Martinez, Candace A. (2002) EU Investment in Cuba and Helms-Burton. [Working Paper]
[From the Introduction]. Another aspect of this exploratory research trip, however, was to get a sense of what is really going on in Cuba. I was curious to see firsthand what the business and non-business climate really is in Castro’s Cuba. Many of the articles, papers, and other sources I had read prior to my trip seemed to have a hidden agenda. Being such a politically charged country, it is hard to find objective observers, especially from the United States. Add to that the Elian Gonzalez conflict, which was in full bloom at the time I visited Cuba, and it is not surprising that in the spring of this year practically every written source about the island-country I located had a political edge to it. The everyday people I talked to, though, from the young man who gave me a ride on his taxi-bicycle to the old musician who spontaneously started chatting with me at a downtown café, were extremely open and honest and very helpful in helping me construct my personal cognitive map of what life is like there. The focus of this white paper, then, is to convey not only the findings regarding my research questions, but also my impressions of daily life on the island and the impact, if any, the growth in foreign direct investment has had. I should add that I concentrated my time in Havana and all interviews were conducted in the capital. All European businessmen requested anonymity; the Cuban sources I spoke to shall also remain nameless, although I will identify their place of work. Any generalizations I make about Cuba are deduced from what I learned in Havana.
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