Cuba gives green light to the first U.S Trade Company at Mariel Port

Posted: 11-Nov-15 09:55

Cuba has authorised the U.S tractor firm Cleber to do business in its Mariel port. The company is the first from America that has been authorised to set up in the free trade zone in the Mariel Special Development Zone since Cuba and the United States resumed diplomatic relations in July following a five decade-long travel and trade embargo.

Cuba gives green light to the first U.S Trade Company at Mariel Port

The first company from the Unites States has been granted permission to do business in Cuba’s Mariel port.

Cleber, a tractor farm, has been authorised by Cuba to work in a free trade zone in the Mariel Special Development Zone, 28 miles from the capital Havana.

The move comes following the recently resumed diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States in July this year when embassies opened for the first time in more than five decades.

Cleber is still awaiting clearance from the US Office of Foreign Assets Control, one of the bodies that enforces the trade embargo that was implemented in 1962 by Washington, following Fidel Castro’s revolution.

The travel and trade embargo has not yet been lifted despite the resumed relations between the two countries, but in late 2014, U.S President Obama eased travel restrictions for Americans and authorised trade in agricultural equipment. The new rules will help Cleber's bid to build small tractors for Cuban farmers.

Cleber’s two directors are Saul Berenthal and Horace Clemmons, two retired engineers from the computer giant IBM.
The Alabama-based company plans to build a small tractor in Cuba based on a model that dates back to the 1940s.

Cuba has approved seven other businesses for the free trade zone in Mariel port: two firms from Cuba, two Mexican, two from Belgium and one Spanish, that range across many sectors including food, pharmaceuticals and electronics.

General tourism and sun holidays to Cuba continue to be restricted, but U.S travellers can travel to the Caribbean island through people to people programmes and trips under 12 categories that have been organised by tour operators and charter companies in the U.S.

Cuba is a communist island nation in the Caribbean that is rich in political history, and home to some of the world’s most magnificent natural landscapes including pristine white sand beaches, azure lagoons, and the world’s second largest barrier reef.


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