Even though the reestablishment of bilateral relations between Havana and Washington has facilitated a series of measures that favor trade links, the still enforced economic, commercial and financial blockade that the White House has imposed on Cuba since 1960 is the greatest obstacle to normalization and progress.
This is all about a key inventory, given that every decision taken or implemented has by nature obliged another step forward on Cuba by Obama, even though much remains to be done, the first of which should be the suspension of punitive measures.
Experts from a range of academic institutions and political and economic research groups in Cuba agree that the process could move forward faster and become more profound if the U.S. leader fully utilized his executive powers before Congress disempowers him, something that should not happen because 2016 is an election year.
In this regard, there are many opinions that indicate that Cuba does not have the capacity to impact on United States Gross Domestic Product, but it is a decisive economic factor in Washington’s relations with Latin America as a whole.
Whatever the case may be, Cuba is coveted by the U.S. business community and large companies.
Suffice to consider the numerous visits by representatives of all U.S. economic sectors over the past two years, including US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, Governor of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe and Agriculture Secretary, Thomas Vilsack.
Some recently repeated their visits when they accompanied President Obama on his official visit on which he was also joined by a delegation from 18 logistics companies that observed the modern container terminal operation at the port Mariel, 45 miles west of Havana and held meeting with potential associates in Cuba.
Once again, expressions regarding Cuba’s potential to become an ideal post-Panamax location for ships to cross-dock, reclassify or distribute cargo to smaller vessels for delivery to U.S. ports were forthcoming.
Sue Spero, president of the Carrier Services Inc., transport brokerage of Tennessee said “it is perfectly situated to become a center for the transport of goods to northern Mexico, all along the south coast and even to our not so well equipped ports on the eastern side”.
Robert Kemp, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania-based DRT Transportation LLC, said that North American companies are also eager to export raw materials, frozen foods and consumer goods to Cuba.
Such possible investments could also be very beneficial to the Cuban side due to the critical needs of the transport sector, a view shared by local operators who explain that it is easier to transport cargo the 1,200 miles from one country to the other by sea than by road.
The companies let it be known that agreements already in place for the administration of three hotels in Havana between U.S company Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Inc. and Cuban hotel groups Gran Caribe, Gaviota and Habaguanex will result in a flow of goods supplies for the leisure through the Florida Straits.
Robert Kemp of DRT Transportation added that there was a seemingly endless list of business opportunities.
Opportunities and the potential for exchanges and investments that involve Cuban economic links to the U.S. exist but they will not be without challenges in areas related to the strategic social development of the nationShare on FB Share on TT