Earlier this week the Associated Press revealed details of a USAID people-to-people program to counter Cuban government Internet censorship. Part of the program included a Twitter-like technology for the Cuban people called ZunZuneo.
On Thursday, April 4, 2014, Lourdes C. Acevedo, Esq., Special Counsel for Poblete Tamargo, was elected as Vice President of the Borromeo Legal Project at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Arlington, Virginia. The Borromeo Legal Project in Arlington, Virginia focuses on, among other things, providing legal and educational resources to the immigrant community, including assisting participants through the United States citizenship naturalization process.
"Cuba is about to open itself up to foreign investment for the first time in half a century as part of a slew of reforms promoted by President Raúl Castro. The legislation, which will be voted on in parliament on Saturday, touches on all sectors of the economy except for two: education and health care."
These new partnerships will enjoy a special fiscal policy, which exempts foreign partners from paying income taxes. Mixed companies will also be exempt from paying taxes for eight years after their inception.
However, it is still unclear how effective the bill will be in enticing foreign investors. Jason Poblete, a Washington, D.C.-based attorney and partner in law firm Poblete Tamargo who works with U.S. clients on claims against Cuba, told CNBC the country still lacks two key factors to investing: the rule of law, and protection of property rights. You need a stable legal system that protects investor rights and has a path to resolve disputes,” he said.
In addition, U.S. law will make it extremely difficult for these reforms, if ever implemented, to succeed.
CNBC’s Michelle Caruso-Cabrera plugs away on another Cuba story (be sure to see her special on Cuba taped from the island a few years ago). This time she’s focusing on a soon to be released foreign investor law that the regime is set to announce this week. You can read the story here.
Poblete Tamargo Senior Policy Advisor, Dr. Andy Gomez, was interviewed by the New York Times this week on the passing of Huber Matos. Matos was leading figure of the 1959 Cuban Revolution who broke with the Castro brothers when he realized the Communist aims of the government.
“He was one of the first to really break with Fidel Castro openly because he felt that this revolution was actually becoming a Communist movement,” said Andy S. Gomez, a former senior fellow on Cuba issues at the University of Miami and now a senior policy adviser at Poblete Tamargo, a law firm.
You can read the entire story at the New York Times website.
This week marks the 18th anniversary of the downing of two U.S. civilian planes by the Cuban military over international waters. On February 24, 1996, Cessnas flown by members of the organization Brothers to the Rescue were patrolling north of Havana for Cuban refugees, who risked life and limb at sea in makeshift craft in search of freedom. Cuban fighter pilots in Russian MiGs encircled the planes and attacked. The planes disintegrated. Killed were three Americans: Carlos Costa, Armando Alejandre Jr., and Mario de la Peña, along with U.S. resident Pablo Morales.
Jason Poblete will be a guest today on CNN Directo USA where he will discuss recent public policy and political developments in Washington, DC as well as the unfolding political situation in Venezuela. Directo USA, CNN's Spanish-language public affairs program, is broadcast daily at 6:00 p.m. (EST).
(Coral Gables, Florida) Dr. Andy Gomez, a Senior Advisor at Poblete Tamargo, gave a talk with Belarussian leaders earlier this year at the University of Miami's Institute for Cuba and Cuban-American Studies. We have received several requests for a transcript of the talk and we will be posting it shortly. In the meantime, the video of his presentation is embedded below.