Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Cuban exile claims areas to invest in the island

Things in Cuba (and in exile) begin to move. Slowly, and very tight to the economy, but to change. If the recent government measures have enabled flexibilizing takeoff incipient self-employment and entrepreneurship, in six months, the number of self-employed Cuban has doubled, reaching the figure of 320,000 people, outside the island, Cuban community in the U.S., and are also are moving forward.

The recent trip to the island's prominent businessman Carlos Saladrigas exile reflects this. Saladrigas is a cofounder of The Vincam Group, considered in 1998 the largest U.S. Hispanic, and military in the ranks of anti-Castro has been hard to claim the participation of exile in Cuba's economic reconstruction, starting from now if the current reform process permits.

Three months ago, Saladrigas made a discreet trip to Cuba and probed the scope and possibilities of change. In April, the Cuba Study Group, created by him in 2001 to monitor the situation in Cuba, presented a project to facilitate the provision of microcredit from the U.S. to small entrepreneurs in Cuba.

This week, the magazine of the Archdiocese of Havana New Word Saladrigas published an interview in which he went further and said that many entrepreneurs in the U.S. Cubans are ready to invest if the government of Raul Castro adopts "universal rules" on business , as part of economic changes.

"It is good to have interest in being able to contribute their talent and treasure to help a Cuba to prosper and grow. (...). We are part of the enormous human capital available to the motherland," he said. However, the businessman said, "would be ethically unacceptable to do business" as foreign investors, if not offered the same opportunity for Cubans living in Cuba.

" In his view, "Cubans on the island known to Cuba, those in the diaspora, or not so well. Therefore, many entrepreneurs want to invest in Cuba exile in partnership with Cubans on the island who know of a way intimate market peculiarities and idiosyncrasies of contemporary Cuba. " The 'rules' for fruitful future business should be "the universal to attract capital," said Saladrigas, citing the need for a legal framework "clear", a judicial system "effective and fair" for the resolution of disputes, a political risk "moderate" and a work environment "just and equitable." Under these conditions, the money of Exile "will flow into Cuba in large numbers in search of a competitive return," he predicted.

Although New Word is a Catholic magazine, independent of government, the interview with Saladrigas, both by the importance of character as he says, is a significant event, rather it is the first time the company can make its voice heard and express their projects in a publication circulating in the island.

The Catholic Church, Cardinal Jaime Ortega in the lead, has played an important role in the recent process of release of hundreds of political prisoners and expressed his desire to continue mediating and contributing to solving national problems. Relations with the exile and the participation of migrants in the future of Cuba after half a century of confrontation, is undoubtedly one of the greatest challenges.

According Saladrigas that Cubans inside and outside participate together in the economic reconstruction is vital. "(...) We believe in the need to create a Cuban capital, Creole. We are concerned about a Cuba where the capital again be mostly overseas. After so many years of sacrifice fighting for sovereignty, it would be ironic to come back to Cuba dominated by foreign capital, "he said.

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