Cuba’s Opportunity: A Mixed Economy

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Despite apparent conflicts for whoever will succeed Raul Castro as president of Cuba – namely the need to improve the economy while placating Communist Party hardliners who will resist market reform – the future is not without opportunity. On the one hand, Cuba is in debt, its exports are down, its dual currency remains cumbersome, and its bureaucracy moves at glacial speed. On the other hand, the private sector continues to grow, Cuba has joined several multi-national finance institutions, European nations are investing, and tourists are flocking to the island. The hope is that, with its excellent educational and healthcare system intact, it can create a mixed economy of socialism with regulated capitalism. (Public Finance International)

Boozman Tweets for Trade: Sen. John Boozman (R-AR) continues his advocacy of open agriculture trade with Cuba in a recent tweet that stated it was the right step to for U.S. growers and exporters. The tweet contained a link to an article written by him and for the website The Washington DC 100. The article reiterates his position that U.S. farmers are stymied in efforts to sell to Cuba because U.S. law prohibits private financing of trade with Cuba, making sales virtually impossible. Last year Boozman and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) introduced the Agricultural Export Expansion Act to open food sales to Cuba. (Prensa Latina)

LGC Capital Shifts from Cuba to Canadian Cannabis: Citing the reversals in U.S. foreign policy, LGC Capital – formerly Lenigas Cuba – has now expanded its investment in the Canadian medical marijuana market. LGC Capital, which has long advocated investing in the Cuba energy sector, announced late last year that the Trump administration’s anti-engagement policies had made it too difficult to do business in Cuba and that the company would be withdrawing from the market. CEO Jon McMullen told investors yesterday that the company has broken ground on a 38,000 square-foot facility in Montreal with partner Tricho-Med Corp. (Proactive Investors)

Startup Cuba Documentary Begins: Startup Cuba released its first episode yesterday, one of nine weekly programs that chronicle what they describe as “the grittiest, most inspiring startup scene on the planet.” The documentary series is about Cuba’s “cuentapropistas,” the new generation of entrepreneurs – more than 500,000 private businesses officially licensed by the state – who are striving to create a private sector. The series was produced by VERV.tv, a digital media company formed last year for the U.S. Hispanic market. The series can initially be seen on YouTube. (Globe Newswire)

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