Cuba Opens Wide to Foreign Investment

By Progreso Weekly

A historic personality in Old Havana. Photo: Juan Suárez

HAVANA TIMES – A briefing to journalists by Cuban government officials on the proposed changes to the Foreign Investment Law was held Tuesday (March 26) at the National Assembly building, where the bill will be brought up for approval next Saturday (March 29).

The main speakers were José Luis Toledo Santander, chairman of the Assembly’s committee on Constitutional and Judicial Affairs, and Deborah Rivas Saavedra, director general for investment at the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Investment (MINCEX).

The following is a translation of the key portions of the text made available to Progreso Weekly by a reliable source.

Where and who?

Within Cuba’s national territory, the entities engaging in foreign investment will enjoy full legal protection and security.

As regards available areas for investment, all sectors are potential receptors except for the sectors of health and education to the population, and the military institutions, with the exception of their business systems.

Investment in real property and the purchase of property or other real rights will be permitted. The properties may be used for housing and buildings for private domicile or tourism; or used as homes or offices for legal foreign persons, or for the purpose of tourism development.

The investments may be made through the following modalities:

a) Mixed enterprise [joint venture];

b) International economic partnership contract (Risk contract for the exploration of nonrenewable natural resources; construction; agricultural production; construction and management of hotels; production or services and contracts for the procurement of national services.)

c) Enterprises with totally foreign capital.

Joint ventures may create offices, branches and subsidiaries both on Cuban territory and outside it, and may participate in entities abroad.

In the case of an enterprise with totally foreign capital, the investor exercises the management, enjoys all the rights and answers for all the obligations.

Tourism is one of the attractive sectors for foreign investment. Photo: Juan Suárez

A foreign investor is understood to be the “natural or legal person with domicile and capital abroad who participates as a shareholder in a joint venture, or participates in an enterprise with totally foreign capital, or appears as a party in an international economic partnership contract.”

There is no distinction due to nationality or citizenship. Cubans who live outside the country may be contemplated in the category of “foreign investor.”

A national investor is the “legal person of Cuban nationality living in the national territory, who participates as a shareholder in a joint venture or is party to an international economic partnership contract.”

Cubans, as natural persons, may not be investors. Nor are individual, self-employed workers, who are not considered to be legal persons because there is no way to record private individual enterprises or partnerships. However, farm cooperatives, as legal persons, may be investors.

The entrance door

Authorization to engage in foreign investment will be granted regarding sector, modality and characteristics by the following State organizations:

• Council of State (when nonrenewable natural resources are explored or exploited, except under risk contracts of international economic partnership; when made for the management of public services such as transportation, communications, aqueducts, electricity, public works or exploitation of property in the public domain.)

• Council of Ministers (real estate development; enterprises with totally foreign capital; transfer of State property or other real rights on State property; international economic partnership risk contracts for the exploitation of nonrenewable natural resources and their production; takeover of a foreign enterprise that utilizes public capital;  use of renewable sources of energy; entrepreneurial systems of the sectors of health care, education and the military institutions; other foreign investments that do not require the approval of the Council of State.)

• Chief of the State’s Central Administration

To set up a joint venture or a totally foreign capital venture, and to execute an international economic partnership contract, applicants must go to the Minister of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment.

Possibilities and rights

The collections and payments generated by the operation of joint ventures, national investors and foreign investors, according to the existing monetary regimen, are made through accounts in any bank in the national banking system. Investors will also have access to the financial institutions in this country.

Joint ventures and national investors who are party to international economic partnerships may open and operate accounts in freely convertible currency in foreign banks, with previous authorization from the Central Bank of Cuba.

New hotel being built in Varadero. Photo: Juan Suarez

The joint ventures, national and foreign investors who are party to international economic partnership contracts, and enterprises with totally foreign capital have the right to export and import directly everything they need for their purposes. They may also be authorized by the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment to create an economic stimulus fund for the Cuban workers and permanent foreign residents.

Industrial, tourism or other installations, or the land leased by state enterprises or other national organizations will be insured by the lessee to the benefit of the lessor.

Hiring of personnel

The Cuban or foreign personnel residing permanently in Cuba providing services in joint ventures, except as directors and managers, will be hired by an employment agency under the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment and will be authorized by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security.

Payment to the Cuban and foreign workers living permanently in Cuba will be made in Cuban pesos, although the funds of provenance must be acquired in freely convertible currency.

