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August 2017
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CUBA STANDARD — In a move that will likely have a negative impact on Cuba’s ambitious plans for the cooperative sector, the finance ministry ordered the shutdown of Scenius, one of the fastest-growing new cooperatives in Cuba. Scenius, started two-and-half years ago by a group of accountants and other professionals, provides accounting services almost exclusively to […] Continue reading
CUBA STANDARD — As the oil price has begun to climb out of the basement, on-shore exploration in Cuba is showing signs of life, and Cuba is readying another round of bidding for offshore blocks later this year, a couple of hundred oil and gas industry players are gathering in Havana this week to find […] Continue reading
CUBA STANDARD — With Donald J. Trump moving into the White House in January, a big question mark is hovering over the U.S.-Cuban normalization process begun by his predecessor, possibly removing a keystone from Havana’s foreign policy and a driver of economic growth for the island. The president-elect — who sent his executives to Cuba in the 1990s […] Continue reading
CUBA STANDARD — No matter how sound their business plans are, European investors in Cuba, competing for a $500 million Havana airport project and more than $1 billion worth of renewable-energy projects, are facing an uphill struggle to obtain funding. That’s due to a toxic mix of European banks’ fear of U.S. sanctions and Cuba’s […] Continue reading
CUBA STANDARD — Hit by a triple punch of plummeting prices for its commodity exports, shrinking healthcare export revenues, and increased debt service commitments, Cuba is facing yet another liquidity crisis, stalling growth this year and forcing cutbacks. On July 8, President Raúl Castro broke the bad news to the National Assembly that Cuba’s GDP […] Continue reading
CUBA STANDARD — Following the approval of U.S. scheduled flights to provincial airports in June, the U.S. Department of Transportation on July 7 “tentatively approved” eight airlines to fly to Havana from 10 U.S. airports. If all flights were cleared for take-off, the bidding airlines would face a major challenge to fill seats — particularly to provincial airports […] Continue reading
Déborah Rivas Saavedra, general director of investments at the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Investment, sat down with Cuba Standard columnist Domingo Amuchastegui in Havana to talk about the Mariel Special Development Zone, the application process for foreign investors, hiring, and more.  Last year, we were told by Cuban officials that 400 projects have been […] Continue reading
CUBA STANDARD — Two days after the Obama administration’s March 15 announcement to de-penalize the use of U.S. dollars, the Cuban government said it may end a 10% surtax on the exchange of dollars in the island. The Cuban measure will be effective as soon as Cuban institutions are allowed to use US dollars without being penalized, Foreign […] Continue reading
CUBA STANDARD — With Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, Agriculture Secretary John Vilsack, and Small Business Administration chief Maria Contreras-Sweet — as well as the First Lady and his two daughters — in tow, Barack Obama is scheduled to arrive in Cuba March 21. His two-day visit, the second ever […] Continue reading
By Ana Radelat WASHINGTON — Perhaps the toughest thing for President Obama to do to implement his new Cuba policy is naming a U.S. ambassador to Cuba who will implement the president’s goal of resuming full diplomatic relations with the island. Obama’s problems are political — both in Washington and Havana. The candidate must be respected […] Continue reading
CUBA STANDARD — In the wake of a prisoner swap that freed USAID subcontractor Alan Gross and the remaining three of the Cuban Five, the White House announced steps to ease the U.S. embargo against Cuba. The executive steps include establishing full diplomatic relations, possibly removing Cuba from the Department of State’s list of “terror-sponsoring […] Continue reading
CUBA STANDARD — In the wake of a prisoner swap that freed USAID subcontractor Alan Gross and the remaining three of the Cuban Five, the White House announced steps to ease the U.S. embargo against Cuba. The executive steps include establishing full diplomatic relations, possibly removing Cuba from the Department of State’s list of “terror-sponsoring […] Continue reading
CUBA STANDARD — Natural disasters and politics are, of course, unpredictable, but other aspects that shape an economy can be measured, trends can be laid out, and forecasts can be made — even in an economy notorious for its information deficit and the lack of clear signals. Welcome to the Cuba Standard Economic Trend Index, the first […] Continue reading
CUBA STANDARD — Natural disasters and politics are, of course, unpredictable, but other aspects that shape an economy can be measured, trends can be laid out, and forecasts can be made — even in an economy notorious for its information deficit and the lack of clear signals. Welcome to the Cuba Standard Economic Trend Index, the […] Continue reading