Uncertainty Abounds, Opportunity Exists
Fidel Castro, the notorious former president of Cuba, died on Friday at the age of 90. While for some, Castro’s death represents the symbolic end of the Cuban revolution and the tyranny that followed, others aren’t so sure that anything will change.
As The Wall Street Journal reports, “Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, a Cuban-American and Republican presidential candidate this year, said in a statement: ‘Sadly, Fidel Castro’s death does not mean freedom for the Cuban people or justice for the democratic activists, religious leaders, and political opponents he and his brother have jailed and persecuted. The dictator has died, but the dictatorship has not.’”
Further complicating the situation is the fact that President-elect Trump has sent mixed messages regarding his intentions toward Cuba. While President Obama has made strides in repairing Cuba-U.S. relations, Trump makes no promises in furthering those actions. Statements from his camp range from reversing Obama’s efforts—much of which were achieved via executive order—to continuing to re-set relations as long as Cuba makes some concessions.
While we don’t know what the next administration will bring, we do know that there has been movement in our industry toward normalizing and developing U.S.-Cuba relations. The Council itself has joined Engage Cuba, a nonprofit dedicated to ending the travel and trade embargo on Cuba and facilitating relationships between U.S. businesses and Cuba.
P-C specialists take note: Hurricanes, storm surge and earthquakes are particular vulnerabilities on the island, and the government typically “takes responsibility” for catastrophe property losses. But a ride around the country makes it clear the state has limits on its financial ability to rebuild after a significant event.
There are two insurance companies currently operating in Cuba, both part of state-owned Caudal Group. Empresa de Seguros Nacionales (ESEN) primarily insures agricultural business, though it also writes auto, liability and travel. Seguros Internacionales de Cuba (EsiCuba) is a commercial insurer for domestic companies as well as foreign-owned businesses on the island, such as hotels.
For more details on potential opportunities in this area, check out our previous cover story on Cuba.