Home Daily Blitz Most U.S. Companies Won’t Be Able To Do Business In Cuba For Years

Most U.S. Companies Won’t Be Able To Do Business In Cuba For Years


marketwatch articleThe following is an excerpt from Stratfor analysts | March 26, 2016 | marketwatch.com |

Cuba last week hosted President Barack Obama, the first U.S. president to visit the island nation since the United States implemented an economic embargo in 1962.

The March 21 visit is a milestone in Havana’s lengthy process of opening to the United States. But normalizing economic ties will take far more than a single state visit.

The majority of U.S. businesses cannot trade with Cuba because of the embargo, which is held in place by several pieces of legislation. The embargo’s future will depend on the political mood in the United States. Both houses of the U.S. Congress — currently controlled by the Republican opposition — would have to pass legislation undoing provisions of the previous acts to end it. This is unlikely to happen during the remainder of the Obama administration, which will not be able to find the consensus needed to pass controversial legislation during an election year.

So the task of normalizing economic relations with Cuba will fall to the next U.S. president, and it will take several additional rounds of negotiations before the subject of lifting the embargo even comes up for serious discussion.

Outstanding issues

The United States and Cuba have yet to settle major outstanding issues, such as compensation to U.S. property owners for assets seized after the 1959 revolution. The Cuban government also does not even minimally meet any of the human rights stipulations laid out in the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act of 1996 for lifting the embargo.

Though new legislation could potentially supersede these requirements, it is plausible that lawmakers concerned about Havana’s treatment of dissidents could use the topic to stall discussions.

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