Lifting the Embargo Won’t Solve – Cuba Controls Imports

Lifting the embargo won’t get goods to the Cuban people – the regime controls trade in and out of Cuba.

Suchlicki, Director of Institute for Cuban Studies at the University of Miami, 2013

(Jaime, “What If…the U.S. Ended the Cuba Travel Ban and the Embargo?,” Feb 26, Online: http://interamericansecuritywatch.com/what-if-the-u-s-ended-the-cuba-travel-ban-and-the-embargo/)

In Cuba, foreign investors cannot partner with private Cuban citizens. They can only invest in the island through minority joint ventures with the government and its state enterprises. The dominant enterprise in the Cuban economy is the Grupo GAESA, controlled by the Cuban military. Most investments are done through or with GAESA. Therefore, American companies willing to invest in Cuba will have to partner mostly with the Cuban military. Cuba ranks 176 out of 177 countries in the world in terms of economic freedom. Outshined only by North Korea. It ranks as one of the most unattractive investments next to Iran, Zimbabwe, Libya, Mali, etc. Foreign investors cannot hire, fire, or pay workers directly. They must go through the Cuban government employment agency which selects the workers. Investors pay the government in dollars or euros and the government pays the workers a meager 10% in Cuban pesos. Corruption is pervasive, undermining equity and respect for the rule of law. Cuba does not have an independent/transparent legal system. All judges are appointed by the State and all lawyers are licensed by the State. In the last few years, European investors have had over $1 billion arbitrarily frozen by the government and several investments have been confiscated. Cuba’s Law 77 allows the State to expropriate foreign-invested assets for reason of “public utility” or “social interest.” In the last year, the CEOs of three companies with extensive dealings with the Cuban government were arrested without charges.

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