A daily look at deals, events and transactions of note for trade and investment in Cuba.
Inside Cuba’s agreement to not censor Google: The Cuban government agreed to not censor the Google Global Caché servers that started operating in Cuba in late April, according to El Nuevo Herald. In December, Google and state telecommunications monopoly ETECSA signed an agreement to install the servers. The servers are intended to improve the speed and reliability of Google services such as YouTube and Gmail. One of the clauses states that ETECSA is committed to “not censor, monitor or interfere with the content stored as cache in those servers,” according to somebody close to Google’s work in Cuba. (El Nuevo Herald)
One year milestone: JetBlue will celebrate the one-year anniversary of U.S.-Cuba commercial flights by opening a ticketing office at Havana’s José Martí International Airport on Friday. JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes and various Cuban officials will attend the ceremony. JetBlue’s Aug. 31, 2016 flight from Fort Lauderdale to Santa Clara was the first commercial flight between the U.S. and Cuba in decades. (Business Wire)
Making preparations for Spain’s top leaders: Spanish Foreign Affairs Minister Alfonso Dastis will travel to Cuba next Tuesday to “prepare a possible visit to the island” by Spanish royalty or President Mariano Rajoy, according to Spanish media. Dastis is expected to meet Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez to discuss the conditions for a high-level visit, which would include a meeting with government opponents. (14ymedio)
Not a good place to be a mother: Cuba’s fertility rate has not been able to rise for almost 40 years, which has led to an aging society and a population decline. The infant shortage is creating a debate on why Cuban women aren’t having more children. Some women say the economic situation and living conditions in Cuba are not ideal for raising children. Other women say it’s difficult to find suitable partners to help raise children. Others point to Cuba’s relatively high abortion rate. Some officials say Cuban women are delaying childbirth because they have freedom. (14ymedio)
How a broken TV ruined a Cuban holiday: A Canadian tourist in Varadero was forced to pay more than $4,000 after he broke a TV in his hotel room. Dan Lukis says he accidentally knocked the TV over after he lost his balance while reaching into his room’s mini fridge. After admitting fault to the hotel staff, Lukis said he was told to pay more than $4,000 for the damages or deal with police and other authorities. Sunwing, a Canadian travel group that helped arrange Lukis’ trip to Cuba, said the TV was exorbitantly expensive because Cuba has difficulty obtaining furniture and electronics. The company also said rules on property damages are enforced by the hotel and not Sunwing. (CBC News)
Tractor company still eyeing Cuba: Saul Berenthal, CEO of the Alabama-based tractor manufacturer Cleber, says he is still eyeing the Cuban market even though his plan to operate a tractor manufacturing facility on the island was rejected by Cuban authorities. Berenthal says he has all the U.S. licenses needed to export agriculture and construction machinery. “We just now have to convince the Cuban side that it is in their interest to do business with us here in the U.S.,” he said. (Chief Executive)