Special tax regimen for investors

Exempt from the payment of taxes on personal income are the foreign investors who are partners in joint ventures or partners in international economic association contracts (a union of national and foreign investors within the national territory for the production of goods, the provision of services, or both, for profit; this includes joint ventures and international economic association contracts) for the revenue obtained from dividends or business earnings.

An exemption will be granted from the payment of taxes on earnings, net earnings or other benefits suitable for reinvestment, in those cases where a competent authority approves the reinvestment of such earnings or benefits.

Exempt from the payment of taxes for the use of the labor force are the joint ventures and the national and foreign investors who are party to international economic partnership contracts.

Exempt from the payment of Customs fees are the joint ventures, national and foreign investors who are party to international economic partnership contracts, for the importation of equipment, machinery and other media during the investment process, in accordance with the rules of the Ministry of Finance and Prices.

Exempt from the payment of territorial taxes for the local development are the joint ventures, national and foreign investors who are party to international economic development contracts during the investment recovery period.

Excluded from this exemption are the national and foreign investors who are party to international economic partnership contracts who are involved in hotel management, products or services and the provision of professional services who pay taxes according to the Law on the Tax System and the regulations that complement it. Foreign investors are exempt from the taxes on sales and services.

The General Customs of the Republic may grant to natural and legal persons specific and special facilities regarding the formalities and the Customs regimen, in accordance with the existing legislation.

The Ministry of Finance and Prices […] may grant total or partial exemptions, temporal or permanent, or grant other fiscal benefits in accordance with the existing tax law, to any of the modalities of foreign investment recognized by the law.

In the special development zones, the law will be applied with the adjustments provided by the special regulations dictated for them. Notwithstanding this, the special regimens granted in this law will apply to those investments when they result more beneficial.

The tax on earnings is paid by the joint ventures, the national investors and the foreign investors who are party to international economic partnership contracts. A new tax of 15 percent of the taxable net earnings will be applied.

Joint ventures that are party to international economic partnership contracts will be exempt from the payment of taxes on earnings for a period of 8 years, starting from their constitution. The Council of Ministers may extend that period.

53 thoughts on “Cuba Opens Wide to Foreign Investment

  • Here’s the rub….I believe in more freedom for the Cuban people, of course, but that won’t come until the US government ends their war on the Cuban government and acknowledges Cuba’s right to sovereignty as a nation. I don’t think that democracy (as we know it) is entirely essential to realize more freedom and prosperity in Cuba. What is essential is a prompt and complete removal of the economic embargo that was and is, by all accounts, meant to bring so much hardship to the Cuban people that they are incited to rise up and over-throw their government. We all know about the economic hardship in Cuba….in that capacity, America has succeeded. But the Cuban government won’t consider adopting any other form of political system until the embargo has been completely dismantled. There lies the paradox.

    Griffin, I must apologize…I truly thought you were American. Given that you are Canadian, I find your hardline views on Cuba even more confusing. If I can add…you mentioned “the perks, power & money controlled by the ruling elite.” Considering the old-boys-club privileges that our Canadian government and military brass enjoy, both legitimately and through back-room deals, I’m surprised that you’re appalled that the Cuban government and military elite might also be doing better than the average bear. Need I mention American politicians? They’re pros at selling their influence for millions…they’ve turned collusion into an art form.

  • Griffin, the Cuban government currently can’t afford to pay their people more. Take the embargo away, give them a few years free of your government’s tyranny, and let’s see what Cuba can do without America holding them back.

  • Terry, you are not listening (or reading). Cuba’s buying power is non-existent. OK, sure, for a few thousand Cuban exiles in Miami who wax nostalgic for the homeland, the opportunity to do business in Cuba is more that balance sheet arithmetic. But if Google, Yahoo and Facebook were to lose every Cuban customer tomorrow, stock analysts wouldn’t blink. Doing or not doing business in Cuba has no (repeat NO) effect on the US bottom line. If China wants Cuba, let ’em have it.

  • You really need to do your homework, rama. There is no such thing as a “Chamber of Commerce” in Cuba. It is crucial you learn why before you attempt to do business in Cuba.

    By the way, what sort of products do you hope to export from Cuba?

  • If I may ask, what exactly are you “researching” in Cuba? Have you published any papers on your research? What are the conclusions of your research? After 83 trips, what more do you need to research on your next trip?

  • And Walmart pays their employees better that the Cuban dictatorship pays the Cuban people.

