Remember the one about all the business opportunities in Cuba?
By Silvio Canto, Jr.
There is a Cuban expression that sort goes like this: “No puedes tapar
el sol con un dedo”. It literally means that you can’t cover the sun
with your thumb. In other words, you can’t avoid reality in the long
Well, reality is all over the new Obama plan to open up Cuba. The
original plan was that U.S. companies would rush in, exploit markets,
freedom would explode and that every Cuban would add Obama’s birthday to
the calendar of Catholic saints, i,e Santo BO!
Like ObamaCare, the Iran nuclear deal, or ending Mideast wars, the plan
is not working out as promised.
Remember the U.S. company that was going to build tractors in Cuba? It
was going to be “the poster boy” to encourage other U.S. investors to
Not really, as the AP reports:
For a while Saul Berenthal and Horace Clemmons were the
seventy-something poster boys of U.S.-Cuba detente.
The retired software entrepreneurs made worldwide headlines by winning
Obama administration permission to build the first U.S. factory in Cuba
since 1959. Cuban officials lauded their plans to build small tractors
in the Mariel free-trade zone west of Havana. But after more than a year
of courtship, the Cuban government told Berenthal and Clemmons to drop
their plans to build tractors in Cuba, without explanation, Berenthal
A month and a half ago, their first tractors started rolling off the
assembly line — in the town of Fyffe, Alabama, population about 1,000.
“Producing the tractors in Mariel was not going to happen,” Berenthal said.
He said the company is already selling tractors to customers in the U.S.
and Australia and has had inquiries from Peru, Mexico and Ethiopia. He
also still hopes to sell to Cuba.
So what went wrong? The answer is that reality had the last word.
First of all, you can’t do business in Cuba unless the Castro family is
Second, you can’t create a plant and hire your own people: Castro Inc.
will do that for you by keeping the hard currency and paying Cuban
workers in worthless pesos!
Third, and reality comes full circle, Cuban farmers do not have the
money or the means to pay for the tractors. In other words, there is no
consumer market in Cuba no matter how many businessmen take
“fact-finding trips” to Cuba.
It would have been better if the Obama administration had listened
Cuban-American legislators, like Senator Bob Menendez, Senator Marco
Rubio or Senator Ted Cruz. Or, Cuban-American members of the U.S. House
who are more familiar with reality than President Obama.
Why is the Cuba opening failing? Why is ObamaCare failing? Or the Obama
The answer is that President Obama is not rooted in reality, as the
people signing up for ObamaCare are learning this week.
Source: Blog: Remember the one about all the business opportunities in