Trump will annouce changes to Cuba policy this week. You may be curious about investing in Cuba and be wondering if it will still be possible. This legal research article based on a teachable case study based on my personal experience describes the one key step to be able to (legally) do so as an Amercian. It is also available on the website of the Journal of Legal Studies Education. Whie visiting Cuba, I was invited to invest in a friend’s start-up. In researching how to possibly do it, I learned that American citizens can make investments in a few dozen sanctioned countries if they apply for a special license from the Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) of the U.S. Treasury. The article describes related details and guidance, as well as ideas on how to protect investments under Cuban law. Potential investors will likely still be able to ask for special permission – and possibly receive it – to invest in Cuba, even if the sanctions regime is somehow tightened. Regardless of whether you are drawn to invest based on an altruistic desire to stimulate the private sector and civil society on the island, or to see someone realize their dreams, or to improve lives, or the chance to realize a return on your investment, or (likely) some combination of these motives, it will be a good idea to call or write to the helpful professionals at OFAC, and to ask for their best advice on how to proceed. Thanks to Kevin Fandl for consulting on this post, and to Luis Manuel Alcalde, Larry Catá Backer, Pedro Freyre, and Emilio Morales for consulting on the original article linked above. Pictured below: Rodolfo, successful Cuban entrepreneur, and his partner with the author in Havana in 2016. Here is a quick sketch of the secrets to his success published last year.
Adam J. Sulkowski