  • Your argument by authority is undermined by the fact that you can find other professors who insist Cuba is indeed socialist. Furthermore, most of your leftist professors used to support and endorse the USSR as “socialist”. After the USSR collapsed your wise professors change tack and started arguing that the USSR wasn’t really socialist.

    If they had any shame, your professors would resign their tenured posts and apologize to every student who ever took one of their idiotic political science (sic) courses.

  • I am planning to visit Cuba during the month of May this year and would like to contact companies that are interested in exporting from Cuba to Australia products manufactured in Cuba. Shall appreciate if any one out there could put me in touch with the Chamber of Commerce or any such similar institution yo discuss exports through this column

  • Once again, its a name. Socialist Cuba. Wild Bill Hickock. Dr. Dre.. see the pattern….

  • Hey, don’t make me angry. The true north, strong and free!

    ; )

  • The major cash earning elements of the Cuban economy are tourism, the nickel mining operation operated by Sherrit, the indentured labour of medical workers sent abroad, and remittances from Cuban ex-pats.

    All of these sectors rely upon the contributions of foreigners. The Castro brothers have so thoroughly ruined the Cuban economy that it produces little of value on it’s own.

  • I’m Canadian. Canada does not have any trade embargo with Cuba. Close to a million Canadians visit Cuba every year. The Canadian corporation Sherritt International has a major industrial investment in Cuba. And yet, I have not noticed the Cuban government becoming any less repressive as a result of Canada’s open policy towards Cuba.

    You have not explained how lifting the US embargo would translate into any improvements in the lives of the Cuban people. The regime elite who have a monopoly on all business in Cuba would do well, but I don’t see how that would help the Cuban people. At best, lifting the embargo without any political reform inside Cuba would result in slightly better fed slaves. But it would cement the regime’s grip on power.

    But I can tell you one thing that would improve the life of every Cuban. The Cuban government should move quickly toward political reforms allowing a free & democratic society respecting the full humans rights and freedoms of the Cuban people. The Cuban government could do that very easily. The bonus would be that the US would respond by lifting the embargo.

    The one problem is that such political reforms would mean the end of the Castro regime and the perks, power & money controlled by the ruling elite. The regime would never do that. The will never willingly hand over real power to the Cuban people.

    Why don’t you call for freedom & democracy for the Cuban people? Is there something special about Cubans that you don’t think they deserve the rights and freedoms you enjoy?

  • When you begin a sentence with “You want…” and you are referring to me, you have been wrong 100% of the time. You are wrong yet again. Reread my comment. I said exactly what I want.

  • Since when is a totalitarian like you who loves living under a totalitarian economic form, a totalitarian ( oligarchic) government , a totalitarian religion ( ALL religions are totalitarian) and the totalitarian traditional nuclear family structure at all interested in establishing democracy in another country ?
    You want Cuba to be totalitarian capitalist and would not mind at all having the necessary totalitarian government to enforce all the inequities of capitalism on a people who threw it out 55 years ago.

  • The Soviets and the Chinese also called themselves socialist but were not.
    Like Cuba they too wished to confer the respectability and democracy of socialism on their totalitarian systems .
    And like the GOUSA , you too choose to take their word for it ONLY because it suits your purposes to have those totalitarian systems conflated with socialism and communism which are democratic at base.
    You do not take anything else said by Cuban officials as true but only their definition of the Cuban system as socialist.
    It’s a very convenient, if inconsistent position to take.

  • And as usual you choose to not define socialism because you have only your uneducated view of it and to define it accurately would put the lie to the claim that Cuba is socialist.
    Cuba is a STATE-RUN economy and therefore cannot be termed socialist.
    Your problem is not that you don’t know the difference but that you’ve been making the claim for so long, you’ve internalized it and would look foolish to NOW admit
    that you’ve been wrong your entire political life.
    Another question for you and Moses:
    If Cuba’s totalitarian system , run by people at the top of the government and the PCC is socialist, what then is a system wherein the goods and services of the society are equitably distributed and that government and economy is run by the workers from the bottom up ?
    And NO , the answer is not that Cuba is just a different form of socialist because absent bottom-up rule, no system can be considered socialist ( or communist)
    You should try contacting a few professors at Wharton and LSE and run your thinking as to what socialism is by them .

  • Terry, I came from Cuba as a young boy. This are of course different now, but trust me, Moses is correct

  • Isn’t the capital of Canada Washington D.C. …I’m pretty sure it is

  • “Cuba is third world and your two children are being trained as third world thinkers in a world mostly run by ‘first-world’ minds.”

