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realclearworld

Investing in Cuba’s apartheid dictatorship: Buyer beware

While the media and "Cuba Experts" are salivating over the prospect of investing cash in Cuba's apartheid dictatorship, some "experts" are a little leery of investing money in a country that is not only lawless, but has a long history of reneging on its promises and confiscating cash and property.

Via CNBC:

Tread carefully in Cuba's 'open' economy: Experts

 

In this Nov. 6, 2013 photo, small fishing boats float anchored on the opposite shore of a port under construction in the Bay of Mariel, Cuba. Authorities have high hopes that Mariel could become a strategic economic center.

The Cuban government said this week that it will open most of the nation's economic sectors to international investment and allow the existence of wholly owned foreign firms in Cuba, as part of a new foreign investment law that is expected to pass on Saturday.

The Cuban government is also expected to cut the profit tax it charges foreign enterprises operating on the island to 15 percent from the current 30 percent.

But experts like John Kavulich, a senior policy advisor at the U.S.-Cuba Trade and Economic Council, said that while these proposed initiatives have the potential to bring positive, liberalizing reform to Cuba's economy, international firms should still approach with cautious skepticism.

"What they've announced they'd do, does it sound progressive? Yes. Does it have the potential to be progressive? Yes," Kavulich said, referencing the Cuban government and the newly proposed foreign investment legislation.

"But Cuba's had a foreign investment law since the 1980s. And one of the problems has been that when the government feels that they've made enough progress, they reverse course and try to take back or eliminate the opportunities that they've presented to companies. Any changes announced now have to be looked at in that historical context." 

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