Cuba is essentially a dependent country, in that it has been unable to generate enough export income to fund a minimal level of imports.
Over the last 50 years, Russia has been a major supporter and, more recently, Venezuela has helped, primarily with bargain oil.
Both of these countries are facing increasing difficulties at home, due in part to mismanagement, and more recently, due to the significant decrease in the price of oil.
Cuba’s best opportunity to support itself probably rests with tourism, particularly with American tourists. Cuba has excellent weather, plenty of beaches, and a pre-embargo history of successful tourism.
Even if relations with the U. S. develop fairly rapidly, it still takes several years to develop and build a world-class resort and hotel infrastructure.
The cruise industry, particularly Carnival and Royal Caribbean, can put a fully self-contained, 1,500-2,000 room, luxury hotel in Havana’s harbor in a matter of hours.
Longer term, Cuba’s size and proximity to the U. S. mainland, would lend itself to the development of an overnight ferry service, capable of transporting families and their vehicles to Havana quickly and at very competitive prices.
See you at the Copacabana!
All comments and suggestions are welcome.
Walter J. Kirchberger, CFA®