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Cuban Economic News

Airbnb and Trump’s measures against Cuba  11/14/2017 On Cuba: "Among the self-employed that will suffer most directly from Trump’s measures are the owners of homes and rooms for rent for tourists, faced by a possible scenario of a drastic decrease in visitors from the United States. Many of them offer their services on the U.S. Airbnb platform, which promotes accommodations in private houses and which has experienced a notable growth in Cuba since it got to the island in 2015. A report by the company published in June – days before Trump announced the sanctions that took effect last Thursday – recognized that since Airbnb started operating on the island in the spring of 2015 more than 22,000 rooms had been included in the booking site and some 40 million dollars had been paid to the Cuban hosts."

U.S. sanctions damage Cuban entrepreneurs  11/13/2017 On Cuba: "The U.S. government measures, which restrict trips to Cuba and doing business with enterprises linked to the Cuban Armed Forces and Intelligence Services, have taken effect. Cuban and U.S. analysts are of the opinion that their further effects (since they have already considerably affected the quality of bilateral relations) will damage the Cuban economy, in the state-run sector as well as the non-state: the private sector which the Trump administration says it protects is already suffering with this decision."

Nuevas regulaciones de EE.UU. contra Cuba, ¿Una ayuda a los cuentapropistas?  11/10/2017 El Toque: "Si alguien le dijo al presidente Donald Trump que las más recientes medidas contra Cuba de los departamentos del Tesoro y el Comercio de su país, iban a favorecer al pueblo cubano y a sus emprendedores, le mintió. Son, en toda la línea, una vulgar y torpe política que agrede la voluntad y deseo de cambio que existe mayoritariamente en ambas orillas."

Uncle Sam blacklists Cuban hotels, businesses, agencies  11/8/2017 Along the Maleco: "Below is the U.S. Department of State’s list of entities and subentities under the control of, or acting for or on behalf of, the Cuban military, intelligence, or security services or personnel with which direct financial transactions would disproportionately benefit such services or personnel at the expense of the Cuban people or private enterprise in Cuba."

CIBERSOCIEDAD 2017: Cuban firms sign memorandums of understanding with foreign companies  10/19/2017 Granma: "A memorandum of understanding was signed October 18 between Cuba’s software applications company, Desoft, and Germany’s International Software Quality Institute, iSQI, as part of the Cibersociedad 2017 international event, underway in Varadero."

Los vaivenes del sector privado en Cuba  8/29/2017 Progreso Semanal: "Desde la entrada en vigor el pasado 5 de agosto de las nuevas restricciones al cuentapropismo, una palabra que se ha puesto de moda entre quienes tienen o pretendían tener un negocio privado: incertidumbre."

Handing over of licenses for private work in Cuba suspended  8/3/2017 On Cuba: "The measure forms part of “a systematic process of checking and perfecting, geared at correcting deficiencies,” reported the island’s First Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Security Marta Elena Feitó. According to what was published this Tuesday in the Gaceta Oficial Extraordinaria No. 31, until this process concludes “it was decided to not give new authorizations” for some 20 of the activities, among them the rental of homes and rooms; gastronomic services in cafeterias and restaurants (paladares); the swapping and selling and buying of homes; the repair of electronic equipment; and the jewelry business."

UN GOLPE DEBAJO DEL CINTURÓN AL CUENTAPROPISMO EN CUBA.  8/2/2017 Entre Alianza: "Aún así, lo que corresponde (según el Reglamento) es retirar las licencias a los infractores, no generalizar y tomar medidas que coloquen en estado de indefensión a la mayoría de la población cubana."

Una cifra impredecible: las remesas  8/2/2017 Progreso Semanal: "Una fe con letras mayúsculas, en correspondencia a la clasificación oficial de unas planillas ya inexistentes, donde sin ton ni son, las autoridades inquirían si tenían FE (Familiares en el Exterior). ¿Y quién en Cuba, desde los niveles más humildes hasta en los más notables cargos oficiales en el partido comunista y gobierno no los tiene? Que levanten la mano, por favor, las excepciones." [Los cubanos ibero españoles viven en su mundo proprio - la mayor parte de los afrocubanos no tienen familia en el exterior. Las remesas y aun peor las inversiones no llegan a los afrocubanos. Las diviones sociales crecen cada dia.]

Paralizado el otorgamiento de algunas licencias para cuentapropistas  8/1/2017 Progreso Semanal: "La gaceta oficial de Cuba publica hoy nuevas medidas para el ejercicio de las 201 actividades por cuenta propia permitidas en el país desde 2010. La nueva regulación se corresponde con el anuncio que hiciera el presidente cubano Raúl Castro durante la última sesión ordinaria de la Asamblea Nacional del Poder Popular (ANPP), sobre la necesidad “erradicar los fenómenos negativos detectados y asegurar el desarrollo ulterior de estas formas de gestión en el marco de la legalidad”."

Cuba’s surprising internal tourism boom  7/25/2017 Progreso Weekly: "National tourism has had meteoric growth in the last years. In 2016, more than 991,122 Cubans stayed in hotels on the island, establishing a record in the country’s tourist history. This figure is even more remarkable if we take into account the rise in prices of tourist services brought about by the avalanche of North American tourists, with lodging prices per room rising by more than 95% on average with respect to the previous year."

Foreign Investment in Cuba: Are the Obstacles Too Great?  7/24/2017 Havana Times: "Cuban government authorities have recognized themselves the fact that they need 2 billion USD per year in direct foreign investment, but ever since the new law came into effect in 2014 up until the end of 2016, they have only manage to attract a total of $1.3 billion. Investors in our country come up against all kinds of bureaucratic obstacles, from extremely long negotiation processes which are riddled with excessive paperwork, to poor preparation of of their national counterparts. One cannot ignore the fact that, in many cases, the CEOs of Cuban companies who take on leading these negotiations and their supervisors aren’t business people by training, but members of the Cuban Communist Party’s cadre who are very well trained in the political order of things, but maybe not so much in trade and business matters."

Cuba’s Private Sector Readies for Government Offensive  7/20/2017 Havana Times: "If you want more of the same, all you have to do is remember the government’s negative response for any kind of direct funding from abroad for cooperatives and/or small private businsses, an intiative which clashes with the other well-established Cuban State monopoly, the banking system, which is repeatedly incompetent."

Las empresas estadounidenses ante el freno ideológico de Cuba  7/15/2017 Café Fuerte: "Esa generosidad de las empresas estadounidenses para contrarrestar la atmósfera política predominante en Washington está disminuyendo. Ninguna empresa en Estados Unidos necesita acceder al mercado cubano; es difícil de asimilarlo para un ego como el de Cuba, pero hasta que eso no se entienda, la relación comercial, económica y política bilateral continuará simultáneamente apretando el freno y el acelerador. Una dirección correcta no puede ser cambiante."

Cuban entrepreneurs concerned about Trump’s new policy  6/20/2017 On Cuba: "“Eighty-five percent of the tourism [in my restaurant] is from the United States, that is to say, for me this is devastating,” Niuris Higueras, owner of the Atelier paladar, affirmed to EFE. In her opinion, strengthening the blockade will bring a “shortage of products, of alternatives and of clients”: she does not see the support Trump has insisted he gives to Cuban entrepreneurs."

Cuba and Copyrights: Share or Pay?  6/6/2017 Havana Times: "According to the only information we have about the meeting, published by, Cuban representatives underlined the fact that mutual protection of brands and patents will be a key aspect of improving bilateral relations. This took place just a year after Sony and EGREM signed a music distribution agreement, the terms of which we also have no knowledge about."

Is Cuba Bidding Farewell to Hollywood?  6/2/2017 Havana Times: "Culture has an implicit ideology tied to it and every cultural product has political values. However, when I see someone referring to the Cuban people as naive, manipulable and vulnerable to the North, I don’t understand how the generation that was influenced the most by capitalism could carry out a Revolution in Cuba. If there is a Latin American people who have been trained to deal with mental colonialism, it’s the Cubans. Underestimating our capacity to culturally assimilate something or to prepare us for half a century and then be afraid of this fight, is absurd and suicidal."

US Entrepreneurs Interested in Cuban Hotel Business  5/16/2017 Prensa Latina: "US businesspersons visiting Havana expressed interest in Cuban tourism, particularly in hotels, during the meeting of the Latin American Hotel and Tourism Investment Conference (SAHIC). The two-day event, which ends today, drew more than 200 executives from 20 countries, most of them from the United States."

Meet Cuba’s first internet entrepreneurs at Disrupt New York  5/11/2017 Tech Crunch: "Cubazon. Kewelta. Knales. These aren’t house hold names in the US but they’re at the vanguard of entrepreneurship in Cuba and they’ll be joining us on stage at Disrupt New York."

Proyecto para emprendedores privados de Cuba cumple cinco años  5/2/2017 IPS: "Miles de personas y más de un centenar de negocios privados han emergido en Cuba con el acompañamiento y asesoría del Proyecto Cuba Emprende (PCE), una iniciativa de la Iglesia Católica que celebra sus primeros cinco años de creada."

Where Will Cubans Look to Now?  4/28/2017 Havana Times: "Journalist Fernando Ravsberg quotes the economist Juan Triana, who claims that the unification of national currency could mean that over 60% of state companies will have to shut down, as they are currently benefitting from an artificial exchange rate. When these companies need to import, the State recognizes the parity between the regular Cuban peso and the US dollar, while the real exchange rate is in actual fact 24 to 1."

La Florida y el fin del Embargo  4/23/2017 On Cuba: "Entre el Estado de la Florida y la República Dominicana, según datos de la propia Cámara de Comercio del Estado, hay un intercambio comercial de más de 5 000 millones de dólares. Vistos esos datos es muy probable que, en un escenario donde no exista el embargo, Cuba y la Florida estén muy cerca de esos números. Algunos expertos se atreven a decir que, dadas esas condiciones, en la Florida se crearían unos 30 mil nuevos empleos."

Documental sobre mujeres emprendedoras pone acento en los derechos económicos  3/26/2017 IPS Cuba: incluye a las Zulu, con su tienda de bolsos de cuero

Invitación a ”Mujeres…los poderes vitales del éxito”  3/25/2017 Proyecto Palomas: "La Embajada de Canadá en Cuba, CARE Canadá y el Proyecto Palomas tienen la satisfacción de invitarle a una Presentación Especial, esta vez con la obra documental “Mujeres… los poderes vitales del éxito”, con Guión y Dirección de Lizette Vila e Ingrid León, y textos de la periodista Sara Mas, narrados por la actriz Obelia Blanco. El sábado 25 de marzo a las 3:00 pm en el cine 23 Y 12, 25 Mujeres Cubanas hacedoras de su propio camino, edifican sus vidas y las de su familia a favor del desarrollo del Proyecto Social Cubano, y expresan la voluntad de evocar un Día Naranja, que desde 2013 es símbolo de compromiso con la igualdad de derechos y oportunidades entre los géneros,"

Cuba’s nascent tech industry is growing fast  3/11/2017 Salon: "Last year, computer engineer Bernardo Romero González came up with an idea to develop an online ordering system that allows people outside of Cuba to pay for gifts purchased from local Cuban businesses to be delivered to friends and relatives on the island. “This platform helps other entrepreneurs in Cuba to grow their market,” Romero told Salon. “Businesses in Cuba are limited to their town or city because they don’t have access to e-commerce. This creates the financial platform that allows them to put their products on the Internet.”"

Cuban entrepreneurs shatter glass ceilings  3/10/2017 Medill: "Cooperatives typically receive funding or material support from the government and are also responsible for raising their own funds. As part of the liberalizing of Cuba’s socialist economic system, cooperatives are opening the country up to capitalism and privatization while maintaining some of the revolution’s collectivist ideals."

Florida governor threatens ports over trade with Cuba  3/3/2017 AJOT: "Not only did the two South Florida ports cancel MOU signings, but embarrassment was heaped as officials of the Alabama State Port Authority, which operates the Port of Mobile, signed their own MOU with leaders of the National Port Administration of Cuba on Feb. 2 in, of all places, Tampa – in the hotel where a port conference hosted by Port Tampa Bay and presented by entities including the American Association of Port Authorities and the U.S. Maritime Administration was taking place."

Preparing for a business career in Cuba takes persistence  3/2/2017 Miami Herald: "One of the biggest challenges in running a private tech venture in Cuba is getting the spare parts to operate the repair operation. “We decided to buy old laptops, broken laptops so we could get the screws and hardware needed to make repairs,” Puente said. “We learned how to do maintenance on motherboards to extend their lives.”

As the Tourism Dollars Roll into Cuba  3/1/2017 Havana Times: "Celia was on the lookout every day, she asked her friends, she hunted a lot, but there wasn’t any way for her to find a decent place to rent for a reasonable price. Until a friend stated the obvious: “My girl, everybody is renting them out to the “yumas” (foreigners) now."

Más de 220 cuentapropistas acusados por evasión fiscal; condenas de 5 años de cárcel  2/27/2017 Café Fuerte: "Fernández comentó que también se aplicaron “más de 300 acciones contra quienes ejercen ilegalmente una actividad por cuenta propia, lo cual conlleva a una presunción de deuda por el período de tiempo estimado de trabajo y multas con el máximo rigor”."

La ONAT presentó 223 denuncias contra trabajadores privados en 2016  2/27/2017 Diario de Cuba: "La ONAT (Oficina Nacional de Administración Tributaria) presentó 223 denuncias contra trabajadores privados por evasión fiscal a lo largo de todo el país en el año 2016, 136 de ellas fruto de la labor conjunta desde junio pasado con la Policía Nacional Revolucionaria (PNR), según dio a conocer el semanario estatal Trabajadores. Las actividades por cuenta propia que principalmente evaden impuestos, de acuerdo con datos del Gobierno, son diferentes modalidades de venta de alimentos, transportación de carga y pasajeros, así como el arrendamiento de viviendas y habitaciones."

Cuba has ‘largest pool of untapped IT talent in the Americas’  2/27/2017 Miami Herald: "The people working in the Bacardí building probably also work for Cuban state enterprises, McIntire told el Nuevo Herald. “The government is fully aware that those are programmers working for foreign companies. They are in the stage of allowing it, but not promoting it,” he said."

Cuba y dos puertos de un estado en EEUU pactan convenios de colaboración  2/20/2017 Nuevo Herald: "El senador republicano por el estado sureño, William Thad Cochran, presidió la firma de los nuevos memorandos, rubricados por el director general de la Administración Nacional de Puertos de Cuba, Manuel Pérez, y representantes de Pascagoula, Mark McAndrews, y de Gulfport, Jonathan Daniels."