    Absolute rubbish! Moses, do you even know what the term “third-world” means? I dare say…you’re exaggerating more than just a little bit about Cuba to try and embellish your argument. Keep it real, man…otherwise you’re just embarrassing yourself.

  • Thanks to the present US government’s economic embargo….yes, you’re right. Tourism is pretty much all they have at the moment. Drop the embargo…give them a few years, and then we’ll talk.

    Oh, and Moses, your average Harvard grad can’t even name the capital of Canada. So I wouldn’t take too much stock in your comparisons.

  • Moses, when I eluded to “choice opportunities” in Cuba, I’m referring to the extended trade opportunities through Cuba to influence, service, and align (and maintain alignment) with other trading partners throughout south and central America. If China sets up shop in Cuba first, opportunities will be missed, and the domino effect could be felt throughout the remainder of the region in the many years to come. It’s in America’s best interest to align themselves with Cuba as well…when the bigger picture is considered.

  • The Cuban elite controls companies both within and outside Cuba as data shows.
    As far as an investor getting seed money from the elite, I think often the reverse has happened with corrupt officials getting shares or money abroad.

  • Terry, reality check. First, the US is and will remain the largest trading partner to Latin America. Far from alienated. We are by multiples the largest non-Spanish speaking country doing business with Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia, Chile, Peru and Mexico. China and others have made inroads but they have a ways to go. Second, what is a “choice bit” in Cuba.? Name one business opportunity in Cuba that the US is not already doing with someone else at 10 times the volume. Just one.

  • You are mostly correct. Keep in mind that Cuba is a poor country of only 11 million people. Business opportunities in Cuba, missed or otherwise, don’t amount to even a rounding error to the US as a whole. Your comment seems to reflect a potential bonanza of opportunities in Cuba that, if missed, will send the US GDP plummeting. Hardly. Cubans do not have the buying power nor the wherewithal to make demands on ‘Corporate America’. WalMart alone is a bigger economic power than Cuba. Likewise, in a head-to-head competition with China, US businesses will hold their own so there is little threat that a Cuban businessman from Coral
    Gables, Florida will lose out to a Chinese businessman 5,000 miles away in Bejing.

  • I am sure both of your children are delightful human beings with good and kind hearts. In the end, that is most important. My point is that if they live in Cuba, they are already behind first-world learners. My two Cuban-American boys run circles around their same-age buddies in Cuba when they go to visit their grandmother in Guantanamo. They appear to be at least two grade levels more advanced in math and geography and world history. Take a look at the age of the books your kids use in Cuban schools. Czechoslovakia doesn’t exist anymore. There is no comparison when it comes to technology. They build webpages and some of their Cuban friends don’t know even own computers. They understand credit cards and skateboards and Ethiopian food. They play organized soccer and little league and Pop Warner football with uniforms and referees. And the truth is, they are very much like most of their buddies here in San Francisco. Cuba is third world and your two children are being trained as third world thinkers in a world mostly run by ‘first-world’ minds. Sorry to break it to you but you are being very selfish.

  • Griffin, you and some of the other posters have such twisted, cynical, and over-the-top sensationalist negative opinions of Cuba and their government that it’s impossible for you to celebrate any of the positives concerning Cuba…and there are many. For the most part, the main thing that’s seriously ‘lacking most’ in today’s Cuba is money. If you have money, or can provide money, it’s very easy to lead a very comfortable life in Cuba. The US could directly and assuredly help provide this comfortable life in Cuba for every man, woman and child, without the need for remittances from abroad, if the US would simply end the economic embargo and allow Cuba to find some level of prosperity unshackled from America’s tyranny. You can’t point fingers at government repression unless you first recognize, acknowledge, and help promote the removal of the repressive policies sponsored by the US government that only serve to punish the Cuban people. Otherwise, any other opinions you might have are nothing but fluff, lip service, and gratuitous exaggeration.

  • By the way CJ, The revolution was fought to remove Batista from power and restore the 1940 Cuban constitution. The Cuban people definitely did not expect themselves to be saddled with a socialist government

  • John, the London School of Economics and Wharton business school also calls Cuba socialist. …i think I’ll accept their definition before I accept yours

  • I have been to Cuba 83 times on research. Both Michel and Angelica have new near water front houses thar are clear title. In Vancouver these houses would be worth over a million dollars each.

