Cuba Legalizes Sale, Purchase of Private Property

Cuban state media says the government is allowing citizens to buy and sell real estate property for the first time since the early days of the revolution.

The reform is the most important yet in a series of free-market changes ushered in by President Raul Castro to breath life into a limping Marxist economy. Communist Party newspaper Granma says in Thursday's edition that the law will take effect Nov. 10.

It will apply only to Cuban citizens and permanent residents of the island. Other details of the law are to be published in the government's Official Gazette. Previously Cuban citizens could only exchange property through complicated barter arrangements, or through even murkier black-market deals.