Frenan el trabajo por cuenta propia en Varadero  2/17/2017 Cartas desde Cuba: "El directivo comentó que, desde el mes de agosto del año 2012 no se emitían nuevas licencias para ejercer labores no estatales en Varadero, y a partir del acuerdo y las disposiciones complementarias que entrarán en vigor 90 días posteriores a su publicación en la Gaceta Oficial (31/1/2017), se otorgarán nuevas licencias sólo en algunas actividades. Entre las modalidades que se incluyen en el documento figuran el asistente para el cuidado de niños, cuidador de enfermos, personas con discapacidad y ancianos, cuidador de baños públicos y taquillas, trabajador doméstico, repasador, tenedor de libros, y arrendamiento de viviendas, habitaciones y espacios."

In Cuba Most Small Businesses Are Still Illegal  2/17/2017 Havana Times: "Mairim is a chemical engineer and after having started up her job agency, she has studied legal and economic issues. “In fact, I’m taking a small business management course.” In spite of her interest and the tried-and-tested usefulness of her business venture, what she’s doing isn’t allowed. Like a kind of legal lifeline, she has taken out a license as a “Collector-payer” and wants to present a “new activity project” to include what she really does to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, “let’s see if they accept it.”"

Carnival Corporation expandirá viajes de cruceros hacia Cuba  2/16/2017 Cubadebate: "La compañía norteamericana, Carnival Corporation, ha obtenido la aprobación para expandir los viajes de cruceros hacia Cuba y, con ello, Carnival Paradise podría convertirse en el navío de mayor capacidad en la historia que navegue de EEUU a La Habana. Las salidas desde el puerto de Tampa Bay a Cuba comenzarían en junio de 2017."

Cuba: Gov. & Private Taxi Drivers Flex Muscles  2/16/2017 Cartas desde Cuba: "A boss can have several cars (from 1 to even 20) and hire different drivers. They can sit at home, and pocket more than $1,000 USD every month per car while the driver will only earn around 250 USD per month, working 10 or 12 hours per day. [More than 10 times the average salary on the island]."

Transporte de pasajeros, ¿imposición o negociación?  2/16/2017 Cartas desde Cuba: "Un patrón puede tener varios automóviles (desde 1 hasta 20) contratando diferentes choferes. El dueño, sentado en su casa, se embolsa más de U$D 1000 al mes por cada vehículo mientras que el chofer gana unos U$D 250 mensuales, trabajando 10 o 12 horas diarias. Entonces ni siquiera se puede hablar de boteros en general ni tratar a todos por igual. Hay que analizar cuanto les cuesta mantener sus vehículos, con 60 años de vida en el costillar, trabajando 12 horas al día. Cuanto gastan en piezas de repuesto, gomas o baterías."

Galería de arte naif próxima a abrir sus puertas en Santiago de Cuba  2/15/2017 TV Santiago: "En pleno centro histórico de esta ciudad se alista hoy la galería de arte naiff para acoger las obras de los pintores cubanos que cultivan esa vertiente, vital en el Oriente encabezados por el grupo Bayate."

China piles into Cuba as Venezuela fades and Trump looms  2/14/2017 Reuters: "Cuban imports from China reached a record $1.9 billion in 2015, nearly 60 percent above the annual average of the previous decade, and were at $1.8 billion in 2016 as the flow of oil and cash slowed from Venezuela due to economic and political turmoil in the South American country. China's growing presence gives its companies a head start over U.S. competitors in Cuba's opening market. It could leave the island less exposed to the chance U.S. President Donald Trump will clamp down on travel to Cuba and tighten trade restrictions loosened by his predecessor Barack Obama."

CHINA PILES INTO CUBA AS VENEZUELA FADES AND TRUMP LOOMS  2/14/2017 Cuban Economy: "China’s growing presence gives its companies a head start over U.S. competitors in Cuba’s opening market. It could leave the island less exposed to the chance U.S. President Donald Trump will clamp down on travel to Cuba and tighten trade restrictions loosened by his predecessor Barack Obama. A deterioration in U.S.-China relations under Trump could also lead Beijing to dig in deeper in Cuba, some analysts say."

Broader Horizons for Cooperatives in Cuba  2/14/2017 PL: "The experimental, non-agricultural cooperative sector in Cuba continues to expand in the areas of trade, food and technical or personal services provision, as part of the ongoing process to update Cuba´s economic and social model. The first national workshop on the topic was held in Havana recently to evaluate progress to date, with the participation of high ranking government officials, the presidents of non-agricultural cooperatives (CAN), trade union representatives and university professors and researchers."

Taller comunitario generaliza experiencias desde las comunidades y los barrios santiagueros  2/14/2017 TV Santiago: "Un proyecto de integración provincial para el trabajo comunitario se desarrolló en la ciudad de Santiago de Cuba. El objetivo del evento fue generalizar experiencias y resultados, que contribuyen a potenciar a escala local y nacional estrategias del trabajo comunitario."

Cuéntanos tus experiencias con los “boteros” en La Habana  2/13/2017 Cubadebate: "El 8 de febrero el gobierno de La Habana reiteró algunas disposiciones establecidas desde julio pasado para asignar precios máximos a 30 rutas. Los viajes desde el Parque del Curita hasta diferentes zonas de la ciudad tendrán nuevos costos específicos para diferentes puntos de los recorridos. Cubadebate te invita a que compartas tus experiencias sobre este particular."

Cuba: It Might Seem Stupid but…  2/9/2017 Cartas desde Cuba: "The Cuban economy would be on the increase if half of the Revolution’s guardian angels – those who dedicate themselves to monitoring what is written on every blog – spent their time chasing corrupt and incompetent officials who steal and destroy the wealth that other Cuban people generate... During the debate that then kicked off on the blog, many people asked why names of corrupt and incompetent officials weren’t made public or why we weren’t informed of the dismissal of company leaders or those sectors affected, just like the blog La Joven Cuba was “reported” in the press, for example."

Gobierno de La Habana pone precios máximos a rutas de los “boteros”  2/8/2017 Cubadebate: "Los taxistas de La Habana, más conocidos por su popular apodo de “boteros“, desde hace varios meses cortan los recorridos para que los pasajeros paguen más. El tema se ha tratado varias veces en Cubadebate, al final de esta nota encontrará enlaces a trabajos anteriores al respecto."

NCBA CLUSA calls on President Trump to build relationship with Cuba and its co-op sector  2/7/2017 Co-op News: "The apex organisations for co-operative enterprises, NCBA CLUSA, has sent a letter to President Donald Trump asking him to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of progress on the US-Cuban relations."

Alabama Port Authority announces deal with Cuban counterpart  2/3/2017 "Alabama's Port Authority announced that state and Cuban officials met Thursday in Tampa, where they signed a Memorandum of Understanding described as the first Cuban ports agreement signed on U.S. soil since 1959. The five-year cooperative agreement is based on "a mutual interest in facilitating trade growth," according to the ASPA. The two agencies agreed to collaborate on "port and cargo marketing studies and strategies, engaging in promotion and exhibition activities, and sharing data to the mutual benefit of their respective seaports.""

Trump's Cuba Negotiator Has Ties to the Island Nation  1/27/2017 Cuba Journal: "Greenblatt himself traveled to Cuba between 2012 and 2013, Businessweek reported in July, to scout future investment potentials for Trump’s company."

Trump’s New Cuba Negotiator Fought For Stronger Cuba Ties  1/24/2017 BuzzFeed: "Until December, Jason Greenblatt served as a senior vice president at the Trump Organization and acted as the corporation’s chief legal officer. He was sworn in on Sunday as the White House’s “special representative for international negotiations.” Among that remit will be, according to CNN at the time the position was announced, “working on Israel-Palestinian peace process, the American relationship with Cuba and trade agreements.”

Raúl Diago, de estrella mundial a empresario  1/24/2017 El Toque: "Catalogado como el mejor pasador del mundo del voleibol en los años 90, Raúl Diago perteneció a una generación que sacó muchos suspiros y más de una lágrima a la afición cubana. Luego de que salio "o lo sacaron" de la Federación Cubana de Voleibol, Diago ya había sentado las bases para su retiro. Y nos cuenta su historia."

How to Define Cuba's Private Sector  1/23/2017 Cuba Journal: "The Cuban private sector currently includes three primary components that are authorized by the Cuban government: (1) self-employed entrepreneurs known as cuentapropistas, (2) agricultural cooperatives and private farmers, and (3) nonagricultural cooperatives."

Cuba Is Headed for a Tech Revolution  1/13/2017 "With the passing of Fidel Castro, and his brother Raul poised to retire soon, it is entirely possible that Cuba will shift into a vibrant, Internet-enabled economic engine. These events will bring the island nation into focus as free markets and technology emerge as potential replacements for an ideology that has for too long failed to address poor economic performance."

Stiglitz and the Cuban economy  12/26/2016 On Cuba: "For me, his time in the World Bank as chief economist perhaps was the most relevant, especially because it marked new tendencies in that organization and under his direction one of the most notable Development Reports of the 1990s was published, where an in-depth analysis was made of the role of knowledge in development and economic growth. Already by that time – we’re talking of 20 years ago – several Cuban economists had carried out works where the importance of that factor for Cuba’s economic development was demonstrated and also, as a leading factor of those researches, that Cuba had to promote economic policies that would make that advantage really effective."

Twin sisters make cigars to celebrate different shades of the AfroCuban diaspora  12/20/2016 Miami Herald: "According to the sisters, most of their business comes from black Americans. Tres Lindas Cubanas, which was named after a Cuban song and translates to three pretty Cuban girls, also serves as homage to the variety of shades of black women across the world and the complexion of the three blends of cigars available through their brand."

FIART 2016 entrega sus premios  12/19/2016 Radio Rebelde: "Los proyectos ZULU, por colección de Bolsos y Carteras, y Mosaicos Textiles, de la Asociación Cubana de Artesanos Artistas (ACAA), ambos de la capital, resultaron premiados en la categoría de Productos."

Who is afraid of Cuban music? A self-interview with JOAQUÍN BORGES-TRIANA  12/13/2016 Cuba Counterpoints: "What do you think are the main difficulties that music-makers face in Cuba? The first is the absence of a national market for music. This creates a situation where records and recording apparatuses are sold at prohibitive prices, and in a currency that is not the same as that which is paid to the average citizen. Therefore, it is almost impossible for a Cuban musician to have his/her records bought by the public or by the intended recipient for which the sonic creation is produced. In addition, there are too many musicians in relation to the State’s limited capacity to produce records."

¿Quién le tiene miedo a la música en Cuba?  12/13/2016 Cuba Posible: "¿Cuáles piensas que son las mayores dificultades que enfrentan los creadores musicales en Cuba? La primera es la ausencia de un mercado nacional para la música. En ello influye que los discos y el aparato reproductor se comercializan en precios prohibitivos y en una moneda que no es con la que se le paga al ciudadano promedio. Por tanto, al músico cubano le resulta punto menos que imposible que sus discos sean comprados por el público o destinatario natural para el cual se hace esa creación sonora."

Carlos Cristóbal Márquez Valdés  12/7/2016 Marti Noticias: "La misiva promovida por la empresa Cuba Educational Travel, y el grupo de cabildeo a favor del deshielo Engage Cuba, ha sido suscrita por más de 100 dueños de paladares, servicios tecnológicos y de autos y peluquerías, entre otros pequeños negocios."

A U.S.-Cuba Breach Presents an Opportunity for China  11/29/2016 WSJ: "While U.S. remittances total more than all Cuban exports, Beijing’s trade with island is growing fast "

Given the incentive, Cuba’s economy could boom  11/28/2016 The National, South Africa 

Cuba must shun capitalism and seek development solutions from within  11/11/2016 Guardian: ""Cuba needs to learn quickly what these other countries learned to their cost – that institutions matter. Rather than plunging into the cauldron of free market forces, the Cuban government needs to build the solid institutional framework that has been termed “the developmental state”." ...The Cuban government should resist any recalcitrant calls to deploy the microcredit model as a major part of its transition strategy. Microfinance has not succeeded in generating a sustainable, “bottom-up” development trajectory anywhere in the world (and for clear lessons one need only look at the disaster that has taken place in Bosnia and Herzegovina)."

Cuba Ventures on Why an Incoming Trump Administration Will be Good for U.S.-Cuba Rapprochement  11/10/2016 Cuba Ventures: "Even the Trump-friendly corporate lobbying group ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) has called for the normalization of U.S. trade relations with Cuba, which would be consistent with its free market agenda."

Nothing for Ordinary Cubans  11/4/2016 Havana Times: "The internet isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity. Plus, the 2 CUC (US $2.30) price tag for a 1 hour access card is still a great blow to the Cuban people’s economy. However, the problem isn’t only the government’s expensive price, but also the cruel initiative that resellers take. They take advantage of the fact there are very few ETECSA retail outlets and that employees there would rather sell them in bulk in exchange for getting a few cents extra for each card sold, since when these are sold directly to the general population, they don’t get a cut."

Invertir en Cuba: ¿Qué dicen los empresarios?  11/3/2016 Cubainformación: "¿Qué beneficios tiene invertir en Cuba? ¿Cómo ha sido este proceso para algunas de las empresas ya asentadas en la Isla? ¿Cuánto frena el bloqueo económico a los hombres de negocios que apuestan por la Mayor de las Antillas? Reconocidas firmas como Nestlé, Havana Club Internacional e Iberostar compartieron sus opiniones al respecto durante la clausura del primer Foro de Negocios celebrado en el marco de la 34 Feria Internacional de La Habana."

Cuba Shuts Itself Off to US Businesspeople  11/2/2016 Havana Times: "Cleber’s investment meant that the Cuban Government would have to take too many ideological risks, said John Kavulich, the director of the US-Cuba Trade and Economic Council. Accepting this project “would be seen as the country accepting the US’ current statutes, laws and policies. That it had given in,” said Kavulich according to Miami’s El Nuevo Herald. “They feel confident that with the existing subsidies, loans and debt restructuring, projects focusing on energy and the revenue from US visitors and visitors from other countries, the government will be able to remain firm in its resistance against any significant commercial and economic commitments with companies based in the US,” he added, according to the Miami newspaper."

AT&T Makes its Debut in Cuba with Roaming Wireless Service  10/26/2016 Nearshore Americas: "US telecom giant AT&T has begun offering roaming wireless services for its customers in Cuba after wrapping up an agreement for network interconnection with the island’s state-run telecom firm ETECSA. The carrier says its customers can now talk, text, and use data while visiting the communist island. Some US papers have described the move as AT&T’s second major step on its expansion in Latin America."

Cooperatives Drive Cuban Agriculture  10/21/2016 Iowa Public TV 

“Ones to Watch” for Cuba Tech  10/13/2016 The New Cuba: "If you had been really dialed into the scene before arriving to Cuba, you would have been tipped off to a cool restaurant app called Alamesa, which lists 900 restaurants with addresses, phone numbers and reviews — and it works brilliantly offline. Game-changer. Who is the creator of this app? His name is Ariel Causa Menendez, and this week, the young Cuban was awarded for his invention by the recent 10X10KCuba contest along with 9 of his industry peers in a competition that sought to select the 10 most promising Tech startups in Cuba today."

