Interesting to see how the press are reporting the latest changes to U.S. Commerce and Treasury regulations concerning Cuba.
“The new rules open international banking to Cuba and to commerce with dollars.” (L.A. Times)
Well, kind of. The dollar still can only be presented indirectly by Cuban financial institutions for payment through third country financial institutions. Common sense tells you that direct transfers are always less costly than transfers that make multiple stops along the way, so for Cuba the costs remain elevated, but at least non-Cuban banks can stop fretting about the possibility of being fined.
But why is nobody reporting this embarrassing bit?
“Americans traveling in Europe [may now] purchase and consume Cuban origin alcohol and tobacco products while abroad…“
So that Cohiba you smoked in London last month? Hope you didn’t video it on your cellphone.
Havana’s international fair (FIHAV) is a great unknown for the vast majority of American businesses. But not all.
American businesses do attend the fair. They are not listed anywhere in the exhibitors catalog, nor are they shown anywhere on the exhibitors map. Tucked away in a quiet, remote pavilion, they mainly include a variety of agricultural producers, ports and shippers, quietly attending the fair under the shelter of licenses granted by OFAC.
Some snapshots from FIHAV 2014:
Cuba is much more than just rum and tobacco but those stands are the evident showstoppers.
And now, the American exhibits, on opening day. (Most American visitors did not arrive until the second or third day.) Compare and contrast.
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