The Foriegn Investment Act And Doing Business In Cuba
Posted: 23 May 2013 03:48 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I have had the fortunate opportunity to meet with Dr. Roberto Brier Rivero of Consultores Asociados, SA. when I first went to Cuba on a trip that was put together by my college professor while working on my Masters of Science in International Business degree.
He took the class to a foreign country every year and I was fortunate enough to be in a class that was going to Cuba.
What surprised me was that out of 17 students I was the only one that went on this optional trip over that Thanksgiving weekend.
What better way to spend Thanksgiving than in a 3rd world communist country one might ask?
Actually it was the best Thanksgiving trip I ever had, better than Vegas and South Beach!
I had a great time, met some really cool people, and had the opportunity to learn so much about doing business in Cuba from Dr. Roberto on this and the 7 subsequent trips I have taken since first going in 1999.
Not only did Dr. Roberto assist in the writing of the Foreign Investment Act of 1995, but he has also written many books on the topic including
“Legal Profile of Foreign Investment in Cuba” which covers 110 questions on the FIA of 1995 and what it takes to invest in Cuba including the most popular method of a joint venture with the Cuban Government.
I am looking forward to retiring to Cuba in the next 7 to 10 years and hope to have a nice Bar/Restaraunt w/ a nice upscale small Hotel.
It is my basic understanding in a joint venture that the government would provide the labor at a great rate (normal labor rates paid to employees in cuba are $25 per month) and provide the land.
I would be expected to provide the construction of the building and the furnishings and equipment.
Most of the ventures are on a 50/50 profit split and ownership basis and that would be fine with me, as I would plan to spend my day
not only overseeing the operations of the business but also pursue my passion of daytrading equities and real estate.
Now the only thing I would add to this is there are expected to be substantial changes to the FIA of 1995 in the next year or so that will make it even easier to invest not only in business partnerships but also in real estate projects etc.
I think that the 360 VOX Corp. can accomplish great things with the development of golf courses and hotels in Cuba, they were formally known as Leisure Canada and trade under LCN.V and have just received funding from Dundee Corp (DC.A) and may finally have the financing structured and be ready to move ahead with the 5 proposed projects it has in mind.
Previously the CEO of the company was Walter Berukoff when it was Leisure Canada, and I had the pleasure of meeting him when we both happened to be staying at the Hotel Nacional in Havana and he had a wealth of information on the prospects of investing in Cuba.
He compared it to being the “Last bastion of wealth in the carribean” amazing forward insight this man has, if you care to hear his views this is the link.
http://watch.bnn.ca/#clip354483
He is very bullish on Cuba and the opportunities there.
What do you think? Anyone planning on checking out the opportunities in Cuba?
I know that from meeting expats from America that you live like a King and are treated like a rock star and can do it on a grand a month!
Anyone that would like to discuss the FIA or doing business in Cuba that has a positive attitude towards it please email me at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Hope to hear from you on this board and via email,
Mark

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Posted: 23 May 2013 04:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Mark,

I wish you well with your vision but they say be careful what you wish for grin

Doing business… any business, in Cuba is usually a lose/win situation where you lose time and money (and maybe your freedom) and the Cuban governments wins. They take the efforts of your work and you get rinsed off the island like you never existed.

With regards to Leisure Canada/VOX, they have over hyped their business in Cuba for MANY years. For a decade or more they claimed to be the “leading real estate development company” in Cuba which was not true so I wouldn’t hold my breath for any ground breaking by this company any time soon.

On their website they claim “The Paraiso II Hotel is being built on Cayo Largo del Sur” which implies that the hotel is under construction which it is not as far as I know.

Also, “The Monte Barreto Hotel and Conference Centre is located in Havana‚Äôs Miramar district in the Playa Municipality”. No it’s not. The wording is misleading as though the hotel is already built. Nope. Not even staked out for ground breaking and it never even has been scheduled for ground breaking.

These projects are collecting dust and the stock has been at about $0.15 for three years.

Wally is out of the company as far as I know and has been for several years now.

Are you associated with the company?

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Posted: 25 May 2013 04:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I am not affiliated with Leisure Canada or the new 360 Vox in anyway, just had the opportunity to meet
Walter Berukoff at the bar at the Hotel Nacional and although he did not take Leisure Canada where he wanted to go with it, he had some great insight into the opportunities available in Cuba.
He is very intelligent in creating investments in real estate and tourism and has done very well with other projects.
If you get a chance check out the interview he did on CNN/Fortune about Cuba.
I hope that 360 Vox will finally get it together as the projects are needed in Cuba not only for the investors but for the Cuban people as well.
Also,  If you ever get a chance read the book Casino Moscow.  It talks about the wealth as well as the pitfalls that were in Russia after Communism fell and I would think that some of those same opportunities will be in Cuba in the coming years especially if the tourism ban is lifted and regardless of the political climate I see some major changes occuring with both governments.
From speaking with several American Expats in Cuba they have done well over there beyond just spending there retirement or investment money.
One person that I take time out to visit when in Havana assisted a Cuban family in opening a restaraunt in their home.
It seats 12 and does great.  They can’t serve certain dishes like lobster, but make a hell of a chicken with black bean sauce.
I have heard some horror stories of course about getting screwed over, but also many success stories as well.
I plan to retire there, and if the timing is right and the ability to open a business is there, I will take my chances.
When I work 16 hour days and I am watching the snow fly outside I often wonder why I am not on a beautiful beach in Cuba doing the work from there.
Of course there phone/ internet system does have to be improved to work from there with any quality of life.
Lastly, from a lot of posts and speaking with a lot of Cuban people that are here in the US I believe if we left our political beliefs out of it and just focused on the business climate in Cuba we would have a much better outlook.
Mark

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Posted: 26 May 2013 08:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Excellent reply.

Thanks for posting. Very interesting.

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