Thanks To Santería, Cuba Is Experiencing An Economic Boom  10/3/2016 Vibe: “People who become santeros are often waiting for a foreigner to come from the outside so that they can make money. You can’t survive with what the government pays you, so santeros do whatever it takes to survive like charge tourists a lot of money for their services and, in a way, are obligated to do these illegal things. It’s all about survival.”

Persiguen cuentapropistas ilegales  10/2/2016 Cartas desde Cuba: "Según Raúl González Quintana, secretario del Consejo de Administración Provincial (CAP), “además de la imposición de 1500 pesos (CUP) de multa a quienes desempeñen cualquier actividad de forma ilícita, aplicaremos con fuerza el decomiso de los medios e instrumentos que utilizan para su labor. La ley es rigurosa en tal sentido. “Si el ciudadano emplea una bicicleta para comercializar algo, la puedo decomisar; si dispone del auto como taxi y carece de licencia operativa, igual queda estipulado el decomiso del vehículo; incluso, si arrienda su inmueble, existe la prerrogativa para abrir un proceso a través de la dirección de Vivienda y decomisarlo. Todo está bien claro en el Decreto Ley 315, en lo referente a aquellos que ejercen de modo ilegal”."

One of Cuba's fastest growing economies is inspired by the life of saints  9/29/2016 Fusion: “Santeria has become really trendy,” he told me in his living room, as his son’s stereo thumped U.S. rap songs in the next room. “Whites have been coming to Cuba and practicing this black religion and stealing our secrets. They began to realize that there was money to be made and they started taking advantage.”

Fantasmas y amenazas de la revolución cubana  9/24/2016 Cartas desde Cuba: "Por su parte, militar por cuenta propia en el ejército del socialismo también tiene un costo. En La Joven Cuba hemos acompañado el proceso revolucionario, apoyándolo desde la crítica y la alternatividad. Pero algunos creen que todo aquello que no venga por la vía institucional, no rinda cuentas verticalmente, no entre en el sistema de trabajo centralizado y planificado, lo que no cumpla estos parámetros es una amenaza. Y así nos han tratado a menudo, sin mucho éxito gracias a las fuerzas revolucionarias dentro de las instituciones, en la estructura estatal."

Camila en el macrocosmos del micro mecenazgo  9/17/2016 Progreso Semanal: "Desde que comenzó a “crowfundiar” Camila Carballo no se va a dormir sin saber qué contenido agitará al día siguiente en las redes. Una foto vieja o nueva. Un amigo que encuentra en la calle. Una reflexión sobre caer y levantarse. Algo que lee de pasada en un libro o periódico que un fulano sostiene abierto bajo el sol en el camino de su apartamento semiderruido en el Vedado hasta la zona Wi-fi de 23 y L. Cualquier detalle ingenioso o sentimental puede abrirle paso hasta otro mecenas. Y otro mecenas. Y otro."

Red cubana de producción audiovisual nace este mes  9/13/2016 Progreso Semanal: "Como una red de servicios de producción audiovisual surge Encuadre, una plataforma que desde finales de este mes de septiembre reunirá a profesionales, organizaciones y empresas para intercambiar ideas y propuestas de trabajo. Bajo la máxima “Encuentra en Cuba todo lo que necesitas para hacer audiovisuales”, la iniciativa parece ser la primera de su tipo en el país."

Barbara’s Modas, creación cubana  9/11/2016 Masoneria Libertaria: "El Proyecto Barbara’s Modas, liderado por mujeres emprendedoras Afro-descendientes en La Habana, pese de la precaria situación de sus recursos, avanza la primera etapa de su programa, a partir de los nuevos diseños creados realizan modificaciones y pruebas a los vestuarios que usarán en el futuro, un equipo de modelaje en una exposición pública. Sobre este tema abundó más en profundidad la abogada, diseñadora y Directora del Proyecto Barbara´s Modas, Deyni Terry Abreu."

Barbara’s Fashion an Afro-Cuban Led Project  9/10/2016 Havana Times: "The Barbara’s Fashion Project, led by Afro-descendant Cuban women entrepreneurs in Cojimar, Havana, advances in the first phase of its program, despite the precarious situation of its resources. The group is currently working on new designs with an eye towards a public fashion show in the future. We spoke with Terry Deyni Abreu, a lawyer and designer and the project’s director."

PayPal sanctions the word “Cuba”  9/7/2016 OnCuba: "But a year before PayPal had to pay 7.7 million dollars as part of an agreement with OFAC, the authority that indicated that for over several years up until 2013, the company had not adequately reflected the transactions so that the agency could detect people or entities subject to sanctions against Cuba, Iran and Sudan."

AT&T and ETECSA will connect Cuba and the US for voice, text and data  8/22/2016 OnCuba: "AT&T and ETECSA have concluded negotiations and signed agreements direct connection for the exchange of international voice traffic between the USA and Cuba, as the Cuban company announced today in an institutional statement. The agreements provide for roaming voice, text and data services for AT&T customers traveling to Cuba; as well as providing telephone calls through direct connection between the two countries."

Moda y afrodescencia: Una iniciativa de emprendimiento en Cuba  8/21/2016 Negra Cubana: "Ya mucha gente en la isla no se cree el cuento del ajiaco, porque de sobra se sabe que ya servido el delicioso plato no todas las viandas han alcanzado el mismo grado de cocción. Es por eso que celebro las iniciativas donde se intenta destacar intencionalmente la cultura afrocubana, entendiendo por ello, en mi opinión, aquella que resalta nuestro vínculo con el continente madre."

Encuadre, una red social para el audiovisual cubano  8/19/2016 Progreso Semanal: "Encuadre, la única red cubana de producción audiovisual que se anuncia en el horizonte, planea comenzar con un producto mínimo viable. Pero aun así es una empresa ambiciosa. En abril, durante la Muestra Joven del ICAIC, sus cinco fundadores dijeron que el sitio web estaría online en julio, luego anunciaron dos plazos más, uno en agosto y otro en septiembre."

PayPal Froze My Account After I Bought A Cuban Cigar  8/18/2016 Forbes: "According to the new rules, U.S. citizens traveling abroad are allowed to consume Cuban goods. A tourist visiting Mexico City can buy a glass of Cuban rum or an expensive Cuban cigar and pay for the purchase with a major credit card such as MasterCard or Visa. Current restrictions place a $100 limit on Cuban cigars brought back to the U.S. by people visiting Cuba. The ban has been lifted on goods purchased and consumed by tourists traveling outside of the U.S.\r\n\r\nI’ve written about Amazon successfully entering Mexico’s e-commerce market. In a country with low credit card penetration PayPal has a chance to expand its business in Mexico’s e-commerce market.\r\n\r\nMy account, however, is still frozen. So, apparently, PayPal is still figuring out how to do business in Latin America when it comes to allowing users to purchase and enjoy Cuban goods."

IT Outsourcers, Get Ready for the Castro Dividend  8/17/2016 Nearshore Americas: "Yet, beyond the allure of Cuba’s shabby-chic hotels and the prospect of improving the island’s decrepit roads, there is an even greater prize for investors with vision: Cuba possesses immense STEM talent. Today, physicians, thousands of whom are sent abroad to friendly countries in exchange for foreign aid to Havana, are probably the most prominent part of this group, but this is only one segment. There are tens of thousands of IT professionals on the island."

Paypal halted a transaction because it contained the word "Cuba"  8/17/2016 BoIng Boing: "The lesson: don't use forbidden words when sending someone money via PayPal. Better yet, use Bitcoin instead."

How Much Is a Contract Worth in Cuba?  8/16/2016 Havana Times: "A small group of former state employees in the city of Artemisa, the capital of the western province that shares the same name, who became independent workers due to the new self-employment law laid out by the Cuban government, face a critical situation. They had signed a 10-year contract with the government’s Services Company in the city so they could develop their work and now they are being forced to leave their site and lose the small investments they made to improve it. The building no longer belongs to them they were told, “Because now it belongs to the government’s Retail Sales Enterprise (Comercio) and not the Services Company anymore.”"

Cooperatives Becoming Bigger Part of Cuba’s Reforms  8/16/2016 Counterpunch: "There is a consensus among informed observers that a primary reason for the Communist Party’s slowness in promulgating clear rules for the formation of cooperatives is that the party leadership has yet to reach a consensus itself."

Mujeres emprendedoras diseñan para la moda afro-cubana  8/15/2016 Havana Times: "En un apartamento del poblado de Cojimar ubicado en La Habana del Este. Mujeres cubanas se inician como diseñadoras de moda para un proyecto que aspira a visibilizar el trabajo de la mujer afrodescendiente en Cuba, mostrar su belleza en toda su diversidad y convertirse en una fuente de empleo."

Derecho e Informática, un puente a medio construir en Cuba  8/12/2016 IPS: "Para la presidenta de la no gubernamental Sociedad Cubana de Derecho e Informática, es vital potenciar un pensamiento en la población cubana que le “permita superar el estado de simple consumidor de tecnología para convertirse en creador de valores”."

What do Cuban entrepreneurs stand to win from closer US Cuba relations?  8/1/2016 Cuba Counterpoints: "At this point, even if the government facilitates direct relations between the self-employed and foreign businesses, it will remain to be seen how many independent entrepreneurs become actual company owners. Many of these entrepreneurs have been able to stay in business only because their ability to operate within the production and price-regulating features of the informal and underground economies (which are economies geared toward survival, focusing on short-term objectives and low-level investments)."

Cuentapropistas en el limbo jurídico  7/23/2016 Negra Cubana: "Ninguna de estas historias son ficticias, es la vida de gente común que camina por las calles de La Habana. Gente que trabaja en la más absoluta precariedad de sus derechos laborales y a quienes todos les llamamos “cuentapropistas”. Los suponemos en una vida de lujo pero en cambio viven una Cuba cada vez más intensa."

Anti-Capitalist Meetup: Mojitos, Tourismo, Cooperatives, and CUCs for Cuba  7/10/2016 Daily Kos: "When I asked self-organized coops where they got their capital, they were often evasive. My source suggested that many of these businesses were started with money from remittances from wealthy relatives in the United States. She also noted that since most of the wealthy people living in the States are white, this ability of one group of Cubans to obtain and invest capital not only was reintroducing class divisions, but increasing the divisions again between the races since most Afro Cubans did not have access to remittances."

Cuba: the Government vs. its Emigres  7/9/2016 Havana Times: "However, Cuba isn’t a normal country because the government chooses instead to have a hostile relationship with its emigres – the opposite of what happens everywhere else in the world, including in the Dominican Republic – and prefers to overexploit them with exorbitant fees with its inefficient consulate services, or by buying in the most expensive half-empty stores in the world."

Cuba Warns of Dirty Money Investments from Abroad  7/7/2016 Havana Times: "The Cuban Interior Ministry (MININT) has under surveillance attempts by Cubans living abroad and foreign citizens who are introducing illicit funds in the country to invest in the private sector, in goods and property."

Florida bank issues first US credit card for use in Cuba  6/23/2016 AP: "A small Florida bank will issue the first U.S. credit card intended for use in Cuba and make it easier for Americans to travel and work on an island largely cut off from the U.S. financial system, the bank announced Tuesday. Pompano Beach-based Stonegate Bank said its Mastercard, available Wednesday, will let U.S. travelers charge purchases at state-run businesses and a handful of private ones, mostly high-end private restaurants equipped with point-of-sale devices. Until now, Americans have generally had to bring cash to Cuba and change it either at state institutions that impose a 10 percent penalty on the dollar or in informal exchanges with locals. “This is going to be huge for American companies trying to do business down here,” Stonegate president David Seleski said. The card’s utility will be limited for the moment, however. Cuba is preventing cardholders from using them for cash advances. And while the bank says there are 10,000 point-of-sale devices across the island, cashiers in state-owned stores often say they are out of service."

Cuba Oriental aspira a convertirse en alternativa a La Habana y Varadero  6/22/2016 Nuevo Herald 

Nestle Helps Cuba Skirt the US Embargo  6/22/2016 Havana Times: "In conclusions made from this deal, the US-Cuba Trade and Economic Council values the fact that the Obama administration is focussing on creating trade opportunities rather than directly or immediately influencing this activity with Cuba’s independent farmers. This focus is founded on the belief that in the last 190 days of Obama’s presidency, a bilateral trade agreement is on the horizon, even when it isn’t the kind of involvement for State companies that the Cuban government and its institutions want, may be seen as preferable than not having one at all."

First U.S. managed hotel begins operating in Cuba  6/1/2016 Periodico 26: "Havana's newly named Four Points by Sheraton, the first U.S. managed hotel on the island in over 50 years, began operating June 29, under the administration of the Starwood chain, in association with Cuban state enterprise Gaviota."

17 Things You Need to Know Before Doing Business in Cuba  5/30/2016 Entrepreneur 

Sesionó Foro de Negocios Cuba y Missouri  5/30/2016 Juventud Rebelde: "A las 48 horas del anunció de las relaciones entre Cuba y Estados Unidos del 17 de diciembre de 2014, aseguró el Gobernador Nixon, reunió a su gabinete para analizar como podían dirigirse en ese camino, y confesó que quiso ser el primer estado en llegar a Cuba, que es una oportunidad para rancheros y granjeros de Missouri, especialmente para los productores de arroz, soya, carne de res, maíz, algodón, fertilizantes, biocombustibles y nutrientes."

Cuba blames US sanctions for Co-op Bank closures  5/27/2016 Co-operative News: "Cuba’s permanent mission to the UN has denounced the sanctions imposed by the USA after the Co-operative Bank closed the accounts of the British Cuba Solidarity Campaign. In a press statement, Cuban officials say the Bank’s chief executive, Niall Booker, had confirmed in writing to customers that the closure was the result of the risk arising from US sanctions imposed on Cuba."

Aduana de Cuba informa sobre la entrada y salida de dinero al país  5/25/2016 Habana Linda: "Estas medidas permiten entrar al país un total de 5000 dólares máximos, pero debes declararlo ante los funcionarios de la Aduana General de la República. Los ciudadanos cubanos domiciliados en el país y los ciudadanos extranjeros residentes permanentes en Cuba pueden exportar e importar a su salida o entrada al país, sumas que no excedan los dos mil pesos cubanos 2000 pesos cubanos."

Cuba legalises small and medium private businesses  5/25/2016 BBC: "The government currently allows self-employment in several hundred job categories from restaurant owners to hairdressers. The Cuban economy has been stimulated by many of these becoming small businesses and employing other workers. The latest reforms were published in a 32-page document detailing the party's plan for economic development, and approved by Congress."

