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Posted November 09, 2008 by publisher in Business In Cuba

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Rob Sequin | Havana Journal

Below are some of the headlines from the November 2008 issue of Cuba Trade and Investment News. We strongly suggest that anyone with a business eye towards Cuba to subscribe to this publication. (This is not a paid advertisement.)

Cuba’s main crisis-fighting tool: Oil

In its own version of an economic stimulus plan amid a slowdown of growth, Cuba, backed by partners Venezuela and Brazil, is pushing investments in the oil and gas industry. In two recent oil-related moves, Cuba said it wants to build a $4.3 billion refinery near the port of Matanzas, and announced it had twice the oil reserves in the Gulf of Mexico than previously estimated. The north coast port of Matanzas already has a Soviet era supertanker terminal and connects to the southern port of Cienfuegos via a mothballed pipeline, which Cuba is considering reactivating.

Analysis: Obama’s Latin America policy - Partnership for the Americas by Larry Brin

On Jan. 20, Barack Obama will become the next president of the United States. This could improve Washington’s long-neglected relationship with Latin America in general, and Cuba in particular. Larry Birns of the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, a liberal Washington think tank, wrote the following analysis of Obama’s Latin
America platform. We are reprinting excerpts from the essay, edited for relevance to U.S.-Cuba relations.

Eye on the Embargo By Sarah Stephens

Just six days before our election, when the UN General Assembly voted to condemn the U.S. embargo against Cuba, it tossed into the center of our political debate a powerful reminder that the next president must attend to America’s debilitated global image.

Sherritt freezing $270m nickel expansion plans

Rocked by dropping nickel prices and rising input costs, Sherritt International Corp. froze a $270 million capacity expansion project at its nickel refineries in Moa
and Alberta. The Toronto-based company completed Phase 1 of the original expansion plan at its Moa and Fort Saskatchewan plants, spending $50.6 million on
the project during the third quarter. It had planned to spend $83 million in the fourth quarter.

Russia continues charm offensive in Havana

Russia granted Cuba a $335 million line of credit for the purchase of Russian goods and services, Deputy prime Minister Igor Sechin announced during his third visit to Cuba in just four months. Also, Russia invited Cuba to join its Glonass satellite navigation system, the communications minister said during a visit to Havana in October. The Global Navigation Satellite System is the Russian equivalent to the U.S. Global Positioning System. It is expected to be operational by the end of 2009. Cuba has said it wanted to use Glonass for transportation purposes. “We are inviting all countries to join the system,” Igor Shchegolev said at a press conference in Havana. “And,
of course, we have invited Cuba.”

Hurricane recovery going slow, tally is up to $8.56 billion

The Cuban government raised the estimate of damages caused by hurricanes Gustav and Ike from $5 billion to $8.65 billion. Gen. Ramón Pardo Guerra, who is in charge of Cuba’s national emergency management office, provided that figure during a briefing of Brazilian President Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva in Havana. Vice President Carlos Lage said electric service was back up completely 54 days after hurricane Ike hit the island, even in the most hurricane-ravaged areas. Workers installed 6,500 utility poles, 526 transformers, and 49,000 electric connections.

...and more

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