Here We Go Again: Foreign Investment Law Edition

Sunday, March 23, 2014
Last week, media outlets (once again) speculated and hyped "discussions" by the Castro regime about a new foreign investment law.

Except the speculation and discussions sound exactly like those nearly 20-years ago.

In other words, the Castro regime has been spinning the media with the same talking points about foreign investment for two decades.

Read the following articles from 1995 very carefully.

Note how they talk about guarantees, full-foreign ownership, duty-free zones, Cuban-American investment, etc.

These could have been written (word-for-word) last week -- and probably were.

This Associated Press article is from September 5, 1995:

Cuban Parliament Passes New Law to Drum Up Foreign Investment

After heated debate over how to prevent capitalism from spoiling Cuba's socialist soul, Parliament passed a new law Tuesday aiming to lure badly needed foreign investment.

The proposal, approved without opposition by the more than 500 deputies, is the first major overhaul of foreign investment laws since Cuba cracked the door to outside business in 1982. That door opened wide after 1989 as Cuba's socialist trading partners vanished and the country sought capital to save its struggling economy.

The measure creates clearer laws on investments and offers stronger guarantees that investors can repatriate net profits and sell out at any time.

For the first time in decades, foreigners will be allowed to buy houses, offices or hotels. Duty-free zones can now be created, and a ban on full foreign ownership of businesses was lifted.

But Cuban officials insisted during the often-contentious two-day National Assembly session that they are not going to give foreign capitalists a free hand.

This Washington Post article is from September 6, 1995:

Cuba Approves Law Promoting Foreign Interest

In one of its sharpest breaks yet from socialist dogma, the Cuban government Tuesday approved a law greatly increasing the role of foreign investment in the battered economy and allowing creation of free-trade zones.

The law, passed after two days of sometimes heated debates in the National Assembly presided over by President Fidel Castro, opens the way for foreigners to wholly own business and property and allows foreign investment in every sector of the economy except the strategic areas of education, health and national defense. It also guarantees that foreign properties cannot be expropriated without compensation and speeds the process of approving proposed investments.

And this New York Times article is from September 7, 1995:

Cuba Passes Law to Attract Greater Foreign Investment

Government officials said today that they expected a significant infusion of capital after passing a new foreign-investment law this week, but few observers, including the Cubans, are predicting a huge rush to invest in Cuba yet.

The law, approved by the National Assembly on Tuesday after more than a year of debate, allows foreign investors access to all economic sectors except defense, health care and education and to fully own their businesses in Cuba, either privately or in the form of public stock companies. Currently, most foreign ventures exist through associations with the Government and foreign companies are allowed less than 50 percent ownership.

The law also offers guarantees similar to those in other countries for transfer of capital and compensation for expropriations, and allows investors to own housing, offices and other buildings, although it does not address the question of land ownership. It also allows free trade zones and opens the door for Cuban exiles to invest.