With the recent passing of Fiedel Castro Cuba has been on the news a lot lately however the coverage was mostly on the enigmatic leader of this proud nation. During the course of our conversation we are going to focus more on the country itself and not the political issues the country faced since the middle of the late 20th century.
Cuba : Looking Beyond the Sun and Sand
The island nation has been a popular tourist destination for many decades even with the trade embargo implemented by the U.S.A there are people who naturally gravitate to the surf and sand especially during the long, cold Winters found in North America. While the weather and natural beauty is wonderful beneath the surface is a powder keg of economic energy that is just waiting to be unleashed. While we are not going to delve into the rights and wrongs of what the politicians are doing in Cuba we have to agree that the Cuban people are very industrious, they have been able to cope and thrive even with the limited financial resources that they are allowed to exploit.
Now that the USA is starting to normalise relations with Cuba it creates a world of opportunity for Cubans to do business and Americans to do business with them. One of the primary opportunities is the considerable amount of interest that people have in purchasing property in Cuba which may become a possibility with the change in leadership and favourable economic environment. Now before you board a plane to Havana there are some things you have to take into consideration before you go to Cuba.
Things to Bare in Mind Before Going to Cuba
While Cuba is very tourist friendly there are some truths you have to accept if you want to make the most of your time in the beautiful island nation. The people are very welcoming and hospitable but they are also economically disadvantaged so even though you are an average person in your home country to the average Cuban you are wealthy so do not showoff jewellery or other signs of economic affluence. There are many practical reasons to do this but the most obvious is to reduce the amount of temptation an individual may feel to steal from you. As we highlighted earlier the Cuban people are very respectable and honest but there are some who are in dire economic straits and do not see a tangible way out.
Doing Business in Cuba
One of the hottest topics is doing business in Cuba and for good reason, the Cuban consumer is hungry for products and services the majority of us take for granted. Something that we have to bare in mind is the economic potential is virtually untapped but the legal framework has yet to be established given the current state of political flux being experienced. Given the current situation it does create some excellent business opportunities for individuals who are willing to take the plunge but there are some important rules to follow which should help minimise your risks.
- Seek out a reputable law firm, while the political climate may be changing the laws will take time to reflect the new opportunities. One way you can mitigate these risks is by engaging the services of a reputable law firm who can help you make sense of things and protect your interest. Naturally you should make sure the law firm has a pristine reputation before you trust them with such important business matters.
- Finding a local Cuban to partner with is another important item to put on your “todo list” when trying to explore business opportunities in Cuba. A local will have intimate knowledge of what is really happening on the ground. By joining forces with someone who is from Cuba and understands the market your risks are greatly reduced but you have to make sure the partner you select is ethical and that takes time to foster.
- Since Cuba is relatively young from a political standpoint there are unknown risks that you have to factor into your risk profile before you can make any substantial investments in the country. You would not want to sink your entire fortune into a venture only to find out that the business is no longer able to function due to a change in the law.
Aside from the business opportunities there are many reasons to live in Cuba and a significant number of expatriates are making plans to move to Cuba. One major advantage is the weather but that is a given but another benefit is the cost of living which is very affordable when compared to what people in North America or Europe pay for food and housing.
While cost of living is affordable the quality of education is quite good to given the economic health of this beautiful island nation they produce some really smart, gifted individuals in the pure sciences not to mention the superior athletes that grace Major League Baseball.
Given all of the benefits that Cuba has to offer you really do need to give it another look if you have considered it in the past but was reluctant to take the plunge. At the very least you will never have to shovel snow again and that alone should be a compelling enough reason to book a ticket to Cuba now, just be sure to pack lots of beachwear, the temperature is always balmy even in the dark days of December.