Maintaining Business Relationships With Cuba No Longer A White Collar Crime
Recently, President Obama announced exciting news that could have a big impact on Floridians. It was announced that the decades-long trade embargo with Cuba had finally been lifted. This lifting of the trade embargo, and the subsequent call for a normalized relationship with Cuba, could have an extremely positive effect on Florida, the U.S. state that is most geographically close to the island. In fact, as policies are put in place and enforced to normalize relationships with our one-time foe, acts of conducting business in Cuba, which were once illegal and considered white collar crimes, will now be considered just and legal acts.
What Normalized Relations With Cuba Means For Florida
Here in Florida the announcement regarding the lifting of the century-long embargo with Cuba was met with great excitement from both Cuban Americans and non-Cuban Americans alike. However, with this happiness has come many questions about what the lifting of the trade embargo actually means for those who are interested in conducting business in Cuba. Before the lifting of the trade embargo, Floridians looking to import or export goods to and from Cuba were unable to do so legally. Now, the trade embargo lifting presents good tidings for those business people who would have previously avoided conducting business in Cuba out of a fear of running afoul of federal law.
In fact, under the new U.S. guidelines governing relations with Cuba, goods that are produced by private Cuban entrepreneurs can now be imported to the United States. Though the specific rules governing the importation of Cuban cigars for commercial sale have not yet been provided, it has already been announced that U.S. citizens traveling to Cuba can now bring home small amounts of cuban cigars and alcohol. Furthermore, commercial exporters operating in the U.S. will also have the opportunity to send their wares to Cuba in order to help Cubans build new homes and to develop small businesses. America’s technological companies stand to gain from being allowed to finally export their telephones, internet technology, and computers to private Cuban businesses.
It remains to be seen what effect the embargo lifting will actually have on both Cuba and U.S. businesses and entrepreneurs. Some posit that because of the new guidelines “it’s more likely U.S. companies might feel more confident going into Cuba.” However, some sceptics doubt that Cuba will be rolling out the red carpet and fervently embracing U.S. private businesses with wide and open arms. So far, U.S. business people from a wide range of industries, in particular those from America’s food and agricultural companies and federations, have voiced great interest in being able to finally legally import their goods into Cuba.
The lifting of the trade embargo with Cuba not only normalizes relationships, it also removes certain white collar crimes from the federal books that once made it illegal to export and import goods to and from Cuba. Given Cuba’s close proximity to Florida, this removal of white collar criminal penalties could serve to increase business and trade activities and opportunities amongst Floridians and Cubans. Contact Jeffrey S. Weiner, P.A. in South Florida today in order to discuss how you can avoid white collar criminal liability while conducting business in Cuba.