  • If the US is waiting until the Castro brothers pass away, it may be counter-productive because the Cuban government and the revolution will survive the Castros. It will likely also be too late for the US government to get in on the ground floor with the new economic opportunities that are sure to arrise very soon in Cuba. The choice bits will have already be gobbled up by other “more friendly” nations who’s investments will be very well entrenched and turning profits several years from now. It’s time for the US to chit or get off the pot…afterall, playing the waiting game has not paid them any dividends, and it’s only helped to alienate the US from many of the lucrative south and central American markets as well.

  • You leave your children to grow up in Cuba while you live in freedom and affluence in Canada?

    That’s tantamount to child abuse or neglect.

  • Cuba opens wide? No, not really.

    The newly announced law offers absolutely no economic rights to the Cuban people.They remain prohibited from engaging in business with any foreigner. The State maintains that monopoly.

    In fact, the Cuban people remain prohibited from owning a business, period.
    “Self-employment” consists of a license which gives the holder permission to perform a service. It entails no ownership rights, which remain in the hands of the state.

    The Castro regime makes up for the promised tax breaks through the hidden taxation involved in the hiring of Cuban labor, which will remain exclusively in the hands of the dictatorship. Foreign companies will continue paying hard currency to the Castro regime to cover the wages and salaries of Cuban workers — and the Castro regime will continue pocketing 95% of the difference.

    This remains in clear violation of the International Labor Organization’s Protection of Wages Convention (No. 95). That’s right, he core of Castro’s “new” foreign investment law continues to be in violation of an international law designed to protect workers from exploitation.

    And of course, none of the new laws protect the foreign investor from the capricious regime sweeping down and confiscating their assets and tossing their executives into jail, as has happened to many foreigners over the past few years.

    The line forms over there, suckers… step right up.

  • Good luck getting them into the top 50 universities in the world. Cuban high school grads will likely struggle with entrance exams like the SAT in the US. Of course, if they want to sing or dance or work in tourism, you’re in a good place.

  • By ‘free spirit’ I take you to mean that you believe what you choose to believe, support what you choose to support, and speak your mind to whomever you choose to speak. I wish my sister-in-law in Guantanamo, or my wife’s cousin in Camaguey could be free spirits but the Castros won’t allow it.

  • Couldn’t be farther from the truth. Cuba, hopefully, will have a chance to build a new democracy and economic system like never before. I want Cuba to do what Cubans want to do, all 11 million of them, as opposed to just Fidel and Raul.

  • It is what they call themselves. I am sure there are quite a few “Johns” who wonder how you share their name but it worked out that way. I am just calling Cuba what it calls itself.

  • You are absolutely correct. Once the Castro bros are gone, the US govt may be tempted to lift the embargo and open the gates to US corporations investing in Cuba. The regime elite will funnel the new cash into their pockets, maintaining their grip on political power. The Cuban people will get screwed yet again.

    I happen to think that will be a tragedy for the Cuban people. I’m amazed to hear how so called socialists and other Leftists think that will be a great thing. I guess the Left never did give a hoot about the Cuban people after all.

  • hmmmmmm sounds s lot like China, and the U.S. has no problem doing business with China. What kind of political system is entrenched in China.? I forget…. The U.S. has no problem with taking advantage of their cheap labor too. Living standards throughout China are now increasing at a fever pitch. Sounds like a win-win-win for everyone, and it could be for Cuba too IF the U.S. would drop their embargo. As a matter of fact, within no time at all, corporate America will be demanding it, because without the embargo coming down, the U.S. will miss out on choice opportunities. China will no doubt be first out of the gate to invest and entrench their model for economic success in Cuba too.

  • Mr High School ,
    Please explain how Cuba’s economy can be considered socialist.
    Please define socialism .

  • I think that’s what I was referring to when I wote:

    “Under Raul’s reforms, the foreign corporations and their Cuban state-monopoly partners will control 99% of the Cuban economy.”

    However, I thank you for the clarifying details about the Cuban front companies established in Europe, Latin America and Canada. I suspect that UK restauranteur who wants to invest in Cuban coffee plantations is getting some seed money from the Cuban elite. With some extra capital raised in London from other equally cynical & gullible British investors, he will help fund the new fascist Cuba. His company sounds like one of these fronts.

  • How nice for you to be a “free spirit”. It’s a shame you don’t grant the Cuban people the right to be free.

    I have no influence of Cuba nor over US government policy for that matter, therefore I have never “pushed” Cuba toward anything. Could you please point out a single post from me in which I advocate Cuba should move toward crony Capitalism?

    The sad fact is, that is where Cuba is moving under Raul, or more accurately, toward a form of Chinese style fascism. I happen to think that’s a bad thing for the Cuban people.