Cuba Is Seeing Increasing Work Protests  5/25/2016 Havana Times: "The recent bici-taxi protest in Plaza de la Revolución managed to get annulled dozens of fines, which had been sensationalized to appear as economic crimes. In October 2015, mail delivery workers in Banes, Holguin refused to work, finally getting their demands met against administrative arbitrariness. Other complaints haven’t been so successful, but one thing’s for sure, a crack has been opened in the Communist party’s trade union wall."

Cuba to legalize small and medium-sized private businesses  5/24/2016 AP: "Cuban business owners and economic experts said they were hopeful the reform would allow private firms to import wholesale supplies and export products to other countries for the first time, removing a major obstacle to private business growth. "This is a tremendously important step," said Alfonso Valentin Larrea Barroso, director-general of Scenius, a cooperatively run economic consulting firm in Havana. "They're creating, legally speaking, the non-state sector of the economy. They're making that sector official.""

Cuba Moves to Legalize Small- and Medium-Size Businesses  5/24/2016 WSJ: "Cuba’s government said it would move to legalize thousands of small- and medium-size businesses that have sprung up in recent years, a step that could encourage more entrepreneurship in the hemisphere’s lone communist country."

Una Cuba inclusiva siempre será más fuerte  5/20/2016 Chiringa de Cuba: "Para nadie es un secreto que Washington está apartándose lentamente de sus antiguos socios de la disidencia y apostando por los cuentapropistas, cooperativistas y empresarios cubanos, nacidos al amparo de las reformas encabezadas por el Presidente Raúl Castro. Las ventajas de estos sobre la disidencia tradicional son enormes, están integrados en la sociedad, sus compatriotas los consideran personas de éxito, poseen recursos financieros propios por lo que no hay que mantenerlos y el agua en la que nadan es la economía de mercado."

EE.UU. insta a Cuba a conectarse a Internet mientras dura el interés por la isla  5/11/2016 Ads305: "Tres compañías de telefonía móvil de Estados Unidos han firmado acuerdos con Cuba. Verizon, Sprint y T-Mobile ofrecen a sus clientes la posibilidad de realizar y recibir llamadas en la red de ETECSA con sus propios teléfonos móviles a través del “roaming” o servicio de itinerancia directo, pero hasta el momento ninguna de las compañías estadounidenses puede suministrar estos servicios a los cubanos que viven en la isla."

"Poner Internet en Cuba no es un problema tecnológico, si no una decisión política de sus líderes"  5/11/2016 Cibercuba: "He estado, participado y visto de primera mano las discusiones en la Habana con el Ministro de Telecomunicaciones de Cuba, y con la empresa principal (ETECSA). Conozco del interés que poseen en desarrollar la infraestructura de las telecomunicaciones en toda la isla. Su personal técnico, y las compañías como tal, comprenden perfectamente los beneficios económicos que esto pudiera aportarles, pero, tomar tal decisión no les corresponde a ellos, si no a los líderes políticos del país. Son ellos quienes tienen la última palabra en cuanto al cómo y cuan rápido estos cambios puedan implementarse en el país. Obviamente el gobierno cubano debería aprovechar el momento actual, en que Cuba es tema de interés mundial."

Grand Ambitions: Cuban Coders Looking to Energize a Nascent Startup Scene With First Regular Meetups  5/6/2016 Huff Post: "But an ambitious group of young Cuban programmers wants to change that and is trying to energize the island’s technology entrepreneurs by organizing its first tech meetup. Alex Medina, a 35-year-old coder from Camaguey, and a group of friends have started the Merchise Startup Circle and hope to hold the first meeting later this month in Havana. The ultimate goal, according to Medina, is to garner enough interest for regular, monthly meetings on the island."

Could US Trade Threaten Sustainable Agriculture in Cuba?  4/27/2016 Common Dreams: "Although most continue to employ conventional agricultural methods, and Cuba continues to import more than half of its food, around a quarter of the country’s farmers have nonetheless succeeded in supplying some 65 percent of national agricultural output using agroecological practices. These achievements, however, could come under threat with the expected resumption of U.S.-Cuban trade relations."

Cuban Gov. to Allow Citizens to Travel by Sea  4/22/2016 Havana Times: "The Castro government announced today it was lifting the longstanding prohibition on anyone born in Cuba from traveling by sea. The measure will allow Cubans to hire out on merchant ships and travel on cruisers. The change takes effect on April 26th."

Renowned Cuban Pro-Reform Economist Fired as Chill  4/21/2016 AP: "Reached by The Associated Press on Wednesday, Perez confirmed his dismissal by center director Humberto Blanco for having unauthorized conversations with foreign institutions and informing "North American representatives" about the internal procedures of the university. The dismissal letter described Perez, 56, as "irresponsible" and "negligent" for continuing to engage in unauthorized activity after warnings from his superiors. It also accused him of receiving unauthorized payments for a study of the South Korean economy and said he was barred from returning to work for at least four years."

Barbadian beer joins Cuban imports to relieve local demand  4/15/2016 Adelante: "Barbados´ Bank Breweries Limited will soon begin exporting nearly one million boxes of beer to Cuba, where the local demand has surpassed production capacity following the increase of tourism and private businesses."

Sector privado en Cuba, cinco años después  4/4/2016 Cuba a Contraluz: "Una primera dificultad tiene que ver con el acceso a las materias primas y el aprovisionamiento en general. Salvo para productos del agro, no existe un mercado mayorista para los pequeños emprendedores. Y las consecuencias son harto evidentes: altos precios de la oferta, desabastecimiento en la red de tiendas, repunte del mercado negro… Aunque las autoridades han reconocido el problema, la solución se perfila a mediano o largo plazo, pues las compraventas al por mayor requieren desarrollar la industria y la agricultura nacionales, y disponer de recursos financieros que permitan importar más. Las dos cosas llevan tiempo. Por otra parte, el comercio exterior cubano se encuentra centralizado en un grupo de empresas estatales, y los emprendedores no tienen licencias para exportar ni importar. De acuerdo con un informe publicado a mediados de 2015 por el Ministerio de Trabajo y Seguridad Social, 504 613 personas, el 27% de la fuerza laboral, se encontraban entonces afiliadas a los nuevos emprendimientos."

Encuentro propone diseminar en Cuba computadora de 35 dólares  4/2/2016 IPS: "En el segundo islote más grande del archipiélago cubano, Isla de la Juventud, un grupo de 25 personas integrado por artistas, informáticos, emprendedores y realizadores,acampó durante tres días para compartir experiencias sobre nuevas tecnologías y desarrollo de las ciencias humanísticas. Las oportunidades para Cuba que ofrece la computadora Raspberry Pi, con un costo de solo 35 dólares en el mercado internacional, fueron valoradas por las y los participantes de THATCamp 2016, que en su segunda edición viajó a Nueva Gerona, la capital de ese municipio especial."

Sector portuario de Estados Unidos ve potencial de Cuba como centro de carga regional  3/30/2016 Cuba a contraluz: "Ejecutivos del sector logístico de Estados Unidos que recorrieron instalaciones portuarias de Cuba en días recientes han señalado que el país caribeño tiene potencial para convertirse en un hub o centro de carga para la región, aun cuando hay retos por superar en el área de la infraestructura."

17 Things You Need to Know Before Doing Business in Cuba  3/30/2016 Entrepreneur: "In advance of our AngelSummit Americas, we sat down with Cuba Emprende Chairman John McIntire and Ramphis Castro, a VC at ScienceVest and co-organizer of Startup Weekend Cuba, plus several Cuban founders to uncover what we need to know."

Private Entrepreneurship & Cuba’s Credit Policy  3/28/2016 Havana Times: "The banking reforms meant that three state banks (BANDES, BPA, and Banco Metropolitano) could issue microloans to fund the starting capital of microenterprises in Cuba. Loan offerings varied from CUP1000-5000 (US$40-200) and the interest rates were very low, ranging up to 4.25% for short term loans. Despite the reforms, very few short-term loans have been awarded to private enterprises despite attractive interest rates. However, before analyzing the shortcomings, a deeper look at the reasons why the new credit policies were introduced in the first place is necessary."

OFAC Further Amends the Cuban Assets Control Regulations Regarding Travel and Financial Transactions  3/28/2016 Lexology: "The Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has amended the Cuban Assets Control Regulations to further implement elements of the policy announced by the President on December 17, 2014 to engage and empower the Cuban people. These additional changes were published in the Federal Register on March 16, 2016."

The economic impact of changes in U.S.-Cuba relations  3/23/2016 On Cuba: "Some time ago, the sustained affirmation that the blockade was the largest external obstacle to the country’s development was sometimes questioned by different sectors inside and outside of Cuba. However, what has happened since 17 December 2014 seems to show the weight of that argument."

Cubans are online and hustling despite restrictions and censorship  3/23/2016 Huck Magazine: "Despite tight controls, the internet has been essential in allowing Zenaida’s small business to thrive. The web has created a platform for her to target international tourists through sites like Airbnb, and with a connection in the house she could beat the competition by responding faster than her competitors. The constant access also meant she could with a Dutch website designer to make herself a site – with the capability of taking bookings and advance payments online, a significant achievement given U.S. restrictions on banking to Cuba complicate these types of transaction."

What Obama’s Historic Visit to Cuba Really Means for U.S. Businesses  3/23/2016 Fortune: "In what would certainly be a big breakthrough for the Cuban people, Obama told ABC News on Sunday that Google “has a deal to start setting up more WIFI and broadband access on the island.” Google ( GOOG -0.67% ) sounded less certain. In a Spanish-language blog post on Monday, the company announced it is bringing Google Cardboard and Chromebooks to a Havana museum, where visitors can connect to a government-owned Internet carrier, and said it is “also exploring additional possibilities to increase and improve access to the Internet, but these are first steps.” "

Bitcoin Friendly Stripe To Allow Cuban Nationals To Incorporate U.S. Businesses & Open U.S. Bank Accounts  3/21/2016 Crypto Coins News: "Stripe, a San Francisco, Calif.-based mobile payments startup that allows merchants to accept bitcoin, has announced that its Stripe Atlas service will be available to businesses in Cuba in conjunction with President Obama’s trip to Havana this week. Stripe users, including Atlas, can accept bitcoin along with credit cards, Android Pay, Alipay and 135 currencies. Stripe Atlas will allow Cubans to establish online businesses."

WashU Expert: Quo Vadis, Cuba?  3/21/2016 Washington University 

The next step for developing Cuba? Microfinance  3/21/2016 Devex: "Microfinance is only available through local, state-owned banks, which cannot afford to provide the scope of financing needed in the country. Microfinance is expensive, and Cubans have little experience with microloans and credit scoring. To encourage external finance to the island, the Cuban government must allow international microfinance banks to operate and must be more welcoming to nongovernmental organizations."

San Cristóbal, el “paladar” de Centro Habana donde ha ido a cenar Obama  3/20/2016 La Republica: "San Cristóbal lleva como nombre el de su propietario, el chef y la inspiración de conducción, Carlos Cristóbal Márquez Valdés. Desordenado y ecléctico, este es un espacio vivido en la planta baja de una mansión de principios del siglo 20. Montones de libros antiguos están apilados en lo alto hermosa muebles viejos; fotografías en blanco y negro se disputan el espacio con antiguos portadas de discos y carteles taurinos, mientras que una selección de relojes, artefactos religiosos e, incluso una piel de cebra de tamaño completo, añadir a la mezcla."

Stripe to allow Cuban nationals to set up a U.S. business entity, bank account, and more  3/18/2016 Business Wire: "The basic infrastructure for starting an internet business in Cuba is nearly nonexistent. The country's internet penetration is among the lowest in the world, with less than 4% of the population online today. In addition, the financial rails aren't in place to transact with markets outside of Cuba. Hardly anyone has a credit card, so Cubans can't pay -- or more importantly, get paid -- for things available online to billions of people around the world. Despite these challenges in their local market, more than 70% of Cubans surveyed recently said they wanted to start their own business. Stripe Atlas will now allow entrepreneurs to set up an online business and expand beyond Cuban borders to sell to customers anywhere in the world."

EEUU permitirá más viajes y operaciones con dólares a Cuba  3/15/2016 CaféFuerte: "El paquete de medidas, que entrará en vigor este miércoles, amplía la capacidad de los estadounidenses de viajar a Cuba, impulsa los intercambios comerciales y reduce las barreras para que los cubanos realicen operaciones bancarias y financieras en dólares, incluyendo a bancos que desde terceros países pueden transferir dinero a cuentas en entidades estadounidenses a nombre de cubanos residentes en la isla."

Secretary of Commerce Pritzker and U.S. Entrepreneurs to Accompany Obama to Cuba  3/15/2016 Radio Cadena Agramonte: "Pritzker will come to Cuba with a group of business persons, like Arne Sorenson, executive president of the Marriott International hotel chain, as well as Ursula Burns, executive president of Xerox. Also part of the delegation will be executives of the companies AT & T, of telecommunications, and Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, which are interested in learning, in situ, more about business opportunities on the island, points out the press release. Pritzker, who will make her second trip to Cuba in less than six months, toured in October the Mariel Special Development Zone, and held meetings with trade officials in Cuba and exchanges with Cuban producers."

Obama administration loosens Cuba rules in advance of historic visit  3/15/2016 USA Today: "The Obama administration announced a new round of measures chipping away at the decades-long sanctions against Cuba Tuesday, encouraging more person-to-person educational travel and allowing Cuban nationals to get jobs in the United States or to open U.S. bank accounts. The rules could allow Cuban athletes and entertainers — including baseball players — to get jobs in the United States without having to defect from Cuba, officials said."

Cuban innovation ready to explode into tech world  3/14/2016 USA Today: "Trade with Cuba could reach $13 billion a year if restrictions between the two countries are lifted, including the U.S. embargo on Cuba, and greatly expand the island’s outdated tech sector, according to a report led by J. Walter Intelligence, a global research group, which was released at the panel. The group spent nine month interviewing economists, industry leaders and journalists about the evolution of the Cuban economy and the prospect of business dealings with the U.S."

Why You Should Invest in Cuba -- And How to Do It  3/12/2016 The Street: "Cuba checks several boxes for investors: relatively large population, healthy and educated people, a growing economy, and a low public debt level. There's also an investment catalyst: a better relationship with the United States which should unlock more capital flows."

A Letter from PW on the Cuba Book Embargo  3/10/2016 Pubishers Weekly: "As Zuleica Romay Guerra, president of the Cuban Book Institute, observed during one of the panels organized as part of the mission, the Cuban people have not been able to read American authors for more than 50 years. American readers, meanwhile, have been denied access to the works of Cuban writers."

U.S., Cuban Publishing Executives Vow Closer Cooperation  2/19/2016 Pubishers Weekly: "Commenting on the ability of the two countries to work together, Zuleica Romay Guerra, president of the Cuban Book Institute, observed, “We made a lot of progress. We’ve shown we can climb over or circumvent barriers so that they no longer separate us.”

