Devry Boughner Vorwerk Writes for Latin American Advisor on Cuban Gov’t Legalization of Small, Medium-Sized Businesses

Latin America Advisor, for its featured Q&A “Will Cuba’s New Policy Unleash Entrepreneurs?,” published a response from Akin Gump senior policy advisor Devry Boughner Vorwerk, who also serves as chair of the U.S. Agriculture Coalition for Cuba.

Vorwerk writes, “The Cuban government is actively working to reconcile its social model with economic realities. Cuba’s economy needs to grow now. As such, the country is enacting its own internal reforms to keep pace with its growth plan, and to prepare itself for imminent liberalization through the removal of sanctions. The government seeks to unleash the economic potential of its people by allowing citizens to push the limits on their creativity and entrepreneurial spirit.”

She characterizes legalization of small and medium-sized businesses as an “important first step in achieving growth,” as these businesses will be able to operate in the open. Vorwerk notes, however, that the Cuban government needs to “backstop legal recognition with transparent regulation, consistent implementation and institutional capacity to support the emerging private sector.”

Vorwerk adds, “Business owners will have lots of questions for the government, and expectations of its citizens are building, which is a good thing. Even with internal reforms and successful government administration of those reforms, Cuban entrepreneurs require seed capital to kick start their businesses, which now places the onus for success of this policy back in the hands of U.S. Congress. Removal of trade sanctions will allow for free flow of private capital to Cuba, which can expedite the growth of private enterprise in the country. “

She concludes, “At this moment, we cannot predict how it will all play out. We should expect some fits and starts, but betting on the innovation and ingenuity of the Cuban people is a good place to begin.”