Friday, August 21, 2015

Raul Castro’s Grandson Expels a Spanish Businessman from Cuba

Raul Castro's Grandson Expels a Spanish Businessman from Cuba / Juan
Juan Almeida
Posted on August 20, 2015

Juan Juan Almeida, 18 August 2015 — Esteban Navarro Carvajal Hernández
is a serious, respectable Spanish entrepreneur, who has done business in
Cuba for twenty years. He has a trading firm, legally registered with
the Chamber of Commerce, and a Cuban family. He lives on 30th Street,
between 5th & 7th Avenues, in the Miramar neighborhood of Havana, next
door to the Canadian Embassy.

As a good businessman, clever and calculating, he seized the moment and
the new opportunities presented. Convinced also that the revolutionary
government needs infusions of capital from private enterprises, he
expanded his business beyond his commercial ties to several enterprises
on the island, and associated separately with three Cuban citizens to
create the following companies:

1. Up & Down, the bar-restaurant at the corner of 5th Street and Avenue
B, Vedado, Havana, open daily from 3:00 pm to 3:00 am

2. Shangri-La, the tapas bar, party room, and nightclub located on 21st
between 40th and 42nd, Playa, Havana

3. El Shangri Lá, in the province of Las Tunas.

And so, like foam, the gentleman entrepreneur grew. During that boom,
without realizing he was walking down a dark and slippery path, he met
the grandson of Gen. Raul Castro, Raúl Guillermo Rodríguez Castro, who
became a nightly regular at Shangri-La.

But the budding friendship ended, like Hector and Paris, with the
Spanish entrepreneur pitted against the powerful Raulito in an unfair
competition to win the attention (and everything else) of a beautiful
young woman whose attributes, some say, surpass those of the mythical
Helen of Troy.

The younger Castro lost and, genetically wrathful, used his boorish
manners plus the power conferred by his lineage, transforming a simple
personal problem into a police thunderstorm. Esteban received a
punishment more predictable than the August weather forecast for Havana:
"Deportation with indefinite denial of entry into the country."

Unfortunately, Esteban's is not an isolated case. His was preceded by a
series of very similar stories (some even worse) of entrepreneurs
expelled for Machiavellian reasons, such as the Panamanian Rodin, the
French-Italian Garzaroli, the Uruguayan Gosende, and others.

The Cuban government, shameless and without decency, is like a comic
opera, where business prospects, potential commercial projects, and
investment opportunities offered to foreigners, are intertwined with the
adventure of investing in a country where they face not only the risk of
the lack of legal support and many structural, banking, and financial
abnormalities, but also the challenge of living with that totalitarian
touch that, paradoxically, is seductive musk for many investors
attracted by power and political ties, who forget that, as the saying
goes, "The sun shines from afar but burns up close."

Always, of course, at its own convenience.

Translated by Tomás A.

Source: Raul Castro's Grandson Expels a Spanish Businessman from Cuba /
Juan Juan Almeida | Translating Cuba -

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