During Panels, Realities of Cuban Publishing Market Laid Bare  2/16/2016 Publishers Weekly: "Digging deeper into the Cuban publishing scene, Zuleica Romay Guerra, president of the Book Institute of the Cuban Ministry of culture, said the longstanding trade embargo with the U.S. has made it costly to be in the book business in Cuba. That Cuban publishers are also working within a state-run model--with set budgets--only complicates things further."

Obama OK's First Factory In Cuba In 57 Years  2/15/2016 ero Hedge: "Berenthal is Cuban-born, so to a certain extent, this is a story about an entrepreneur that wants to give back to his birthplace and that's certainly understandable. That said, Clemmons is from Alabama and you can bet the headline “Alabama Man To Build Tractor Plant In Cuba Thanks To Obama-Castro Reconciliation” won’t go over well with Donald Trump voters. The next question is this: how long before John Deere decides that making tractors in Cuba or Mexico might be a whole lot cheaper than building them in America's heartland?"

Feds approve first U.S. factory in Cuba  2/15/2016 USA Today: "Cleber LLC, an Alabama-based company that builds tractors for small farms, was notified by the Treasury Department that it could open a facility in Cuba. Co-founder Saul Berenthal said the company's attorney was in Havana on Monday to start the lengthy process of finalizing the agreement with the Cuban government and hopes to start production by early 2017... The company will make a small, red tractor it calls the "Oggún" in homage to the Afro-Cuban Santeria spirit of metal work."

Cuba: Co-op growth slows  2/12/2016 Co-op News: "As Cuba continues its efforts to open to more trade, the number of new co-ops being set up has decreased. According to figures released by the country’s National Statistics Office, only 22 new co-operatives were created last year in sectors other than agriculture. This represents a decrease from 2014, when 147 co-operatives were set up. Cuba currently has 367 non-agricultural co-operatives, 193 of which are in the capital Havana."

Cuba’s Tech and Startup Scenes – on the Verge of Connection  2/3/2016 Cuba Journal: "A little known facet of Cuban society is that they are believed to be the best-educated in Latin America, with the island nation graduating more than 4,000 IT engineers annually. Education, aspiration, a changing political and economic landscape."

Se otorgan millones de pesos por créditos en Las Tunas  2/2/2016 Tiempo 21: "El Banco Popular de Ahorro (BPA) en la provincia de Las Tunas otorgó una cifra record superior a los 138 millones de pesos para créditos bancarios en el año 2015, para financiar más de siete mil familias con el objetivo de invertir en materiales de la construcción fundamentalmente."

Silicon Island Rebooted: Cuba’s Information & Communications Technology Revolution  2/1/2016 Harvard International Review: "In 2002, the University of Information Sciences (Universidad de las Ciencias Informáticas, or UCI) was founded—ironically, on the site of a Cold War Soviet signals intelligence base—to educate the vanguard of the Cuban ICT revolution. Since then, other Cuban universities have added technology sciences to their curricula, now graduating an average of 5,500 ICT engineers each year, a third of whom have earned masters or doctoral degrees. UCI alone has produced some 18,000 computer science graduates and created 15 software production centers working on a full cycle of research, development, and innovation. These centers deal with an array of issues such as free software, e-government, databases, images and digital signals, medical data, industrial computing, and citizen identification, among other applications."

La economía de Cuba ingresa al cuarto quinquenio del siglo XXI  2/1/2016 Cuban Studies 

New U.S. rules allow infrastructure projects, movie shoots in Cuba  1/26/2016 Reuters: "The United States approved a wider range of commerce with Cuba on Tuesday, making it easier for U.S. companies to film movies, finance exports and do business with the Communist government on public infrastructure projects."

The Future is Coming: Observations and Reflections on Cuba  1/16/2016 The Dialog 

Cuba’s Street Vendors: The Last Link in the Supply Chain  1/13/2016 Havana Times: "“You calculate a difference and add a small percentage on top. We don’t make as much of a profit as people think, it’s a tiny profit, but it’s enough to live on.” This is clear to me, but there’s the widespread, almost official, view that, at some point in the delivery chain, “scoundrels” are profiting from people’s urgent needs. David makes a pause, as though about to reveal a great truth. “Look, the real problem with prices has to do with production shortages, it all stems from that.”"

El salario en Cuba: los falsos paradigmas y la terca realidad  1/11/2016 Cuba Posible: "En particular, es necesario mejorar la distribución primaria del ingreso nacional, incrementando la parte de este que se distribuye como salario. Los mecanismos de redistribución –por la vía del gasto social– pudieran suplementar el proceso mediante una repartición secundaria del ingreso por la vía de componentes de la política fiscal, como son los impuestos y el gasto social, pero la distribución primaria, fundamentalmente en lo referente al salario, es crucial. Si se instaurase en Cuba un modelo económico capaz de crear y de mantener “trabajo decente”(2), aquel que es productivo y que va acompañado de un ingreso digno, las demás piezas del rompecabezas económico, social y político de Cuba caerían más fácilmente en su lugar."

A new Cuban revolution and the stark divide between rich and poor  1/9/2016 Globe & Mail: "Stephanie Nolen reports from a country in transition: ‘I didn’t go to Cuba planning to report on inequality. But it kept coming up, a source of comment and concern. Not many people study inequality in a place where, in theory, the political system has eradicated it’ "

Puerto de Virginia se conecta con Cuba  1/7/2016 Progreso Semanal: "La Autoridad Portuaria de Virginia se convertirá en el primer operador portuario de Estados Unidos en firmar un acuerdo de cooperación con su homóloga cubana, en un esfuerzo por aumentar el comercio y establecer un servicio directo con Cuba, dijo el gobernador de Virginia el lunes."

Who Will Speak for Black Cubans on the Lack of Economic Opportunity?  12/23/2015 The Root:  by DeWayne Wickham - "In 2010 Morales was kicked out of the Communist Party after writing an article in which he said Cuba was threatened more by corrupt government officials than by the country’s relatively small number of dissidents. A year later, he was reinstated. Now he leads a national commission that pushes the highest levels of Cuba’s government to address this nation’s race problems."

¡INDIGNANTE! Policía golpea a vendedora ambulante cubana  12/18/2015 Yusnaby Post: "La cuentapropista y miembro de la opositora Unión Patriótica de Cuba (UNPACU) explicó que “la agente de la PNR me ordenó que tenía que retirarme de mi lugar de venta porque yo estaba vendiendo productos no autorizados. Le demostré que mi licencia respaldaba la venta de todos los artículos que yo ofertaba; pero ella me dijo que no discutiera y que cumpliera la orden”. Fernández Guzmán refiere que “apenas Rebeca comenzó su protesta, la agente de la PNR arremetió contra ella con una violencia absolutamente injustificada, donde se apreciaba un odio inconcebible contra una mujer respetuosa y pacífica, que escasamente pesa 39 kilogramos y tiene casi 50 años de edad. ¡Es una vergüenza!”."

Clandestina: A way of creating “99% Cuban design”  12/1/2015 On Cuba: "In February of 2015, when the store and design studio Clandestina opened its doors a few blocks from the Capitolio, Idania del Río and Leire Fernández had set out to create a design boutique right in the middle of Old Havana, with San Sebastian, New York and Paris as references."

Startup Weekend Havana, oportunidad para el emprendimiento en Cuba  11/10/2015 On Cuba: "Al primer Startup Weekend Havana llegaron jóvenes emprendedores de La Habana, algunos desarrolladores, especialistas en marketing, programadores, diseñadores, todos con la idea de aportar y vivir un momento único y naciente en Cuba. Desde el viernes en la tarde el Hotel Panorama fue espacio de consultas, de intercambio y sala de trabajo de los ocho equipos seleccionados para presentar un proyecto final de startups."

Startup Weekend Havana, opportunity for entrepreneurship in Cuba  11/9/2015 On Cuba: "At the first Startup Weekend Havana came young entrepreneurs from Havana, some developers, marketing specialists, programmers, designers, all with the idea of ??contributing and living a unique and nascent moment in Cuba. From Friday afternoon the Panorama Hotel was a space of consultation, exchange and work room of the eight teams selected to present a final project of startups."

Cuban foreign investment portfolio: more than 200 projects and nearly nine billion dollars  10/28/2015 Cuba Contemporanea: "It includes projects linked with the fields of pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, agricultural food, construction and renewable energy, among others, which are found in all provinces and in the special municipality of Isla de la Juventud, said the Vice-President of the Council of Ministers, Marino Murillo Jorge, in the meeting, in which President Raúl Castro participated."

Viajeros de Estados Unidos impulsan turismo en Cuba  9/13/2015 El Economista de Cuba: "Ni los cálculos más optimistas luego del restablecimiento de relaciones diplomáticas entre Washington y La Habana, anunciado el 17 de diciembre pasado por los presidentes Barack Obama y Raúl Castro, permitían pensar en tan voraz apetito de viajeros norteamericanos por la Isla. Sorprendente es poco. Según cifras confiables facilitadas a Excelencias News Cuba por el profesor de la Facultad de Turismo de la Universidad de La Habana, José Luis Perelló-Cabrera, del 1 de enero al 2 de septiembre llegaron a Cuba 100 703 ciudadanos de Estados Unidos."

El 31% de los jóvenes en Cuba trabaja en el sector no estatal  9/8/2015 El Economista de Cuba: "El 31 por ciento de los jóvenes empleados en Cuba, más de 1.5 millones, trabajaba en el sector no estatal y el resto, un 76 por ciento, desempeñaba ocupaciones laborales estatales al cierre de 2014, según datos oficiales."

Cuba: Avalancha de turistas no se detiene  9/6/2015 El Economista de Cuba: "La avalancha de turistas no para. Al cierre del pasado mes, el crecimiento en la llegada de visitantes internacionales registraba un 17 por ciento por encima de enero-julio de 2014. Dicho de otra manera, en los pasados siete meses estuvieron por aquí 318 423 personas más que en iguales días del año anterior."

Otorgarán créditos a trabajadores por cuenta propia sin pedir garantías  9/6/2015 El Economista de Cuba: "Sin necesidad de presentar garantía, los cuentapropistas podrán solicitar hasta 10 000 pesos en crédito, nuevo producto aprobado por el Banco Popular de Aho­rro (BPA) para incentivar el uso del financiamiento externo en el creciente sector económico."

Looking for where to advertise or buy something in Cuba?  9/4/2015 Havana Times: "Over the last decade, classified ads have been the pioneers in the rebirth of publicity in Cuba. The increasing number of websites dedicated to classifieds or “Lists” of offers and demands in dozens of service and product categories is advertising’s most popular appearance. For now we’re going to have a look at the most popular sites, describing each one of them and their establishment, in the cases where dates are given, objectives and other details."

Influyente compañía de lobby estadounidense pone los ojos en Cuba  9/4/2015 Cuba Contemporanea: "Akin Gump, la mayor firma de lobby en Washington en términos de ingresos, está lanzando un nuevo servicio dedicado a asesorar a sus clientes en torno a las nuevas políticas y regulaciones relacionadas con el reciente mejoramiento de las relaciones entre Estados Unidos y Cuba."

Algunas observaciones al Informe de Stratfor “Cuba, un potencial de prosperidad"  8/6/2015 Misceláneas de Cuba: "La importancia de Cuba para Estados Unidos es básicamente la que tiene para los dos millones de ciudadanos de Estados Unidos de origen cubano. Poco más."

In Cuba, a Potential for Prosperity  8/5/2015 Stratfor: "Thanks to the diplomatic thaw, the Cuban tourism sector is on the rise. Tourist traffic to the island is up 15 percent compared with the same period last year, with around 1.7 million people visiting in the first five months of 2015. Moreover, each of the first five months has seen a double-digit increase in visitors — many of whom are coming from the United States. For May that number jumped 21 percent. Perhaps not coincidentally, Cuba's economic performance in the first half of 2015 registered a growth of 4.7 percent, which shows a reversal of the downward trend between 2013 and 2014. Now Cuba's economy is projected to grow 4 percent this year, largely driven by the construction and agriculture sectors. That is almost four times its growth rate in 2014, the fastest climb Cuba has seen since 2008."

Florida and the end of the embargo  8/1/2015 OnCuba: "In any case, some sectors of Florida’s economy would benefit immediately if the embargo were lifted—the transport industry, for example. Just imagine if Cuba were to enter the dynamic of the international market, based on Florida ports and interaction with the Mariel Development Zone. Three major maritime ports exist in Florida: Miami, the most important point for commerce between Latin America and the United States; Tampa, the Gulf of Mexico port closest to western Cuba; and Jacksonville, one of Europe’s ports of entry to the United States. Most analysts agree that Cuban tobacco and rum could occupy a fundamental place in U.S. consumption; we could also suppose that Florida companies would distribute those products. Recently there was talk of ferries operating between Florida and Cuba, and in conditions of normal relations, they would be a very effective mode of transport between the two coasts."

Relaunching Direct Foreign Investment in Cuba  8/1/2015 OnCuba: One promising initiative has been the Mariel Special Development Zone, for generating exports and replacing imports; transferring cutting-edge technology, know-how, and abilities related to business management; creating jobs and developing infrastructure for contributing to economic progress; creating a logistics system that will facilitate high levels of efficiency in the import, export and production processes; stimulating the formation of national and foreign companies; and, logically, articulating these companies with the rest of the economy."

Wi-Fi technology with big acceptance in Camagüey  7/30/2015 Adelante: "The opening of two points for Internet navigation by means of Wi-Fi in this city, and the reduction of the quota per hour of 4.50 cuc to 2.00 cuc, has had big success among the Camagüeyans."

IMO in Cuba: Shortening Distances Between Relatives  7/30/2015 OnCuba: "According to Antonio Aja, researcher at the University of Havana’s Center for Demographic Studies (CEDEM), one out of every three Cubans has a relative living abroad. The installation of Wi-Fi areas across Cuba (35 in total so far) therefore becomes doubly important. Photo: Eric Yanes On the one hand, it broadens Internet access on the island, even though the cost is still too high: two CUC ($2.25 USD) for an hour, charged a population whose average monthly salary is a little over 20 CUC."

Stonegate Bank-Cuba Agreement will reduce transaction costs  7/25/2015 OnCuba: "In the difficult art of coming to an understanding with Cuban institutions, a couple of elements have worked in Stonegate Banks’s favour. The most important is probably the bank’s step forward in responding to a request of the Department of State in early 2015, when they were looking for a bank willing to provide services to the Cuban Interests Section in Washington, at a time when that diplomatic mission was sort of “untouchable”, financially speaking, in U.S. territory."