    The only thing that will prevent that from happening is for the Cuban government to enter a period of rapid political transformation toward democracy. With a free & democratic system, protecting the rights of the Cuban people, including the right to form free and independent trade unions, the Cuban people can resist and reverse the wholesale theft of their country by the ruling elite.

    What I have done is to consistently and clearly advocate in favour of a democratic, pluralistic, free, independent and sovereign Cuba. Period. I have criticized those who, in the name of supporting Cuba, have defended the dictatorial Castro regime which oppresses the Cuban people.

    The same regime is now tarting up Cuba as a fantastic investment opportunity, like some cynical pimp peddling his abused sex-slave to foreign tourists.

  • I have two Cuban Canadian Children that that I choose to raise in Cuba. They are in the right country at the right age. Michel is 13 – Angelica 11.
    Gordon Robinson Port Alberni B.C. Canada
    [email protected]

  • You, Moses and US policy have all been pushing Cuba towards crony Capitalism. If you thought it was going to end up as an independent Caribbean Sweden then I think you were naïve. Though I agree with some of Raul’s reforms, I have always been pretty pessimistic and believe that there is far worse to come including Cuba being forced into a severe austerity plan and handing over the country to the Special Interests section.
    I think of myself as a free spirit, but my views are fairly similar to ac, Pedro Campos and Fernando Ravsberg. I only appear a Castro apologist because your views are so biased. I mostly just point out facts that anyone could find if they did their research.

  • Yes. Foreign entities can own 100%.

  • There I will have to disagree. An alliance between the elite – and their front companies abroad – will control the economy in its majority.
    Today ETECSA is already owned mainly by RAFIN, a front company of Raul and Fidel Castro. That company bought out Telecom Italia, the minority shareholder, in 2011 for 706 million dollars.
    Lots of other “fronts” exist that allow the Cuban elite to own large parts of the Cuban economy without appearing as official owners.

  • What an idiotic comment!

    Moses & I have been strenuously arguing against Raul’s reform process precisely because it will lead to that outcome. You and the other Castro apologists have been denying it will, while pretending Cuba is some kind of great experiment in utopian socialism and that Raul’s reforms are just what they need to perfect it.

    When it is clearly and unequivocally demonstrated that Cuba is nothing of the sort, and that the Cuban gov’t which you have been so staunchly defending is indeed selling the country down the river, you turn on a dime and accuse us of wanting that all along.

    Do you even read your own comments? Because you sure as hell don’t read Moses’ or mine.

  • Sadly, that is the future the regime is moving toward. And unless anybody dares to suggest it will be a return to the way things were in the bad old Batista days, keep in mind, back then, foreign corporations only controlled about 20% of the Cuban economy. Under Raul’s reforms, the foreign corporations and their Cuban state-monopoly partners will control 99% of the Cuban economy.

  • Which is exactly what you and Moses and the US have wanted for ages. Hey, a win-win situation.

  • I am afraid I will have to agree with you. The new military elite of Raul Castro has already seized the most important positions in the Cuban economy. My fear is that after Fidel dies a Russian style oligarchy will emerge that – with the help of foreign capital – becomes very rich at the expense of the Cuban people.

  • “Opening wide” without real security of property, with lots of corruption, with no real internal market, with warped labor conditions and with no access to the largest market in the area won’t be very successful.

    Cuba does not offer the conditions to create a growing economic base.

  • You haven’t seen the half of it. Once Socialist Cuba goes belly-up, the real gold rush to beat all gold rushes will be the real estate deals. The military, through their subsidiaries is the largest owner of the best real estate in Havana, especially along the Malecon. When Cuba goes buck wild capitalism, these military guys are all going to become real estate tycoons. Remember what happened in Russia after the Soviet bloc disintegrated?

  • I am afraid that is exactly the situation the Castro regime is planning for the Cuban people. Any pretense of socialism will be abandoned while the ruling elite sell cheap Cuban slave labour for Euros and dollars. The well connected will get rich, the unprincipled foreign corporations will reap profits and the Cuban people will be screwed.

  • I hope that this doesn’t mean that foreigners can own anything outright that they have the money to buy in Cuba because if the Cuban people don’t retain at least 51% control then It means you are going back to the system that the Revolution fought so hard to get rid of . Ask all the poverty stricken people in Mexico who can’t afford to buy meat how much they benefited from timeshare condominium developments, the only people who benefit are the wealthy investors.

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