Cuba legalizes real estate agents, 17 other independent professions, puts limits on others

Cuban authorities have announced 18 new categories of independent employment that will be permitted under President Raul Castro's economic reforms.

They're also instituting restrictions intended to regulate private entrepreneurs already in business.

Among the most notable of the newly allowed private professions are real estate agents, who have long operated in the shadows.

Even after the government legalized the buying and selling of homes in 2011 for the first time in decades, it was still technically illegal to make money connecting buyers with sellers.

The new rules also bar the resale of imported goods such as clothing and products purchased in state-run stores.

They were published into law Thursday in the government's Official Gazette.