Bloqueo entorpece reincorporación de Cuba a instituciones financieras internacionales, asegura exsecretario de comercio  7/16/2015 Cubadebate: "El exsecretario de Comercio de Estados Unidos, Carlos Gutiérrez, reconoció que el bloqueo a Cuba entorpece el apoyo que la Casa Blanca pudiera dar a su reincorporación a organismos crediticios internacionales. En declaraciones citadas hoy por Progreso semanal y otras publicaciones, el exfuncionario señala que la isla deberá iniciar un proceso de reinserción en los principales organismos económicos multilaterales como el Banco Mundial (BM), el Fondo Monetario Internacional (FMI) o el Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo (BID)."

Una iniciativa plástica  7/12/2015 Granma: "Llueva, truene o relampaguee, los socios de la cooperativa no agropecuaria La Esperanza necesitan disponer cada mes de ocho toneladas de dese­chos plásticos en sus almacenes, una ecuación muy simple que han venido aquilatando de manera metódica a lo largo de un año de vida como asociación."

Turismo de cruceros se dispara en Cuba tras deshielo con EEUU  7/9/2015 El Universal: "El turismo de cruceros registró un fuerte repunte en 2015 en Cuba, tras el anuncio del deshielo diplomático con Estados Unidos, llegando a 174 visitas de buques y más de 62.000 pasajeros entre enero y mayo, informó este jueves el Ministerio de Transporte… En todo 2014, un buen año en comparación con los anteriores, se registraron 139 escalas con 37.519 pasajeros, según el Ministerio, que destacó que cruceros de una naviera italiana comenzarán a llegar a Cuba."

Western Union Breaks U.S. TV Ads Filmed in Cuba  7/9/2015 Ad Age: "Western Union is pushing money transfers to Cuba in a new series of TV spots produced on the island, which was recently opened to U.S. travel and business. The two Spanish-language ads are among the first to be filmed in Cuba by an American-based company since the 1962 U.S. embargo."

Commodity leaders explore Cuba grain market  7/9/2015 Iowa Farmer Today: "Nine farmer leaders and staff members from the U.S. Grains Council (USGC), the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) and the North Dakota Barley Council (NDBC) traveled to Cuba this past month to see opportunities for expanding U.S. coarse grain exports if trade is fully normalized with the island nation."

“Ave Fénix”: apoyar el emprendimiento en Cuba  6/18/2015 Negra Cubana: "Nos interesa estimular el emprendimiento en las personas negras y mestizas en Cuba, para promover la creación de pequeñas empresas y la realización de trabajo por cuenta propia, dentro del marco legal existente en el país, teniendo en cuenta la nueva Ley de Inversión Extranjera. Intentaremos gestionar recursos motivando a personas y entidades afines, interesados en efectuar préstamos a bajos intereses para estas actividades económicas y/o en forma de donaciones."

“Ave Fenix”: supporting entrepreneurship in Cuba  6/18/2015 OnCuba: "We want to encourage entrepreneurship in the black and mixed blood people in Cuba to promote small business creation and implementation of self-employment within the existing legal framework in the country, taking into account the new Foreign Investment Law. We are trying to manage resources to motivate people and related entities interested in making low-interest loans to these economic activities and / or in the form of grants."

¿Quién está detrás de Engage Cuba?  6/17/2015 El Mundo: "Se presenta como un grupo de presión sin partido que promueve el fin del embargo económico a la isla comunista. Pero detrás de 'Engage Cuba' se encuentran poderosos intereses económico y financieros cuyo único objetivo es ampliar sus negocios. Al grupo lo respaldan empresas gigantes, como la agroindustrial Cargill, la distribuidora de productos para el hogar Procter&Gamble y la constructora de maquinaria pesada Caterpillar, y al frente está el abogado y cabildero James Williams, quien, al mismo tiempo, es director del 'súper' Comité de Acción Política 'New Cuba'."

Major U.S. companies support new group that will lobby to lift sanctions against Cuba  6/16/2015 Miami Herald: "Cargill, Procter & Gamble, Caterpillar, and other major U.S. companies have thrown their support behind Engage Cuba, a bipartisan coalition that formally began operating out of the nation’s capital this week and will focus on lobbying Congress to lift restrictions on travel and trade with Cuba."

Google testing the waters in Cuba  6/13/2015 Politico: "The visit coincides with the six-month anniversary of President Obama’s announcement of a thaw in relations with Cuba, including the loosening of sanctions that, said Obama, “have denied Cubans access to technology.” Those who have paid close attention to Cuba since the thaw describe an exuberance over the quick flowering of technology tempered in short order by the realization that the island of 11 million lacks the networks, both land-based and wireless, needed to support modern devices. Without those networks, many technologies are little more than paperweights."

Cuba’s Web Entrepreneurs Search for U.S. Clients, and Reliable Wi-Fi  6/10/2015 NYT: "And ever since the United States in February authorized Americans to import goods and services from Cuban entrepreneurs for the first time in half a century, they have their eyes on America as well."

How will financial ties with Cuba change now that it’s off the terrorism list?  5/30/2015 PBS: "CARLA ROBBINS: It means more than anything else, that U.S. banks can have relations with Cuban banks, which will make it much easier to follow through on the easing of financial relations that Obama is promoting, and the Cubans said it was the biggest precondition for reestablishing direct diplomatic relations and opening the embassies."

What we know about Cuba’s economy  5/28/2015 Pew Research: "According to a survey conducted in March and published in The Washington Post, 79% of Cubans said they were dissatisfied with the country’s economic system; 70% said they wanted to start their own business. Nearly two-thirds of Cubans (64%) said normalizing relations with the U.S. would change the economic system, though only 37% thought the political system would change. With so much change in the air, we decided to work our way as best we could through the data difficulties to put together a primer on what we know, and don’t know, about the Cuban economy."

Cuba - Figuring Out Pieces Of The Puzzle  5/27/2015 ZeroHedge: "One way that the standard of living of Cubans is being reduced because of Cuba’s financial problems is by cutbacks in the types of goods being subsidized. Also the quantities and prices are being affected, but the average wage of $20 month remains unchanged."

Cuban First Vice President Says Use of Modern Technologies is Crucial for the Country  5/23/2015 Adelante: "He referred to the urgent automation of production processes to achieve the rational use of available labor, bearing in mind the progressive aging of the Cuban population."

Lo que acordaron los franceses y cubanos  5/14/2015 Havana Times: "Francia quiere intensificar sus intercambios comerciales con la isla, que en 2014 se cifraron en 180 millones de euros, algo inferior a la del año anterior y alejada de los flujos que mantiene con otros socios europeos como España, Holanda o Italia. Jean-Francois Lepy, director comercial de Soufflet, corporación líder francesa en la exportación de granos, dijo que su empresa ha estado 30 años establecida en Cuba. Los principales ejecutivos del grupo Pernod-Ricard, comercializador de los rones Havana Club con ventas que aumentan cada año y son del orden de cuatro millones de cajas, también dieron cuenta de sus éxitos en este mercado. Por otra parte, el grupo Accor anunció la construcción de un nuevo hotel de lujo en la Isla y la aerolínea Air France dijo tener la intención de aumentar sus actuales 14 vuelos semanales."

Diplomats, business people flood Cuba amid warmer US ties  5/10/2015 AP: "Top diplomats from Japan, the European Union, Italy, the Netherlands and Russia have visited the island in recent months in bids to stake out or maintain ties with an island that suddenly looks like a brighter economic prospect amid warming U.S.-Cuba relations. On Sunday night, Francois Hollande becomes the first French president to ever visit communist Cuba, bringing along five ministers and two dozen business people, including the heads of Pernod-Ricard, Cuba's partner in exporting Havana Club rum, and grain exporter Soufflet."

Engage Cuba Advocates Normal U.S.-Cuba Relations  4/27/2015 OnCuba: "James Williams will be president of Engage Cuba, an advocacy group that will be launched in May to get as many votes as possible in Congress in favour of normalizing relations with Cuba. The organization has been described by The Wall Street Journal as “a group of heavy-hitting political operatives” who are “setting up a new campaign to press Congress to repeal the long-standing trade and travel embargo with Cuba.”"

Las barras y las estrellas aparecen por toda Cuba  4/24/2015 El Financiero: "Muchos cubanos se emocionan con los potenciales beneficios económicos y sociales que podrían traer las renovadas relaciones entre Estados Unidos y Cuba”, dijo Marc D. Perry, un antropólogo en la Universidad de Tulane, quien estudia las tendencias sociales cubanas. “Se trata del actual y popular 'zeitgeist’ de Cuba, por así decirlo, y estas expresiones culturales lo reflejan”."

The Americans are coming: Cuba prepares for an invasion of art dealers  4/13/2015 Independent: “Most of us are expecting that for the Biennial there will be an explosion of American collectors coming to buy,” explains Mario González. “It should be a stampede.”

The Price of State Classifieds in Cuba  4/10/2015 Havana Times: "We could conclude that a normal ad could easily cost between 10 and 20 CUC, that is to say, the monthly wages of a regular Cuban worker. That is the offer made by AIN, which, in addition to operating this juicy business, will also sell a printed version of the magazine at 3 Cuban pesos."

Biofarmacéutica y servicios médicos en Cuba: motor de exportaciones y desarrollo  4/5/2015 Cuba a Contraluz: "Una industria que lideran el grupo empresarial BioCubaFarma* y la empresa Servicios Médicos Cubanos (SMC), que aporta anualmente unos 6000 millones de dólares a la economía cubana y -tan importante como eso- ensaya y genera constantemente novedosos y efectivos medicamentos en campos de impacto creciente como el cáncer o las enfermedades infecciosas, tiene sin dudas que despertar el interés -económico, científico, social y humano- a nivel internacional."

Opportunity Knocks at Cuba's Door  4/3/2015 #CubaNow: "Following last month’s news that direct calls between the U.S. and Cuba would resume for the first time in years, another entry into the Cuban marketplace stands to boost Cuban entrepreneurs in a major way. Airbnb, a U.S.-based website that allows people to rent their homes, announced this week that they would be expanding into Cuba. As we write in today’s blog post, this move is bigger than you might think: “One of the other more positive effects is the increased demand this will create for expanding Internet service in Cuba. While some might have initially scoffed at the idea of a streaming service like Netflix expanding to the Island, services like these will better allow Americans to engage with the Cuban people while building pressure for the kinds of investments that will bring Cuba into the 21st century."

Fox News Latino: How a Hashtag Helped Thaw U.S.-Cuba Relations  3/25/2015 #CubaNow: "At LabMiami, a technology business incubator located in Miami’s trendy Wynwood neighborhood, Ric Herrero wages a national campaign using traditional and social media that has played a significant role in thawing frosty relations between the United States and Cuba. As executive director of #CubaNow, Herrero is the public face of an organization backed by prominent Cuban-American businessmen in Miami who want to end the embargo…"

Blacks in Cuba are poised to make gains  3/7/2015 Miami Herald: "Black Cubans, who by all measurable accounts have borne the brunt of the damage wreaked by the regime, are well positioned to finally savor their rightful — and so far elusive — share. By essentially heaping misery and squalor on the entire population and thus somewhat “leveling the playing field,” the Cuban Revolution has given Cubans of color, for the first time, the ability to compete academically, culturally and socially with their white compatriots. It is not an accident that a good percentage of the most prominent dissidents in the island are people of color."

Inaugurarán nuevas salas de acceso público a Internet en Santiago de Cuba  2/28/2015 Sierra Maestra: "Cinco salas para el acceso al servicio público a Internet y la creación de cuentas de correo electrónico internacional (nauta), serán puestas a disposición de la población santiaguera a partir de hoy por la Dirección Provincial de los Joven Club de Computación y Electrónica, de conjunto con la División Territorial de ETECSA. Según información ofrecida por directivos de la empresa de Telecomunicaciones, las nuevas salas se ubican en los municipios de San Luis, Contramaestre, Mella, Guamá y II Frente."

Cuban cooperatives present a new economic model  2/25/2015 PRI: "The cooperatives are seen by some as a way of opening the country up to capitalism and privatization while maintaining some of the revolution’s collectivist ideals. And so far, Cubans seem to like them. For the first time in decades, these enterprises give workers a stake in their success, and allow their members to take home the money they earn."

Cuba’s Tech Start-up Sector: ‘People Are Hungry to Work’  2/24/2015 Wharton: "Even in university, when he finally had access to the Internet, Pimienta, now 27, was limited to 20 megabytes per month of data — a small fraction of what fits on a thumb drive today. Yet, in 2013 when PayPal hosted its first-ever global hackathon competition in San Jose, Calif., with a $100,000 purse, Pimienta and two partners placed third for developing a peer-to-peer lending app called LoanPal."

CUBAN ENTREPRENEURS CAN SELL EVERYTHING FROM SHOES TO SOAP IN THE UNITED STATES  2/23/2015 The Cuban Economy: "The State Department says its new rules will encourage private Cuban entrepreneurs to develop products for export. While all live animals and animal products are prohibited, raw hides, skins, leather, furs, saddlery and harnesses, handbags, and travel goods are allowed. So are paper products, plastics and rubber articles, ceramics, glass and glassware, articles of stone, plaster and cement; footwear, hats, umbrellas, toys and games, artificial flowers and feathers. Independent entrepreneurs who make soap, cosmetics, candles, waxes and polishes, perfume or photographic or cinematographic goods are also in the clear. Jewelry makers, including those who work with pearls and precious and semiprecious stones, also got a green light as did producers of cutlery and tools."

The Cuban economy and Obama’s new policy  2/12/2015 OnCuba: "Even without eliminating the embargo, the announced measures could begin to gradually benefit the Cuban economy. Some effects will be more direct and tangible and will be appreciable in tendencies of tourism, remittances and goods and services that arrive in Cuba from the United States, while other effects will be more indirect, depending on what kind of signal is sent to the international economic and financial community and the restoration of U.S.-Cuba relations."

Conexion Miami / Florida farming fears Cuba  2/10/2015 Progreso Weekly: "“Forty-nine state farm bureaus support the lifting of the embargo, but Florida does not,” William Messina, University of Florida agricultural economist, told The Palm Beach Post. The explanation: Florida has a lot to lose if Cuba begins sending fruits, vegetables and sugar here where the same crops are grown. Cuba and Florida have similar subtropical climates and both produce sugar cane, fruit and winter vegetables. Goes to show you… We’re of the belief that a little competition is good."

Russian diplomat in Cuba for talks on investment projects  2/8/2015 Progreso Weekly: "Among the projects discussed were the construction of four power plants with a total output of 800 megawatts, improvements to the José Martí iron-and-steel works in Havana, and the participation of the Russian oil giant Zarubezhneft in the offshore exploration for crude. The commission will meet again in April in Kazan, Tatarstan, to discuss those projects further, the Russian visitor said."

AmEx plans to begin activities in Cuba  1/27/2015 Progreso Weekly: "Last week MasterCard announced that it would allow its cardholders to use the credit card in Cuba. This as a result of President Obama’s decision to establish diplomatic relations with the island after more than 50 years of animosity. The latest economic giant to jump into the fray is American Express which said it could begin operations in Cuba. No specifics as to dates, etc. were offered."

