US allows investment in private companies in Cuba for first time in six decades

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The United States has authorized for the first time in six decades an investment in a private company in Cuba, undertaken by John Kavulich, who told the EFE news agency on Wednesday that he was in contact with “officials of the ‘Joe Biden administration’ for almost a year, members of Congress and senators who would have helped carry out this operation.

Kavulich, chairman of the U.S.-Cuba Business and Economic Council, doesn’t give many details about the investment “up to $25,000,” or name the Cuban company, as he prefers to wait until Cuba give chase. He only announced that this company is not linked to the government of Miguel Díaz-Canel, that it has been in the service sector for more than five years and that it shows continuous growth.

The businessman does not want to give the names of who his interlocutors were in the Biden administration. Kavulich said they were officials from the Biden-Harris administration, including the State Department, Treasury Department, Commerce Department, Defense Department, Justice Department in all areas, as well as the two houses of Congress.

Until now, the US embargo on Cuba, in force since 1960, prevented this type of investment and, according to Kavulich, this is the first time that this type of license has been approved since the boycott came into force.

No Biden administration official has spoken so far on this issue or on the possible lifting of the embargo on investments in Cuba.

The investor filed the license application with the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) on June 10, 2021 and this agency gave the green light on May 10, 2022.

Kavulich pointed out that his relationship with the White House and Congress goes back long before the Biden administration, during which time he determined whether his investment efforts could be successful.

After officially submitting his candidacy last June, the businessman felt optimistic, but over the months he lost hope.

He recalled that he had received conflicting statements and communications over the past two months that shattered all his optimism, and pointed out that the latest news of the investment approval had taken him completely by surprise.

For Kavulich to invest in the venture, which he discovered through a Facebook group, he still needs Cuba’s approval, but the businessman says he is “90% sure” he will. will get.

He stressed that his 90% certainty is not because the Cuban government is enthusiastic, but because it is necessary, and he explained that this need has become more evident with the blow that the economy of the island received with the pandemic.

Kavulich also noted that his goal in this investment is not to seek “a quick dollar,” but to ease the way for future investors.

He added that his role as chairman of the board and the work that the board has done since 1994 is that if there is a problem they try to solve it and then they let everyone know what they did. And that is precisely what they are doing here.

For Kavulich, the fact that an investment by an American businessman is authorized on the island can represent a great “potential” for the Cuban private sector.

This Monday, Biden took another step in opening up to Cuba by announcing a relaxation of limitations on remittances and flights, among others, reversing part of the last round of sanctions applied by former US President Donald Trump.

He concluded by saying that it’s hard not to see a connection between the two things. They applied for the license on June 10, 2021. The license was issued on May 10, 2022 and six days later all these other changes were announced. If one plus one equals two, then there is no doubt that it is not a coincidence, he said.

ECE


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