Raúl Castro signs decree for Mariel Development Zone

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Radio Progreso Alternativa (RPA)/Progreso Semanal: President Raúl Castro of Cuba today signed the decree-law that created the island’s first Special Zone of Development, in Mariel (ZEDM).

The news was announced during the 8 p.m. broadcast of the Cuban TV Newscast. It said that, during the meeting of the Council of State, Raúl Castro emphasized that, for this regional development project, national and international experiences were taken into account.

Mariel, a municipality 49 kilometers west of the capital, is one of the island’s best ports. The depth of its bay has been increased enough to accommodate large ships with deep load draft.

West of the bay, on what until 1960 was Cuba’s naval air force base, the landing strip has been extended considerably and widened by means of serious work.

The ZEDM, built at a cost of approximately $900 million (of which Brazil contributes $640 million), will begin partial operations by…

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