Cuba: las desigualdades se tornan visibles  1/15/2015 Nueva Sociedad: por Katrin Hansing / Uwe Optenhögel - "Tal vez la dirigencia necesita una mayor audacia y confianza en la propia población para que no se convierta en realidad la advertencia profética realizada por Fidel Castro en 2005, cuando dijo: «La Revolución solo puede ser derrotada desde adentro»."

Beyond the Rhetoric: What the U.S. Can Learn from Ole Cuba  1/12/2015 Thy Black Man: "Cuba has some of the best civil engineers and construction managers in the world. I have witnessed some of their projects being built on every continent of the world. Their work is excellent, affordable and reliable. It would be great if many of our Black businesses would joint venture with them and take on projects around the world as they do. There is nothing we could not build. As our new relationship builds, such activity can become a reality. This would build Black business capacity in this nation and create jobs by the millions. Yes, Cuba could greatly help us to get around the racial adversity that we face in this current economy."

The US-Cuba agreement in five major economic issues  12/27/2014 OnCuba: "Part of Obama´s reforms will allow US telecommunications firms to start working with Cuba to expand its communications infrastructure, which will help Cuban economy and will set the basis for financial transactions more sophisticated in the future."

Rosita: Una mujer con el emprendimiento en los genes  12/23/2014 Negra Cubana: "Si las circunstancias históricas, políticas e ideológicas (la revolución marxista-leninista, la caída del campo socialista), si la situación económica (mejoramiento durante épocas, empeoramiento en otras), o el nivel de instrucción (que se mantiene elevado desde 1959) no consiguen justificar completamente la persistencia de desigualdades raciales en Cuba, ¿dónde hallar explicaciones a este fenómeno? "

Speech by Cuban President Raul Castro on re-establishing U.S.-Cuba relations  12/18/2014 Progreso Weekly 

Transcript: Obama’s remarks on U.S.-Cuba relations  12/18/2014 Progreso Weekly 

Obama Announces New US Approach on Cuba  12/17/2014 Havana Times: "Remittance levels will be raised from $500 to $2,000 per quarter for general donative remittances to Cuban nationals (except to certain officials of the government or the Communist party); and donative remittances for humanitarian projects, support for the Cuban people, and support for the development of private businesses in Cuba will no longer require a specific license. Remittance forwarders will no longer require a specific license."

Se acabó el bloqueo contra Cuba  12/17/2014 Progreso Semanal: "Con declaraciones de Raúl Castro y Barack Obama comienza hoy una nueva era en las relaciones entre Cuba y EE.UU. El cambio ha comenzado con un gesto humanitario que podría indicar el sentido de las políticas entre ambos países en los próximos meses. Alan Gross ya está en EE.UU., los tres cubanos, Gerardo, Ramón y Antonio, ya están en Cuba. Todavía queda un camino por recorrer en el Congreso para dar marcha atrás a leyes y normas que han impedido durante más de 50 años unas relaciones entre Cuba y EE.UU. constructivas para ambos pueblos, pero el camino ya ha sido señalado por los dos gobiernos. Estamos asistiendo al comienzo del fin del bloqueo contra Cuba."

GRADUAL AVANCE DE LA TELEVISIÓN DIGITAL EN CUBA  12/16/2014 UNEAC: "La Televisión Digital en la Isla avanza con paso firme hacia el objetivo final de lograr que, para e 2021, se produzca el Apagón Analógico. De esta manera el Instituto de Investigaciones y Desarrollo de Telecomunicaciones (LACETEL) dio a conocer los planes y proyectos que para 2015 se prevén implementar en aras de lograr una mejor optimización de esa señal en todo el país."

US-Saudi Subterfuge Send Stocks and Credit Reeling: The Oil Coup  12/16/2014 CounterPunch 

Los ajustes económicos del Gobierno agravan la marginación de negros y mestizos, advierten activistas  12/15/2014 Diario de Cuba: "Los negros y mestizos cubanos han quedado marginados en las reformas económicas puestas en marcha por el Gobierno de Raúl Castro y su situación en un eventual escenario de transición podría ser, una vez más, la menos favorecida. Estas fueron dos de las alertas lanzadas por los participantes en la cuarta edición del "Foro Raza y Cubanidad. Cuba, pasado, presente y futuro", auspiciado por el independiente Comité Ciudadanos por la Integración Racial (CIR) y celebrado en La Habana entre el 11 y el 13 de diciembre."

The digitalization of society, a priority for Cuba  12/15/2014 Granma: "Efforts to advance Cuba’s connectivity have been directed toward the development of telecommunications infrastructure capacity, with the purpose of strengthening social connectivity, and developing automated operations in strategic sectors. The trial balloon has been the opening of 154 Public Navigation Centers, distributed throughout the nation."

The sad story of Cuban transportation  11/24/2014 OnCuba: "There are few sectors in Cuba that have accumulated so much inefficiency for many years as the public transportation. Things didn’t work well even in the time of plenty, when Soviet aid was counted by billions and oil was paid with sugar. Even the humor reflects this. Before Cuba entered the crisis of the 90s already a banner showed the painting of a Cuban bus packed with scenes of Guernica, Pablo Picasso´s painting representing chaos in a Basque village after the bombing of Nazi aviation."

OnCuba presented its communication platform in FIHAV2014  11/8/2014 OnCuba: "The richness of Cuban culture, events that mark the history of the country, the economic, the daily life and traditions, are topics of interest for OnCuba that continues to put its eyes on Cubans. More than just magazines, OnCuba is a communication platform that functions as a sort of bridge between the so-called two shores. During the afternoon yesterday in FIHAV 2014, in the Business Round Room at Expocuba Fairground, the presentation of the communication platform and exhibition of projects and updated statistics from its president Hugo Cancio, took place."

Cuba unveils foreign-investment portfolio  11/7/2014 Progreso Weekly: "The big news at the 2014 Havana International Fair was the launching of the Portfolio of Opportunities for Foreign Investment. During the process of approval of Law 118 [on Foreign Investment], the authorities stressed the pertinence of that document, explaining that in the past any foreign businessman could come and tell us what he wanted, without a well-defined counterproposal. The principal benefit of the Portfolio is that it indicates a truly proactive stance on the part of Cuba, indicating clearly where and how investments should be directed."

Cuban Medical Services presents seven lines of business at FIHAV  11/6/2014 OnCuba: "The Distributor of Cuban Medical Services Company (SMC by its Spanish acronym) gave an updated account of its operations during the past year during FIHAV 2014 event where it is participating for the fourth consecutive year. The seven lines of business that give prestige to the company responsible for the promotion of health services in Cuba in the world were exposed by Dr. Exposito Lliliam Jimenez, president of the organization. The doctor explained that the business portfolio is based on sustained success for decades of the Cuban health system as a result of principles and values of humanity, solidarity and a fundamental concern for having the highest ethical and scientific standards for workers, who constitute the fundamental bulwark of Cuban medicine."

Corruption and its Weeding Out  11/6/2014 OnCuba: "The Comptroller’s Office is making a huge effort, but it is pitted against a silent army of corrupt and/or inept officials united by common financial interests. They protect and rescue one another as they are “busted.” This is why the Comptroller’s Office complains that some of the inept officials who are dismissed reappear six months later as managers in just another company. Their mutual aid network reaches far back in history, having emerged as a means of skirting regulations against nepotism. Official X cannot give his son or wife a good job where they work, so official Y gives them a good position in his place of work. In exchange, X repays Y by hooking up his relatives and friends with jobs where one can get one’s hand on hard currency, trips and gasoline."

Cuba: Emprendedoras rurales intercambian saberes  11/5/2014 Semlac: "Desde cómo organizar un negocio hasta trucos para la artesanía, la siembra de hortalizas, cría de animales y cultivo de plantas exóticas compartieron mujeres emprendedoras durante la "Jornada Internacional de Economía Rural y Derechos Económicos de las Mujeres", celebrada en el hotel Panorama, en La Habana, del 27 al 29 de octubre."

Asian De-Dollarization Explodes: South Korean Renminbi Deposits Surge 55-Fold In A Year  10/9/2014 Zero Hedge: "According to data from South Korean banks, the proportion of foreign currency deposits held in renminbi was 0.4% at the end of 2012. That number reached 13.7% at the end of last year, while at the end of July this year the renminbi accounted for 25.9% of all foreign currency deposits in South Korea. That’s an incredible, exponential increase."

Trabajo comunitario cubano se abre al enfoque de derechos  10/7/2014 IPS: "Los llamados "llega y pon", observados al menos en Holguín, Santiago de Cuba y Matanzas, son la expresión más dura de la persistencia y crecimiento de la pobreza en Cuba, que califica de "con amparo" porque el gobierno socialista garantiza acceso gratuito a la salud y educación junto a otras asistencias sociales."

As the Dollar Fades, Russia and Other BRICs Benefit  10/3/2014 Russia Insider: "An article in The Financial Times recently quoted Jan Dehn, head of research at Ashmore, an emerging markets investment manager, as saying: “I’ll eat my hat if the renminbi isn’t the strongest currency on the planet over the next 10 years.” Indeed, as the renminbi strengthens, Brics will be the one to gain - and Russia will most certainly be one of the big winners of dropping the dollar and adopting the rouble or the renminbi as its trade currency."

Cooperative Farm in Camagüey, the First in Cuba to Deliver 1 m. Liters of Milk in 2014  10/2/2014 Radio Cadena Agramonte: "Small farmers at the “Niceto Pérez” Credit and Service Cooperative (CCS) farm near the village of Camalote, in northern Camagüey, were the first in Cuba who delivered one million liters of raw milk to the industry in 2014, a figure that they have reached for eight consecutive years."

Modern cruise terminal will be built in Cienfuegos  9/28/2014 OnCuba: "The Ministry of Transportation will invest in a modern cruise terminal at the port of Cienfuegos, which is thought of as “something big, something at world level,” announced José Enrique Gonzalez, an officer at the Ministry of Tourism (MINTUR) in the Pearl of the South. In August, more than 30 luxury ships had called at the ports of the center and south of Cuba, which means the largest number of cruise ship arrivals since the start of this type of tourism on the island in 1996."

Cuba approves 498 non-agricultural cooperatives in the last year  9/20/2014 Fox News Latino: "The Cuban government approved 498 non-agricultural cooperatives since the first 124 were created a year ago as a new model of economic enterprise, Cabinet secretary Homero Acosta said. Of the 498 approved, 283 are now in business, chiefly in the sectors of restaurants and related services, Acosta said Friday in the closing speech of an international congress of attorneys held in Havana, according to a report by the official AIN news agency."

Cuentapropistas Refuse to be Deterred  9/17/2014 #CubaNow: "On Monday, an EFE article told the story of how gyms, bars, mobile phone repair shops, real estate, gift stores, photo studios and party organizers are sprouting up as independent small family businesses throughout the island. The article explains that the entrepreneurs behind these businesses are refusing to be deterred by the constraints and arbitrary restrictions imposed by the Cuban regime on ‘cuentapropistas.’ Not only that, but niche businesses like promotions, mobile phone apps, and IT support are all growing to provide services to this sector. As I argued in my op-ed for Diario De Cuba last week, while Castro’s government continues to find ways to tighten its own embargo over the Cuban people, we should be doing everything we can to expand the flow of contacts and resources from the American private sector to all driven and hard-working entrepreneurs, not just those with family abroad."

UK Hints At Next Reserve Currency, To Issue Chinese Yuan-Denominated Bond  9/15/2014 Zero Hedge: "As The USA attempts to corral its allies in a 'broad coalition', an increasing number of people - including domestic economic policy advisors - are shifting away from the USD as primary reserve currency. However, the move by British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, announced Friday, is likely the most notable yet in the world's de-dollarization. As Xinhua reports, the British government intend to be the first nation (ex-China) to issue Renminbi denominated bond and to use the proceeds to finance the government's reserves of foreign currency."

Cuba's Women Entrepreneurs Are On The Rise  8/29/2014 #CubaNow: "Cuba’s private entrepreneurs, or “cuentapropistas”, are focused on solving everyday problems. An impressive 29% of small businesses in the Island are run or operated by women who are transforming their own lives and their local communities. When compared to the 37% of businesses run by women worldwide, this emerging sector shows how entrepreneurship is becoming an increasingly important part of the Cuban reality today--one President Obama and Congress should allow all Americans to support."

In Cuba, entrepreneurial spirits sparkle  8/28/2014 USA Today 

"The Financial System Is Vulnerable," NYFed Asks "Could The Dollar Lose Its Reserve Status?"  8/20/2014 Zero Hedge: "When a tin-foil-hat-wearing blog full of digital dickweeds suggest the dollar's reserve currency status is at best diminishing, it is fobbed off as yet another conspiracy theory (yet to be proved conspiracy fact) too horrible to imagine for the status quo huggers. But when the VP of Research at the New York Fed asks "Could the dollar lose its status as the key international currency for international trade and international financial transactions," and further is unable to say why not, it is perhaps worth considering the principal contributing factors she warns of."

When The Money Runs Out... So Does The Empire  8/9/2014 Zero Hedge: "Empires are not the result of conscious thought; they happen when a group is large enough and powerful enough to impose itself on others. But empires are expensive. They are typically financed by theft and forced tribute. The imperial power conquers… steals… and then requires that its subjects pay “taxes” so that it can protect them. The US never got the hang of it. It conquers. But it loses money on each conquest. How does it sustain itself? With debt. It doesn’t take tribute from the rest of the world; it borrows from it. As far as we know, no other empire has ever tried to finance itself by borrowing. But it is a special kind of debt. The US borrows in its own currency – which it can print as it chooses. If the burden of repayment is too high, in theory, the Fed can just print more dollars to satisfy its obligations."

The Gold Market: An Analysis Of Recent Geopolitical, Economic And Banking Events  8/9/2014 Zero Hedge: "As Egon von Greyerz states in a new article, the manipulators (Western commercial banks and governments) have almost no physical gold left, and they are desperately trying to kill this bullish sentiment in the markets in order to keep investors from flocking to physical gold and silver, which would make demand explode, at a time when there’s no available physical gold at these artificially-low prices and, thus, no physical gold to insure the convertibility of millions of paper contracts owned by thousands of investors in physical gold. These last two attacks, at the most illiquid times of the day, constitute new evidence of blatant manipulation. GATA (Gold Anti Trust Action Committee) will gladly add these two new episodes to its long list of proofs it has been gathering for over a decade. And, without a doubt, BAFIN (German financial regulation organism) must have closely watched the price action on Monday and Tuesday. BAFIN has turned out, these last few months, to be the sole regulation agency paying attention to the price manipulation (certainly due to the United States’ refusal to repatriate even a small portion of their gold reserves), since its director stated that the gold market manipulation was much more important than LIBOR’s."

