Thursday, December 27, 2007

Prepare now for opportunities in Cuba

Thursday, December 27, 2007 - 9:56 AM EST
Group: Prepare now for opportunities in Cuba
Orlando Business Journal

Florida business operators eyeing opportunities in a post-embargo Cuba
should plan now, suggests the Florida Society of Association Executives

The organization says business operators need to become well-informed
about Cuba and possible future developments and the challenges and
opportunities that may arise in a post-embargo Cuba, according to a
report prepared by Aida Levitan, chief executive officer and founder of
the Miami marketing and PR firm Levitan & Palencia.

Among those opportunities, she says, are joint ventures with Cuban
counterparts, training and mentoring and promoting business
opportunities in Cuba for members of Florida associations.

U.S. law must be changed before Florida associations can take full
advantage of opportunities to do business in a post-Castro Cuba, the
release says.

That reality may still be a ways off, despite a BBC news report Dec. 18
that Cuban President Fidel Castro raised the possibility that he had a
duty not to hold onto power or obstruct the rise of younger people in a
letter read on TV.

Castro has been ailing. A year ago, he had emergency intestinal surgery
and temporarily transferred power to his brother, Raul, his designated
successor. That prompted exiles in Miami to begin pouring into the
streets of Little Havana to celebrate what many there believed to be the
end of Castro's rule.

But, as BBC has reported, there have been no signs of popular revolts
against the regime as exiles desired. More pressure should have been put
on the communist regime and a greater attempt should have been made by
the United States and European Union and others to identify people
within the communist power structure who want change, but need some kind
of incentive before they act, Miami-based dissident Andro Nodarse Leon
of the Cuban American National Foundation is quoted as saying in the report.

Foundation members "are keenly interested in the future of Cuba, where
changes appear increasingly likely as Fidel Castro's hold on the country
loosens, and we want to help prepare them for developments that will
influence Florida," says David Mica, a member of the foundation, and Jon
Bednerik, foundation president, in a news release.

Mica is executive director of the Florida Petroleum Council, and
Bednerik is executive officer of the Charlotte-DeSoto Building Industry

The Florida Society of Association Executives, based in Tallahassee, has
more than 800 executive and associate members in Florida, including
those who manage trade and professional associations, individual
membership societies, charitable organizations and other not-for-profit
organizations, and is a resource for information on associations.

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