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News Link • Cuba

On Cuba, as politics advances, business leaders wait for their breakthrough

•, By Steven Mufson

Eager to invest in the island nation, representatives of more than 300 companies have visited since Obama pledged to normalize U.S. relations with the island nation 14 months ago.

Some firms have made progress. Last September, Verizon became the first U.S. company to offer roaming wireless cellphone service in Cuba. On Tuesday, the United States and Cuba signed a deal that will open the door to dozens of daily commercial flights between the countries for the first time in more than five decades.

But in general, sealing deals in Cuba has proven difficult for American businesses. Most U.S. trade and financial restrictions are still in place. Moreover, the Cuban government has been bureaucratic and its leaders seem to be ambivalent about the wave of investment poised to crash onto its shores — and how that might affect its tightly controlled political system there.

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