This Is How Putin's Advisor Sees The Ukraine Crisis Playing Out  8/9/2014 Zero Hedge: "To further insulate its economy, Russia should abandon the use of the U.S. dollar as a reserve currency, according to Glazyev. Russia, which international reserves are the world’s fifth-biggest, needs to diversify its holdings to include China’s yuan, India’s rupee and Brazil’s real. “If a country aspires to reserve status for its currency, it should behave properly, and that isn’t the case today,” Glazyev said. And this is how Putin sees the world. De-escalation? Good luck."

Russia’s food czar goes shopping in South America  8/7/2014 Progresso Weekly: "Ambassador Tettamanti, who assumed his post in March, told Dankvert that Argentina is ready to begin supplying Russia immediately, without waiting for the ICT summit. Dankvert also met Thursday with Ambassador Aníbal Cabral Segalerba of Uruguay, who expressed his government’s willingness to supply animal and vegetable food products to Russia in exchange for agricultural technology and equipment. Dankvert outlined Russia’s needs as Uruguayan beef, pork, lamb, seafood, dairy products, citrus fruits and vegetables. The export of live cattle was also mentioned.Segalerba informed Dankvert that Uruguay’s minister of Agriculture, Tabaré Aguerre Lombardo, will visit Moscow in September, at which time a formal agreement on cooperation may be finalized. Next on Dankvert’s list of visitors was Ecuadorean Ambassador Patricio Alberto Chávez Zavala, with whom Dankvert discussed increased exports of seafood, dairy products, fruits, vegetables and flowers. Dankvert said that the direct delivery of flowers, bypassing European middlemen, is of particular interest to him."

De-Dollarization Continues: Russian Oligarchs Shift Cash To Hong Kong Dollars On Sanctions Concerns  8/4/2014 Zero Hedge 

G-20 Revolt? France Gets "Positive Reception" To Challenge US Bank Fines  8/3/2014 Zero Hedge 

Institutional Changes of Cuba’s Economic Social Reforms  8/1/2014 Brookings: "Overall, Mesa-Lago concludes that institutional reforms in Cuba are advancing in a positive direction, albeit slowly. The most important of these so far has been the establishment of microcredit, bank accounts and wholesale markets for the non-state sector, and the sale of homes and establishment of inheritance rights for usufructuaries and home owners. However, key structural changes and components are still missing: integral price reform, elimination of monetary duality, a realistic exchange rate and bank system restructuring."

Resoluciones de la Aduana - Las medidas no quieren decir que las personas no puedan importar  7/18/2014 Granma: "Incomprensivas; alejadas de la realidad cubana; injustas, porque abarcan a infractores y a quienes no lo son; demasiado administrativas, por lo cual favorecerían al germen de la corrupción; incluso no acordes con algunas de las medidas implementadas en la actualización del modelo económico, como por ejemplo, el desarrollo de los trabajadores por cuenta propia."

Cuba hails Russia's economic support  7/13/2014 Zambia Post: "Receiving his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin for official talks at the Palace of the Revolution on Friday evening, President Castro said before Cuba ended up contracting the now cancelled US$35.2 billion debt, the communist island nation survived on financial support from the Soviet Union. He said the US$35.2 billion debt was an accumulation of loans from Moscow during the first 40 years after the triumph of the Revolution "without which the Cuban Revolution could not have survived."

Putin hails Cuba's "strategic" importance for Russia  7/12/2014 EFE: "Castro and Putin also presided over the signing of a package of 10 agreements and memoranda to expand bilateral cooperation, including accords on oil exploration signed by Russian state oil company Rosneft and Cuban counterpart Cupet. Putin later traveled Friday to Nicaragua for a previously unannounced visit, meeting in that Central American country with President Daniel Ortega."

Russia: Hoping Cuba Can Help Spur Trade with Latin America  7/10/2014 EurasiaNet 

The new realities of running a business in Cuba  7/2/2014 CSM: "“The Cuban government is afraid of losing subsidies from Venezuela and they are … turning to cooperatives to help fill the gap the state can’t provide,” says Christopher Sabatini, the senior director of policy at the Americas Society and Council of the Americas. “Decentralizing the economy will allow the government to earn money from taxes [from cooperatives], inject productivity into the lumbering, inefficient government, and sop up some of the thousands of employees that were recently let go by the state,” Mr. Sabatini says."

Entrepreneurs at World Oil Congress Interested in Cuban Opportunities  6/23/2014 Cuba Si: "Cuban deputy minister of Energy and Mining, Ruben Cid, said in Moscow that many Russian companies, which attended the 21st World Oil Congress, are interested in doing business with Cuba."

Cuba authorizes Internet access for emerging private companies  6/23/2014 Cuba Si: "The Cuban government has authorized the state telecom company to provide Internet access to the country’s budding private cooperatives, the Cuban News Agency reported Friday. Communications Minister Maimir Mesa Ramos instructed Etecsa to start the service on June 29, according to the news agency. Internet access will be provided via modems and only to the cooperative’s location, to avoid service being transferred to third parties."

“Ave Fénix”: apoyar el emprendimiento en Cuba  6/22/2014 OnCuba: "La situación actual de una parte importante de las personas negras y mestizas en Cuba, precisa concebir e implementar medidas económicas capaces de empoderar a las familias, como vía para la satisfacción de sus necesidades básicas. El apoyo a la creación de fuentes de empleo podría ser una medida efectiva para estimular tales procesos. En el contexto de la consolidación del trabajo por cuenta propia en Cuba, y teniendo en cuenta la reciente aprobación de la nueva Ley de Inversión Extranjera, la creación de proyectos de financiación figura como una vía concreta de ayuda al emprendimiento."

Cuba building seven more solar parks  6/19/2014 Cuba Standard 

“Ave Fénix”: apoyar el emprendimiento en Cuba  6/18/2014 OnCuba: "La situación actual de una parte importante de las personas negras y mestizas en Cuba, precisa concebir e implementar medidas económicas capaces de empoderar a las familias, como vía para la satisfacción de sus necesidades básicas. El apoyo a la creación de fuentes de empleo podría ser una medida efectiva para estimular tales procesos."

Bacardi chairman: Family split about embargo  6/16/2014 Cuba Standard: "Hinting that yet another Cuban American business dynasty may be softening its approach to Cuba, Bacardi Ltd. leader Facundo Bacardi told Cigar Aficionado magazine in an interview that his family has differences over U.S. embargo policies."

Executive of French Bank Forced to Retirement due to US's Anti-Cuba Policy  6/13/2014 ACN: "A top executive of France's BNP Paribas Bank has seen himself forced into retirement amidst a dispute involving a 10 billion dollar fine that Washington intends to impose on the financial institution in an extraterritorial action for having violated US sanctions against Cuba, Sudan and Iran. The French bank announced that Operations Chief Georges Chodron de Courcel will retire in September. "

Cuba Food Industry Cooperatives Feel Betrayed  6/6/2014 Havana Times 

The Role and Impact of Remittances on Small Business Development during Cuba’s Current Economic Reforms  6/1/2014 Desigualdades: by Katrin Hansing and Manuel Orozco - "This paper explores the extent to which Cuban remittance recipients are responding to the Cuban government’s current economic reforms which seek to incentivize entrepreneurial activities as an economic growth strategy and state liberalization policy. In so doing we hope to make some preliminary observations and recommendations about the potential role and impact of remittances in Cuba’s socio-economic development. It is based on an original survey conducted in Cuba in 2012."

We wish to support this vital and growing private sector in Cuba  5/30/2014 OnCuba: "Mr. Thomas J. Donohue, President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of the United States, is visiting Cuba for the second time. The organization that runs entirely autonomous and independent of the U.S. government represents 3 million businesses of the most diverse sectors."

Rusia en la búsqueda de petróleo cubano  5/28/2014 OnCuba 

Cuba’s Cooperatives “Without Papers”  5/20/2014 Havana Times 

Hundreds of Cooperative Make their Way in Cuban Economy  5/19/2014 CAN 

U.S. academics say Cuban reforms not going well  5/10/2014 Miami Herald: "But while up to 485,000 Cubans are reported to be licensed to work in low value-added jobs such as tailors and seamstresses, there are many constraints, Gonzalez-Corzo told the University of Miami’s Institute for Cuban and Cuban American Studies (ICCAS). An “onerous tax system” piles “taxes upon taxes upon taxes” that make it difficult for the new micro-enterprises and “confiscate the limited prosperity that people are generating,” he said. There’s a shortage of appropriate retail space needed for the new businesses, property rights remain largely unclear and government inspectors often look for bribes, the professor added. The cooperative sector is not doing as well as projected by the government, Gonzalez-Corzo said. And the average bank loan approved under a micro-credit program designed to help the private sector stands at about $55."

Mientras Washington lo piensa, Bruselas negocia con Cuba  5/5/2014 IPS Cuba: "España encabeza el intercambio comercial europeo con La Habana, con más de 1.156 millones de dólares en 2012. Sin embargo, fue justamente un gobierno conservador español, el de José María Aznar (1996-2004), el artífice de la llamada Posición Común que la UE adoptó en 1996 y que constituye para Cuba una injerencia en sus asuntos internos. Este tema no estuvo sobre la mesa en esta primera ronda de pláticas. A una pregunta de IPS, Leffler, de nacionalidad sueca, también aclaró que la UE no trajo condicionamientos políticos. “Si queremos negociar un acuerdo, no es muy constructivo venir con un punto inicial de condiciones e imposiciones”, afirmó."

Invertir en Cuba  5/1/2014 OnCuba: por Hugo Cancio

Habanos S.A. Marketing Director Leaves  4/23/2014 Cigar Aficionado: "[Afrodescendent] Ana López Garcia, the director of marketing operations for Cuba's tobacco monopoly, Habanos S.A., has left the company. In a short message, she told Cigar Aficionado she was leaving for "personal reasons." Her departure was confirmed by sources at Habanos. Lopez had spent nearly 40 years working in the Cuban cigar industry. She reported that she remembered dealing with Alejandro Robaina, the famous Cuban tobacco grower, and was the person who introduced him to the cigar that bore his name."

Expertas crean red sobre gestión, conocimiento e innovación con equidad de género  4/14/2014 SEMlac Cuba: "La Red cubana sobre gestión, conocimiento e innovación con equidad de género fue presentada el 10 de abril en la capital cubana, durante la celebración del taller "Construyendo equidad: estrategias para el cambio", convocado por la Empresa Gestión del Conocimiento y la Tecnología (Gecyt)."

Especialistas investigan cómo empoderar a mujeres cuentapropistas  4/14/2014 SEMlac Cuba: "La división sexual del trabajo por cuenta propia en Cuba motiva una investigación en curso para caracterizar el emprendimiento de las mujeres en el municipio capitalino Habana Vieja, uno de los más hacinados y con mayor índice de desigualdad económica de la capital cubana."

Struggling to Film in America’s Chokehold - Cuban Moviemakers Feeling Burden of U.S. Embargo  4/4/2014 NYT: "What hasn’t changed, however, are the financial and legal restrictions that make transferring money to Cuba illegal without a special license from the United States Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control." [Absolutely false, as all information products can be sold by Cubans to the US market without any license or government oversight whatsoever. See our Berman Amendment page.]

Cuba plans big tax breaks to lure foreign investors: official media  3/26/2014 Reuters 

In Cuba,U.S.embargo elicits a shrug  3/24/2014 Al Jazeera: "An economy in which the state was once the sole employer now includes a growing gray zone of private enterprises operating with the consent of the authorities. That reflects an effort by the communist leadership to stimulate an economy stunted by low growth, despite its relatively high human development index and bountiful government benefits. Only a small number of citizens have seen their living standards improve over the past two decades."

The Fanjul flak: Typical Miami schizophrenia  2/7/2014 Progreso 

Directo al bolsillo de Fanjul  2/6/2014 Cartas desde Cuba: "El conocido anticastrista Mauricio Claver-Carone amenazó al magnate azucarero Alfonso Fanjul con hacer campaña para que le retiren las subvenciones."

Magnate azucarero Alfonso Fanjul dispuesto ahora a invertir en Cuba bajo “circunstancias adecuadas”  2/2/2014 Progreso Semanal: "Pero el cambio de Fanjul es mucho más significativo. No solo él y su familia controlan una de las mayores operaciones de azúcar en el mundo, sino que también han estado entre los mayores donantes a grupos de activistas como la Fundación Nacional Cubano-Americana y el U.S.-Cuba Democracy PAC, que han sido defensores activos de las sanciones comerciales."

Sugar tycoon Fanjul open to investing in Cuba under ‘right circumstances’  2/2/2014 WaPo: "But the shift by Fanjul is far more significant. Not only do he and his family control one of the largest sugar operations in the world, but they also have been major donors to activist groups, such as the Cuban American National Foundation and the U.S.-Cuba Democracy PAC, that have been vocal advocates for trade sanctions."

Ordenanzas de la ciudad, otro “amarre” para los cuentapropistas?  1/17/2014 La Esquina de Lilith: "Significa, además, que posiblemente cientos de familias que apuntalaban la economía familiar con el alquiler de espacios de sus viviendas podrían quedarse sin esa entrada, sin contar con lo que significa para los propios cuentapropistas que, con la nueva ley para esa actividad, invirtieron en toldos, mesetas… Lo peor, no obstante, es la sensación de inestabilidad que, ahora mismo, ronda a quienes ejercen esa actividad que, cada año hasta ahora, se incrementado sus aportes al presupuesto nacional."

Alberto Jones Columns on the Cuban Economy

The Need to Speed up Changes in Oriente  12/7/2013

La Zona de Desarrollo del Mariel. Potencialidad y Riesgos.  25/11/2013

Guantánamo en nosotros 30/6/2013

- Guantánamo in us 6/30/2013

Cuba demanda un nuevo Baragua 20/6/2013

- Cuba demands another Baragua 6/20/2013

Podemos dejar perecer a Santiago de Cuba?, 24/11/12

New approach to deal with hurricane onslaught on Cuba,

Nuevo enfoque para tratar con los huracanes en Cuba,

Sandy´s trail of death and destruction, 11/26/12
An appeal for aid, Caribbean American Children

La senda de destrucción y muerte de Sandy, 26/12/2012
Un llamamiento de ayuda,
Fundación Caribeña Americana de los Niños.

Peligros e incertidumbre tras las nuevas regulaciones
aduanales, 9/14/2012

My Cuba. Summer of 2011, 11/24/11

Myopic policies hurts local economy, 6/6/11  

- The Entrenched Cuban Embargo, 10/19/09 

The Handling of the Cuban Housing Crisis
, 10/16/09

Cuba Financial Woes Risking its Future, while Sitting on 
Untapped Riches


Cuba: a Recession-Resistant Nation with a 
Failing Economy
, 7/25/09 With recommendations for
repair, including encouraging small business.

Preventing a second Special Period: 
an urgent imperative
, 11/15/08



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