Raul Castro began his tenure in office with reforms that opened the Cuban economy to small private sectors and with the reestablishment of relations with the United States. However during recent years the pace of opening slowed and the thaw with Washington came to a halt, leaving the new president to take office later this week many pending tasks.
Below we highlight, with input from the dpa news agency, some of the main issues that the new Cuban president will have to manage.
The Cuban government recognizes that it needs to attract yearly more than 2.5 billion dollars of foreign investment for the economy to grow. To generate confidence among investors, Havana refinanced its historic debt with the Paris Club and promised to pay the 2.6 billion dollars outstanding. However, the bureaucratic obstacles have delayed the approval and execution of possible investments that have been far below the target.