Doing business in Cuba?
Photo: Miguel Discart

Photo: Miguel Discart

26th May 2015

It’s time for a reality check
The continuing and growing chatter on doing business in Cuba is reaching epic proportions. It has become the “flavor of the month” (and will continue to be) among entrepreneurs, investors, exporters, importers, financiers and U.S. multinational companies. It is understandable. After 56 years of isolation from American commercial relations, the bilateral movement to restore diplomatic relations has created hope that normal business activity is right around the corner. Fantasies abound of a pre-revolutionary market economy where flourishing trade and investment and an explosion of tourist activity including casino gambling will rule supreme.
Time for a reality check, however. The new, the novel, the exotic, the previously forbidden fruit may appear to be the most tantalizing, but objective criteria should form the true template from which to measure all business decisions. The incremental and marginal changes in trade with Cuba are just that–they do not represent a wide open door. To date, the most profitable businesses dealing with Cuba are those that put on conferences and seminars on doing business in Cuba. And the majority of these events are seances of pure speculation, since the true experts on doing business in Cuba (those doing business in Cuba today) would not dare speak honestly and openly for fear of being harrassed (or worse) by the Cuban government.
Don’t get me wrong–I am all for doing business …

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