July 15, 2019
by Caroline Kuritzkes, Foreign Policy

The End of Cuba’s Entrepreneurship Boom

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Between 2014 and 2017, just as then-U.S. President Barack Obama was working to thaw over 50 years of frozen relations between Cuba and the United States, the Havana lawyer Alfonso Larrea Barroso and his two business partners were busy making a fortune. In a span of three years, the annual revenue from Scenius, their financial services cooperative, multiplied by a factor of 10,000, skyrocketing from $280 to $2.8 million in total revenues. Cuban ministries and state-owned firms hired it to balance top-secret budget ledgers, U.S. Congress members and State Department officials courted them in Washington.

The good times didn’t last. In June 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump curtailed Cuba-bound travel and banned U.S. commerce with enterprises owned by the Cuban military. Later that summer, Cuban authorities abruptly shut down the thriving cooperative. (Originally published in Foreign Policy. Read the full article by clicking on the link below.)


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