Cuba opens doors to foreign investment from exiles

CCTV News

Decades later, Cuba surprised the world by allowing foreign investors to come and do business, without a partnership with the Cuban government. A similar change has occurred in the mindset of the Cuban exile community living in the United States. Decades later, Cuba surprised the world by allowing foreign investors to come and do business, without a partnership with the Cuban government. A similar change has occurred in the mindset of the Cuban exile community living in the United States.

Changes for Cuban businesses and an opportunity for exiles – the government’s latest market reforms are allowing more foreign investment, including from Cuban exiles.

Combined with Washington’s shift towards re-engagement, the move could jump start the nation’s flagging economy.

CCTV America’s Nitza Soledad Perez reports.

Cuba opens doors to foreign investment from exiles

Cuba opens doors to foreign investment from exiles

Changes for Cuban businesses and an opportunity for exiles – the government’s latest market reforms are allowing more foreign investment, including from Cuban exiles. Combined with Washington’s shift towards re-engagement, the move could jump start the nation’s flagging economy. CCTV America’s Nitza Soledad Perez reports.

Before his death, Cuban leader Fidel Castro understood the economic reality facing his Cuban revolution.

“This hotel is a something that the revolution needs to do precisely to defeat the American blockade, to defeat the obstacles that came along with the tragedy of the collapse of the socialist camp. Yes we have to do this and we have the courage to explain it to our people,” Castro said.

That was Castro at the opening of one of the first joint-venture hotels allowed on the island of Cuba in the late 1990’s. The leader of the Cuban revolution acknowledged, long before he left the stage to his brother Raul-that foreign investment was needed to feed his people.

Now, decades later, Cuba surprised the world by allowing foreign investors to come and do business, without a partnership with the Cuban government. A similar change has occurred in the mindset of the Cuban exile community living in the United States. Many of them are ready to open their own businesses back home.

Hugo Cancio has an office in Havana, where 28 contributors create content for his two cultural magazines.

“Unfortunately, current U.S. laws do not allow us to compensate the people that collaborate with our magazine and we have requested a license from treasury to do so. But we do have an office in Havana. We do have people on the ground. We do have print two magazines, all is done, and our entire team is in Havana. The magazine is only printed and distributed in the US, but we have feet on the ground,” he said.

But even with the pronounced change in the Cuban-American community towards the establishment of economic ties with Cuba, those Cuban-Americans interested in doing so, still face one more challenge, the US government. Under the 1996 Helms-Burton Act, anyone that does business in Cuba is forbidden of investing in American soil.

And despite the December 2014 agreement between the U.S. and Cuba to restore diplomatic ties, there are still some conservative U.S. politicians who push for continuing the 1961 economic embargo against the island.