HAVANA — Cuba announced Monday it will cast off at least half a
million state workers by early next year and reduce restrictions on
private enterprise to help them find new jobs — the most dramatic step
yet in President Raul Castro's push to radically remake employment on
the communist-run island.
Castro suggested during a nationally
televised address on Easter Sunday that as many as 1 million Cuban
workers — about one in five — may be redundant. But the government had
not previously laid out specific plans to slash its work force, and the
speed and scope of the coming cutbacks were astounding.