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Crisis in Venezuela raises doubts about investing in Cuba

Special Mariel Development Zone (Photo Cubadebate)

MIAMI, United States. – The serious political situation in which Venezuela finds itself could lead some of the foreign companies and consortia to reconsider their interest in investing in Cuba, the most important element of the economic recovery of the island.

According to experts, the crisis in the oil country and the hypothetical entry into force of the so-called Title III of the Helms Burton Act would create a practically untenable context for current and future investors.

"All are bad news, the economy will be exacerbated by the crisis in Venezuela and the new Trump threats, our entrepreneurs are asking us what we can do (…) They are really worried and so are we," said a commercial attaché from a European country with major commercial interests on the island.

Although the Cuban regime has become less dependent on Venezuela in recent years, the South American nation remains the island's first trading partner and a hypothetical fall would force Havana to take emergency measures.

Last week, the execonomista of the Central Bank of Cuba and Professor of the University of Javeriana of Cali, Colombia, Pavel Vidal, assured the newspaper Nuevo Herald that, if there is a change of regime in Caracas, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the Isla could fall between 4 and 8 percent.

In the case of Title III of the Helms Burton Act, if the suspension is lifted, US citizens can sue foreign companies and individuals who have invested in property that Havana seized in the 1960s.

Others, such as the British investor David Mathew, who was also involved in various projects in Cuba, said that many entrepreneurs are also concerned about Trump's actions and their possible actions in the future.

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