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Old 03-19-2016, 08:39 AM   #1
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Default Silicon Valley Tech Companies Set to Open Cuba to Wider Reforms

In a major coup for the Obama administration's new Cuba policy, two historically significant events are happening next week that signal the emergence of the first real signs that Cuba is taking the right road towards starting to open its economy and political system to the rest of the world and begin the journey towards a market based system and greater freedoms.

The first is President Obama's planned visit, which will make him the first US President since Calvin Coolidge in 1928 to visit Cuba.

The second is less symbolic, and more substantive. Sillicon Valley is about to invest in Cuban entrepreneurs doing business in a market based economy with an array of technological and collaborative innovations ushering Cuba into the 21st century and signaling perhaps the most paradigmatic shift in a communist nation's economic delationship with the US since Nixon opened China.

http://fortune.com/2016/03/18/stripe-cuba/

Stripe Wants To Help Cuban Entrepreneurs Enter The Digital Age

by Leena Rao @leenarao MARCH 18, 2016, 12:00 PM EDT

Ahead of President Obama’s historic trip to Cuba next week, Silicon Valley payments upstart Stripe announced that it is helping Cuban entrepreneurs set up U.S. businesses.

The initiative lets foreign entrepreneurs incorporate U.S. businesses, obtain U.S. bank accounts and tax ID numbers, and, of course, set up a U.S. Stripe account to receive payments. The service, which costs $500 per business, will also give users access to tax advice from PwC along with legal advice.

The offering is part of Stripe’s new Atlas program, which is a service for international entrepreneurs that debuted in February. Some Atlas services, such as credits for Amazon’s cloud computing business, AWS, are unavailable to Cuban founders.

To recruit Cuban entrepreneurs for the program, Stripe is working with Merchise Startup Circle, a Havana-based startup incubator. The effort is part of a deluge of interest by U.S. companies in Cuba including airlines, hotels and other tourist interests following the loosening of trade restrictions.

Stripe, which was founded by brothers Patrick and John Collison, helps businesses accept nearly all forms of digital payments online. Its service has gained considerable traction and helped push the company into the top tier of startups known as unicorns that are valued at $1 billion or more.

Collison told Fortune that Atlas was originally unavailable in Cuba because of the trade sanctions. But in the past few weeks a White House official contacted Stripe about offering the service in the country.

Stripe’s plan for Cuban entrepreneurs comes at a time when U.S.-Cuban relations are thawing, potentially bringing U.S. and Cuba closer politically and economically than they have been in 50 years. Stripe explains that Atlas could be particularly helpful to Cuban entrepreneurs because there is no easy way to build an Internet business in the country.

Also, less than 4% of the country’s population is online today. But despite these challenges, Stripe said that more than 70% of Cubans surveyed recently said they wanted to start their own business.

“Even Atlas is the same for all entrepreneurs, the impact in Cuba could be greater because it is essentially impossible for private individuals to incorporate a business in Cuba,” Patrick Collison told Fortune. “We underestimate the extent of which there are savvy and sophisticated developers outside of the U.S. but many have been restricted in building businesses.”
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Old 03-19-2016, 09:14 AM   #2
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It's ridiculous that it's taken this long to restore relations with Cuba. Should have been done when the Berlin Wall came down.
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Old 03-19-2016, 11:04 AM   #3
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Progress always seems to happen at the speed of molasses in January in 'murica.
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Old 03-19-2016, 11:22 AM   #4
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Cuba has the only fully sustainable agricultural industry in the world due to the US trade embargo having denied them pesticides since Castro took over, and a model for potential organic urban farming in the US. Not surprisingly, big agribusiness wants to kill that now that trade is about to resume, which would be a true tragedy in terms of environmental impact.

Equally not surprising, this is the reason some Rethugs are now rethinking backing Obama's open trade policy, not because it stands to benefit the possible liberty for Cubans, but because the smell of money is in the air. A similar issue face them in oceanic destruction of the ecosystems and the impact of US tourism as well.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/w...wers/81820314/
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Old 03-19-2016, 11:27 AM   #5
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Silicon Valley isn't doing this because they care. They are salivating at the prospect of even cheaper workers to keep American STEM worker salaries artificially low.
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Old 03-19-2016, 11:44 AM   #6
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Silicon Valley isn't doing this because they care. They are salivating at the prospect of even cheaper workers to keep American STEM worker salaries artificially low.
Silicon Valley already has an abundance of cheap offshore labor in places like the Philippines. It's got nothing to do with exporting jobs to Cuba. It has to do with allowing Cuban entrepreneurs to access US financial payment systems. That's a boon to the Cuban economy and a source of new emerging market growth for Stripe and other players. Read the article.

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Old 03-19-2016, 12:35 PM   #7
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Cuba will become the 'Tiger' of the Caribbean.

Very industrious and creative people.
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Old 03-19-2016, 12:42 PM   #8
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Cuba will become the 'Tiger' of the Caribbean.

Very industrious and creative people.
Yep...it's going to be interesting to see how this progresses. I'm already making some plans for when it fully opens up.
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Old 03-19-2016, 01:09 PM   #9
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They should have to make a Cuba tax that goes to the Cubans who had all their property stolen by Castro.

I have several friends whose parents fled to the USA. They lost everything.
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Old 03-19-2016, 01:15 PM   #10
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They should have to make a Cuba tax that goes to the Cubans who had all their property stolen by Castro.

I have several friends whose parents fled to the USA. They lost everything.
"They" being who exactly?
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Old 03-19-2016, 01:19 PM   #11
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Yep...it's going to be interesting to see how this progresses. I'm already making some plans for when it fully opens up.
Don't wait. It's unique in the world, but it won't be once the fast food and US tourists arrive.

