HAVANA - Cuban woodworkers and carpenters still face restrictions on building "furniture to sell to the general public." The Wall St. Journal, reporting on the Cuban government's newly announced efforts to layoff more than 500,000 workers in state-owned plants, notes that jobs in private enterprise remain restricted, including carpentry and woodworking.

Carpenters are among 124 officially authorized careers for self-employment in Cuba, but woodworkers may only repair existing furniture or build custom furniture at the request of clients; they may not build wood furniture to inventory for sale to the public. The restriction may be intended to protect another likely area of private enterprise development: small-scale factory cooperatives believed to be already engaged in furniture building. Reuters reports the Cuban government is hoping to encourage such organizations to grow their business, in already approved areas such as garment and furniture making. 

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