Reading more about what\’s changing in Cuba.
There\’s actually, well, possibly, a chance to make a really rather decent fortune in that.
They\’re freeing up farming and building, two fields where the Cuban State has been particularly appalling at managing to get anything done.
If I were a couple of decades younger and had skills in either of those areas I think I\’d be looking into how to get into those businesses.
As I did a couple of decades ago in a slightly different manner when the Berlin Wall came down and Eastern Europe and then Russia opened up.
I would assume that those bits of the Cuban system which do manage to creak into any sort of action at all rely upon fixers, tolkachi as the Russians called them. Add the knowledge of the interstices of the system that such have to decent modern world building and or farming practices and knowledge and there\’s a number of very interesting and viable businesses right there.
As the economy liberates, just as one example, a small scale building firm which actually turned up, on time, with equipment and labour and actually did what was asked of it on budget (yes, I know how tough that can be to find anywhere) would, at least I think it would, gain good business from those making money elsewhere in the opening economy.
Similarly, a few small scale truck farms (using the American phrase to mean supplying veggies, salads etc) with stalls or outlets in the cities could do well.
To be honest, I was rather hoping that this opening up was going to happen some time ago. Back in \’97 when we left Russia we seriously looked into going to Cuba and applying our knowledge of how to work in the rubble of a socialist economy. I think it would have been great fun for a start.
But unfortunately that opening just wasn\’t there then: and it seems to be getting to the point where it would be viable now.
And don\’t forget, we Europeans have something of a head start: the septics still aren\’t allowed to trade freely there.
Depending upon what the Cuban authorities will actually allow you to do I really do think that someone with a bit of gumption, a few thousand pounds, an ability to slide between the rules and reasonable working knowledge of a trade or two could make a real go of it.
Might not make a fortune (we didn\’t in Russia) but it would certainly be a lot of fun.