Cuba- Perspectives and Realities, From a Cuban American Attorney

Cuba small business and human rights

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For example:

  • First, Cubans must obtain a license to have these businesses. 
  • Second, Cubans cannot employ individuals other than family members (although some do employ individuals without the government knowing).
  • Third, you have to pay a heavy tax. 
  • Fourth, you cannot expand the business or make more than a certain amount in revenue.  That is, no Cuban citizen can own a medium sized or large sized business. 

In fact, even if a Cuban citizen has the ability to assist and/or help the country by investing in a government run entity they cannot, but a foreigner can.

Finally, and most recently, you must pass inspections (e.g., making sure the restaurants are only buying items from the government facilities and not from the black market) that have increased dramatically since former President Obama engagement overtures with the intent by the government to seemingly find grounds to close the businesses.

The infrastructure, or lack thereof

Finally, there is the infrastructure, or lack thereof. 

While many tourists like to point to the simplicity of Cuba and vintage cars.  They forget, Cuba is not a magical land.  People live there and do not have the aspects of life people in the US take for granted. 

Such items, for example, we in the US consider standard but Cubans see as luxury are air conditioning, microwave, purchasing a car made in this century, computers, and internet access to name a few.  Add to the fact that you can find streets littered with potholes and garbage along with crumbling structures and you have a recipe for a country appearing to barely hold onto civility. 

Approximately, a year ago I had the pleasure of having dinner with a financial analyst. Among the various topics discussed was the discussion of freedom and equality.  In that discussion he stated a country cannot have both freedom and equality, a country must choose one.  Throughout history, such has been the case.  

So, in the case of Cuba, has the case for equality been worth the reduction in freedoms? 

Some may consider requiring voting as good along with universal healthcare but when coupled with only having the choice of a one party, uncontested ballot and not being able to speak freely is it ultimately more valuable than the basic freedom like those in the US’ Bill of Rights? 

Such is for you to consider.

Related articles:

Cuban-American Attorney Weighs In on US-Cuban Immigration

Franco's Spain...or Roll the Dice on Cuba or Russia

¡Viva Cuba! A Cuban Immigration Story

Will Cuban Culture Reclaim Its Place At the Heart of Our America?

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About the author

Senen Garcia

Senen Garcia operates SG Law Group LLP a thriving law practice in multiple states assisting clients with their corporate, real estate, estate planning, and property insurance claim needs.  Additionally, Mr. Garcia has accounting practice assisting small businesses with tax and accounting needs.  Along with his work with SCORE, Mr. Garcia has also provided assistance with the local Small Claims Clinic that provides assistance to individuals filing small claims cases. Mr. Garcia has spoken on a variety of topics such as:  How to start a business, Communication within your organization, Importance of Capital Accounts, What’s in Business Name Anyway?, and Stock Purchase Agreements vs. Asset Purchase Agreements.

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