Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Before you invest in Cuba.....remember it is a communist country!

Before you decide to check out Cuba, you may want to consider some reality about doing business in the communist island.   
Yes, you are doing business in a communist island, as these rules confirm (via Capitol Hill Cubans):
"Before you go rushing into a business venture on the island that was the communist outpost in the Cold War, you might want to have a talk with Ross Thompson at Classified Worldwide Consulting, which has an office in West Palm Beach. Thompson, the firm’s managing director, has a few caveats to share.

In particular, Thompson cautions that Cuba’s foreign investment and business laws present six key challenges that Americans need to think through ahead of time. They are:

1. The Cuban government will own a majority stake in the company.   A 49-51 percent split is common, but Havana has required a larger share in some sectors.

2. Your local workforce will be selected by the Cuban government.  This selection may not be based on skill or merit but by seniority or cronyism.

3. Cuban managers will be appointed to mirror your handpicked managers, especially if your senior leadership includes Cuban exiles.  The Cuban managers will ultimately control many decisions, or influence them, when dealing with your majority partner, the Cuban government.

4. Everything in Cuba is heavily influenced by Cuba’s intelligence service, the DGI.  You must be very careful to guard your own corporate proprietary information.

5. Vendors you may work with may be fronts, or “cutouts,” for other foreign intelligence services such as those from China, Russia, Iran or North Korea.  The capture and exchange of corporate confidential information is a lucrative business, so guard your files.

6. The Cuban government’s payment records and credit are poor.  This means your majority business partner essentially has bad credit, and could present challenges for you when raising capital or seeking contracts. However, it could also move you to the front of the line when dealing with countries that have been historically friendly to Cuba.
Furthermore, you may be investing in "stolen property", or assets that the regime stole from Cubans and US citizens.  Cuba has not respected foreign investment or property laws for years.
It may be better to wait for real change to come to Cuba.
P. S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

More El Chapo theories than taquerias in Mexico

(My new American Thinker post)

About 25 years ago, I had a chance to work for a U.S. company in Mexico.  

It was a wonderful experience, and I learned two things:  

1) Mexicans are very nice people, and it takes a while to get used to their 3pm lunches and 10pm evening meals.

2) Mexicans don't believe a word that their government says.     

Mexican cynicism is on a fast track these days regarding El Chapo's escape.  There are more theories than taquerías in Mexico City.   

William Neuman reported in the NY Times that everyone has a theory about El Chapo's dramatic escape:
The official version of the escape is that Mr. Guzmán, who is known as El Chapo, or Shorty, slipped through a hole in the floor of the shower of his cell and then out through a mile-long tunnel secretly dug under the walls of what was supposed to be the country’s most secure prison.    
“The government wants to sell us a tale in which no one knew about the tunnel and he got away,” said Carlos Castaños, an opposition legislator from Sinaloa, Mr. Guzmán’s home state. “It’s like they think that Mexicans are all kindergartners and they’re going to believe anything they tell them.”
Some say that the tunnel story was a ruse and that El Chapo just walked out.  

Others say that the tunnel was used constantly by other cartel members to go out for dancing and dining.  

One rumor going around is that El Chapo was never really in the jail in the first place.

The conspiracies go from A to Z.  

Just ask your Mexican friend, and he will tell you how El Chapo escaped!

Of course, you can't avoid all of the conspiracy theories, especially in Mexico.  Have a glass of wine (maybe tequila) with your Mexican friend, and you will hear more rumors than you can ever imagine.

Regardless of how he did it, the sad truth is that El Chapo did escape.  

His amazing escape speaks volumes about corruption in Mexico.  

Sadly, our southern neighbor is overwhelmed by the billions of dollars flowing in from the consumption of illegal drugs.  The cartels are loaded with cash and willing to get whatever they want with it.

Last, but not least, El Chapo's escape raises some very legitimate questions about Mexico's viability as a partner in the border crisis.

P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

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