Informacion economica sobre Cuba

Puerto Rico-Cuba Investment Corridor
Dante Alighieri Disparte

The islands comprising the Spanish-speaking Caribbean, Cuba, the
Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico respectively, not only have deep
historical roots, dating to the colonial era, their paths to prosperity
may very well be shared. Nowhere more so than in linking Cuba’s
rapprochement with the U.S., which is driven by normalizing diplomatic
relations combined with decade’s worth of pent up business and tourist
interests, with the need to turn around Puerto Rico’s fortunes in a
manner palatable to ‘bailout weary’ U.S. policymakers and beneficial to
the Puerto Rican and Cuban people. The right policy strategy for the
U.S. is not to treat Puerto Rico’s economic crisis, which is now in the
hands of U.S. policymakers given the passage of the PROMESA act, and
fully normalizing ties with Cuba, including lifting economic sanctions
and closing Guantanamo, as two disparate challenges but rather as one

Beginning in Cuba, where Havana is currently overwhelmed with a constant
barrage of trade delegations from the U.S. mainland where
English-speaking representatives from virtually every industry promise
economic development in exchange for market access. When combined with
managing the aspirations of 11 million Cuban people with the
government’s desire to ease into a ‘new normal’ with the U.S. while
maintaining their hard-fought independence, will be needlessly strained
by the lack of cultural and linguistic similitudes between the

Even with the best and most well-intentioned cultural and linguistic
translators and the strongest business case, it will be difficult for
the Cubans to accept an arrangement with anything less than lingering
cold feelings after more than 50 years of mistrust of Yanquis. Despite
this lingering suspicion, there is broad acknowledgement in Cuba, driven
by the very real effects, including rolling blackouts, of the collapse
of Venezuela’s oil-for-influence program, Petrocaribe, that it is time
to drive real social and economic change on the island.

Where Havana is filled with hope and some trepidation about a
brightening future, one island over, in the equally neglected U.S.
territory of Puerto Rico, persistent storm clouds of economic collapse
and massive outmigration linger on the horizon. A bright path for both
Cuba and Puerto Rico can be paved by linking the U.S.-Cuba normalization
process to Puerto Rico’s turnaround. The policy prescriptions to achieve
this combined vision can not only leverage the natural cultural,
linguistic and economic union between these compatriot islands, they may
very well represent an all ship’s rising proposition garnering support
in D.C., Havana and San Juan. To begin with, the overarching issue
remains the economic sanctions that have been levied against Cuba since

This crippling economic regime has largely left the Cuban economy in the
1950s. While nostalgic charm may make for good tourism, it hardly
translates into market-readiness for Cuba to frame its competitiveness
in a hyper-connected global economy. To address the asset, talent and
infrastructure gap that persist in Cuba, every dollar of foreign direct
investment (FDI) must come with meaningful skills-transfer and
connections that move the Cuban workforce up the value chain and the
Cuban economy into the 21st century. Who better to shepherd this
development than their Puerto Rican brethren.

Concretely, as the U.S. vacillates about how and when to fully lift
economic sanctions, Puerto Rico and Puerto Rican registered companies
that largely hire a local workforce should be granted an immediate
waiver from the sanctions regime. Not only will this promote and
accelerate natural trade and investment linkages, it will also attract
inward investment into Puerto Rico, possibly spurring the repatriation
of the more than 400,000 island residents who left during the last 10
years. Focused investments in the energy sector, financial and
professional services, information technology, along with a broad array
of industrial projects can promote meaningful linkages between the two
islands creating much needed economic development, job creation and,
critically, trust building. It would also create much needed regulatory
clarity on how prospective U.S. investors can enter the Cuban economy,
without facing punitive measures or other risks in Cuba or the U.S. This
Puerto Rico-Cuba Investment Corridor (PRCIC) can be launched with a 5 to
8 year horizon, during which time the Cuban’s control the inward flow of
U.S. investments, all channeled and with the meaningful involvement of
trusted Puerto Rican counterparts.

U.S. mainland companies and existing Puerto Rican firms and investors
wishing to take advantage of this corridor can also leverage a number of
pre-existing investment promotion incentives and taxation advantages
that are enshrined in Puerto Rican law. This includes, Acts 20 and 22
granting reduced income taxes for qualified individuals who take up
residence on the island. Additionally, Puerto Rico boasts of a fledgling
offshore financial center, which is the perfect staging ground for the
much needed participation of the international banking and insurance
sectors throughout the Caribbean basin. Puerto Rico’s development will
not come at Cuba’s expense. On the contrary, business and investment
stemming from the PRCIC would be received on the Cuban side with a
series of preferential terms and conditions that benefit the Cubans in a
shared manner. This would include the allowance of joint-ventures, cross
shareholding and meaningful skills and technology transfer, including in
potentially sensitive areas.

The PRCIC offers an orderly gateway toward transforming Puerto Rico’s
financial prospects, while developing Cuban trade and investment
linkages in a value enhancing and controlled way. Critically, it also
sets the stage for fully lifting economic sanctions over a predetermined
horizon and at a time when both Havana and Washington, D.C. are ready
and trust is no longer forced in diplomatic circles, but experienced at
all levels of politics, business and everyday life. The alternative
approach will leave hordes of investors, tourists and business people at
Havana’s gate with little prospects that the Cuban’s can either control
or meaningfully gain from the oncoming tide. PRCIC controls the tide,
assures economic and human development and builds upon the natural trust
between Caribbean kinfolk.

Source: Puerto Rico-Cuba Investment Corridor –

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