license (like kids or the elderly that are too old or ill and no longer drive) and there are some of us that just like to let someone else do the driving once in a while. AND, calling people that take public transportation "ignorant peasant commoners" could only come from an 'IGNORANT PEASANT COMMONER", and a rude one at that!
        William Flesher
        • 1 Year Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        So stupid it's hilarious. I'm trying to imagine San Francisco or Manhattan without subways, trains or buses. Traffic would be at a standstill, and life would effectively grind to a halt. Even in medium sized cities, the increase in traffic would be huge. You really put a lot of thought into this, didn't you? It's a good for a laugh, until one realizes that "respectable" geniuses such as yourself not only vote, but breed. At that point it's just sadly creepy.
        Mr.Roadrage
        • 1 Year Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        That may be the American perspective, but elsewhere people of all walks of life use public transport. I have a car, but use the train almost every day, along with almost all my neighbours. My car is for weekends rather than the daily commute. If you think that means I'm not respectable, you must have a pretty twisted view of life.
      over9000
      • 1 Year Ago
      Bad news. I thought old cars are what make Cuba has its charm.
        davebo357
        • 1 Year Ago
        @over9000
        It may look charming in photos but how'd you like to drive around in a 1959 Buick getting 9mpg? I can't imagine what kind of maintenance keeps a daily driver going for 50+ years. Are they at least allowed to import newer engines to retrofit into these old cars?
          over9000
          • 1 Year Ago
          @davebo357
          STFU.... I don't see people complaining about driving 1959 Buick in 1959. You're a spoiled brat.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @davebo357
          [blocked]
          davebo357
          • 1 Year Ago
          @davebo357
          You think people who don't want to drive a 50 year old car are spoiled? Ever consider how expensive it is to get 9mpg and have to keep repairing a car that old? It's literally less expensive to get a newer used car. Congratulations on getting it completely backwards.
          Ducati1
          • 1 Year Ago
          @davebo357
          My Father just recently returned from a humanitarian trip and found that a lot of the cars have transplanted Hyundai motors.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @davebo357
          [blocked]
          • 1 Year Ago
          @davebo357
          [blocked]
          john96xlt
          • 1 Year Ago
          @davebo357
          "STFU.... I don't see people complaining about driving 1959 Buick in 1959." Explains why cars have not progressed at all since the pinnacle of automotive excellence was reached in 1959.
        S.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @over9000
        Maybe it's charming for us as outsiders, but I feel really bad for the Cubans!
        Pat
        • 1 Year Ago
        @over9000
        There are lot more horse drawn carriages on Cuban roads than old cars! There are also a lot of old Russians and somewhat recent Peugeots and Geelys.
      gtv4rudy
      • 1 Year Ago
      We trade with China, the world's biggest law breakers on the planet , it's time to trade with Cuba.
    • Load More Comments