They still have store displays left intact from the 1950's, and the cars, oh the cars.
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Old 03-19-2016, 01:46 PM   #12
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Don't wait. It's unique in the world, but it won't be once the fast food and US tourists arrive.

They still have store displays left intact from the 1950's, and the cars, oh the cars.
I'm working on doing business down there, but planning to visit next summer.
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Old 03-19-2016, 01:52 PM   #13
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I'm working on doing business down there, but planning to visit next summer.
Best of luck. You should do well there.
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Old 03-19-2016, 02:32 PM   #14
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I'm working on doing business down there, but planning to visit next summer.
What, do you smell money in the air like a republican?

It's good that you will do business in Cuba and pay your taxes here in the US like a good little liberal

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Old 03-19-2016, 03:14 PM   #15
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What, do you smell money in the air like a republican?

It's good that you will do business in Cuba and pay your taxes here in the US like a good little liberal
You're a blithering idiot. I'm not involved in the destruction of the world's only sustainable agricultural economy. Stick to spewing misogyny and homophobia douchebag.
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Old 03-19-2016, 03:22 PM   #16
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"They" being who exactly?
Any imports from Cuba should have a tariff that repays what they stole. Any tourism from America maybe a tax on that as well.

So they would be anyone making money off lifting the embargo on Cuba.
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Old 03-19-2016, 03:54 PM   #17
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Any imports from Cuba should have a tariff that repays what they stole. Any tourism from America maybe a tax on that as well.

So they would be anyone making money off lifting the embargo on Cuba.
Tariffs on Cuban imports would bill US consumers for the acts of the Cuban government 50 years ago. Taxes on the tourism trade in Cuba already exist and have zero to do with US trade policy since they are regulated by a sovereign government's internal fiscal policy. A special tax devoted to what amounts to reparations would harm the current resident Cuban business owners, effectively amounting to a brake on Cuba's most important source of revenue and slowing their entry into a market based economy.

Even if such foolish implementations were enacted, revenues would never make it to the people intended to receive them in Cuba's labyrinth of corupt bureaucracies. "Anyone making money by lifting Cuba's trade embargo" includes Cubans themselves. Cuba's taxation of foreign corporations has been designed to attract investment to modernize their economy, not pile more restrictions on trade. Depending on the type of venture, some corporations are already limited to transferring only 2/3 of profits out of Cuba, effectively resulting in a mechanism designed to create sustainable wealth generation inside Cuba.

Now do another bong hit and then tell me what kind of reparations US corporations should pay American blacks for the theft of their ancestors labor.

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Old 03-19-2016, 04:47 PM   #18
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Can we go there for health care now?
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Old 03-19-2016, 05:34 PM   #19
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Can we go there for health care now?
Cigars, rum and golf will be awesome and the best part is its only 90 miles from the Keys.
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Old 03-19-2016, 05:49 PM   #20
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Any imports from Cuba should have a tariff that repays what they stole. Any tourism from America maybe a tax on that as well.

So they would be anyone making money off lifting the embargo on Cuba.
Why?? The Cubans will handle their own affairs. Or do you think only Cuban Americans were affected??

They were the lucky ones; they got fat (literally) sitting in Miami with enough wealth to buy US political influence to keep an embargo in place that actually helped Castro stay in control.

So why punish Cubans again? Those who lived there were the ones being persecuted, not the Cubans who fled.

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Old 03-19-2016, 05:53 PM   #21
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Cigars, rum and golf will be awesome and the best part is its only 90 miles from the Keys.
Oh man, I was at the Havana Club watching the Buena Vista Social Club playing with a gathering of the best vocalists from all over Cuba.

Smoking fresh Cohibas and drinking Mojitos. I can't describe my headache the next day, it was epic.
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Old 03-19-2016, 06:29 PM   #22
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Can we go there for health care now?
It's being termed "medical tourism", one of the few sectors they've developed. Cuba's actually been bartering medical care to Venezuela in exchange for oil because they haven't developed their own drilling technology for off shore reserves and Venezuela has a major currency problem. Doctors also make less than waiters at hotels and restaurants catering to tourism.

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Old 03-20-2016, 12:31 PM   #23
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Silicon Valley already has an abundance of cheap offshore labor in places like the Philippines. It's got nothing to do with exporting jobs to Cuba. It has to do with allowing Cuban entrepreneurs to access US financial payment systems. That's a boon to the Cuban economy and a source of new emerging market growth for Stripe and other players. Read the article.
I am in this business and I know for a fact that this is to get quick H-1B visas into Florida with the thought that American companies will find them easier to assimilate with their current employees. Silicon Valley is not doing anything out of the goodness of their hearts, this is all for the money.
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Old 03-20-2016, 12:39 PM   #24
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Why?? The Cubans will handle their own affairs. Or do you think only Cuban Americans were affected??

They were the lucky ones; they got fat (literally) sitting in Miami with enough wealth to buy US political influence to keep an embargo in place that actually helped Castro stay in control.

So why punish Cubans again? Those who lived there were the ones being persecuted, not the Cubans who fled.
A blanket statement. My ex's mother and grandmother were the last on a helicopter after a young man gave up his seat to fit them both. They got to Florida and definitely never became wealthy. They have a heart-breaking home video of finally finding and meeting the man 30 years later after he finally made it over around 1990.
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Old 03-20-2016, 12:59 PM   #25
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What's to stop Cuba from just seizing the assets of American and other foreign businesses again?
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