That’s the question over on Twatter.
So, what should a good little capitalist be thinking of doing to make some cash out of the newly liberalising Cuba?
Actually, it’s not finding out what’s rare in Cuba and then providing it. It’s finding out what is common in Cuba then exporting it that will make the money, if we’re to take the Russian communist collapse as an example.
And there the answer is easy. Nickel and cobalt. Salts of them that is, not the metals.
There’s quite a large mining industry there, producing significant amounts of nickel and cobalt salts (in this sense, “salt” means compound, sulfite maybe, sulphate, oxide, whatever). They don’t process these up to the metals (that’s usually done in Canada) because there’s not enough energy on the island to do so.
These salts are easily saleable once you’ve got them off the island. And there’s at least tens of millions of $ worth that can be got off the island.
So, what you need to do is find some less than scrupulous officials, you’ll need people at the mining end and in government/customs, get their confidence and get them to start shipping your stuff over to Europe. Rotterdam would be a good place. Once you get it there you need to change the packaging. For those mines were nationalised without compensation around the time of the revolution, meaning that anyone who buys the products is in breach of the Helms Burton Act. Ship anything made of them into the US and you’re an evil person who will go to jail and the product itself will be confiscated.
Which is why the Canadians, delightfully, specifically make the Canadian nickel containing coinage out of such Cuban nickel. A middle finger pointed directly at the Act: for no one, not even the US, is going to start jailing people for having a Canadian quarter or loonie in their pockets.
Still, to get around this you’ll need to repackage your nickel and cobalt salts. Then just sell them into the general supply chain and “rich greedy bastard” becomes your middle name.
In one way this is quite easy: finding someone to do the repackaging for example will be a doddle.
In another way it’s all really be rather difficult. For the same reason that finding someone to do the repackaging will be easy. For the existence of people able to handle said repackaging is in fact evidence that this is already being done. On quite a large scale, too. So you’ll actually be in competition for those dodgy mining and customs officials with the Castro Brothers who are more than suspected of profiting mightily from this current trade.
And competing in the black market with the people who have both all the guns and all the money is really rather difficult.
Which is where your opportunity comes in. Once they do pop their clogs then there’s a whole supply chain already set up just waiting for someone to come in and continue running it.
Good luck and whoever manages to not get shot while trying to take it over will get very rich indeed.