On March 13th, 2018, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) issued the news release IR 2018-52. The IRS announced that it was closing its offshore voluntary disclosure program (“OVDP”). The closure will occur on September 28, 2018. The first OVDP began back in 2009 and has been closed and reopened throughout the years.
On June 16, 2017, President Trump announced that he was reversing several Obama-era policies regarding Cuba.
Against the backdrop of a Miami museum that celebrates the unsuccessful Bay of Pigs invasion, Trump’s announcement was intended to make good on campaign promises he made to Cuban expatriates that he would rollback Obama’s attempted rapprochement with the Cuban government.
Journalists who cover United States Cuba relations are hopeful but mystified by the potential for improvement under the Trump administration, according to a report from the Miami Herald. Journalists spoke on a panel titled, “What is the future of relations between Cuba and the United States in 2017?” at the Hispanicize 2017 conference.
As warming temperatures precede the coming of Spring, there is a growing chorus of support in the U.S. Congress for ending the U.S. embargo of Cuba.
Deitra Crawley will be moderating a free webinar on Thursday, January 26, 2017, from 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM (EST) on "Doing Business in Cuba."
The panel will include several authorities on the emerging Cuban marketing, including:
- Ralph Gazitua, President and CEO of foreign trade zone and logistics company WTDC,
- Peter A. Quinter, chair of the Customs and International Trade Law Group at GRAY ROBINSON, P.A.,
- Professor Ted Henken from Baruch College, author of Entrepreneurial Cuba: The Changing Policy Landscape, and
- Janet L. Walsh, President and CEO, BIRCHTREE GLOBAL, LLC.
The panel discussion, which will be interactive and include audience questions, will cover:
- U.S. Sanctions,
- Changes to U.S. government regulations,
- A look at Cuba's political and business environment,
- Cuban new foreign investment law, structures allowed, warranties for the investors, taxation, dispute resolution mechanism available, relevant labor laws, etc.,
- Foreign direct investment,
- The New Free Zone of Mariel,
- Import- export regulations,
- Intellectual property protection,
- Immigration and customs regime, and
- Trade usages and local business practices.
Peter Kornbluh, director of the Cuba Documentation Project and the Chile Documentation Project at the National Security Archive in Washington, D.C., writing in The Nation, provides a good description of what’s at stake in the U.S.-Cuba normalization process.
A number of writers have recently looked at the possibilities for changes in U.S. policy coming out of the Trump administration.
In that regard, it’s important to note how fragile the current arrangement is with Cuba and how easily the new administration could implement changes.
In an article published on January 5, 2017, by Bloomberg BNA, Deitra Crawley provided insight on the concerns of the lack of a modern banking system in Cuba, the government's unfamiliarity with the market economy, and other issues. "In helping them understand how we, as a business community, operate it doesn't suggest that our way is the better way or vice versa," said Ms. Crawley. "It's just that we have to find that medium ground whereby both parties benefit." For the full article, please visit the Bloomberg BNA website.
A lengthy piece in NBC News’ Latino section explores the possible impact of the Trump Administration on the slowly-improving trade relationship the U.S. has with Cuba.
Within the past year, the U.S. has taken steps to normalize relations with Cuba and has begun looking forward towards the possibility of lifting the embargo. NBC News writes that, "The embargo failed to remove the Castro regime after more than half a century and they feel everyday Cubans are the ones who have suffered most. Many are hoping Trump will approach Cuba from a business perspective."
Americans and Cubans both have been living for so long with the U.S. embargo that it’s hard to remember how it all got started.
After he studied law at the University of Havana, Fidel Castro traveled abroad to participate in attempted revolutions against right-wing governments in the Dominican Republic and Colombia. Learning from those experiences, he returned to Cuba with a plan to overthrow Cuban President Fulgencio Batista. He led a failed attack on the Moncada Barracks in 1953 and was imprisoned for a year. After his release from jail he traveled to Mexico where he formed a revolutionary group, the 26th of July Movement, along with his brother Raúl Castro and Ernesto “Che” Guevara. That group then returned to Cuba, beginning a guerrilla war against Batista's forces from the Sierra Maestra.