Private insurers face possible US$500mn Hurricane Beryl bill

19th July 2024 Insurance companies in the Caribbean are anxiously assessing what could be as much as US$500mn in losses following the destruction caused by Hurricane Beryl. The storm, which made history as the earliest category 4 hurricane on record during the Atlantic hurricane season, left a trail of destruction from as far south as […]

Panama Canal Pushing Ahead with $1.6bn Reservoir

12 July 2024  The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has accelerated plans to construct a new reservoir to guarantee water supply at a cost of US$1.6bn. With the aim of ensuring the canal’s operation going forward, a dam on the Indio River will be put to tender. This follows a difficult 2023, when daily passages were […]

Hurricane Beryl- earliest Cat 5 storm to hit the Caribbean

5th July 2024 Countries across the region are reeling from the effects of Hurricane Beryl, a Category 5 storm which swept across the South Eastern Caribbean to Jamaica and Cayman leaving over seven dead and thousands homeless. The storm was unprecedented both in term of the speed with which it intensified from a tropical storm […]

Latest on Hurricane Beryl | Donation & Support Information – How to Help

4th July 2024 Dear Members and Friends As you will have followed in the media, Hurricane Beryl has caused widespread damage, destruction, power outages and disruption to water supplies and telecommunications in the South Eastern Caribbean. After hitting Barbados with high winds and storm surge, the hurricane continued its path, causing further damage in Dominica, […]

Cuba moves to address cash shortages, limit actions of non-state entrepreneurs

1st July 2024 Cuba has moved to cap the profitability of non-state entities in their dealings with the state sector, and is to exert oversight of idle well-funded, tax-related bank accounts.  Following a week in which several senior figures including the Prime Minister, Manuel Marero, criticised the profits being made by some MSMES and the […]

Castro Looking to Reactivate SICA

28th June 2024 Attempts to reactivate the Central American Integration System (SICA) will be made with a presidential summit. Led by Honduran leader Xiomara Castro, Costa Rica and Guatemala have lent their support. Castro highlighted the common challenges the countries faced including climate change, drug trafficking, organised crime, security issues and migration. Nicaragua will take […]

New immigration law updates rules for Cubans, migrants, resident foreigners

24th June 2024 Cuba has published a draft Immigration Law that is intended to update the position of Cubans, their descendants, and migrants, who travel into and out of the country, as well as that of resident foreigners, foreign investors and visitors.  The lengthy draft which is subject to comment and revision before being considered […]

Guyanese government official, businessmen sanctioned by US

21 June 2024  The US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has sanctioned a senior Guyanese public officer and two prominent businessmen.  The sanctions come in response to alleged corruptions involving the parties and the business they operate and are pursuant to Executive Order 13818, which aims to combat human rights abuses and […]

Bukele inauguration likens El Salvador to “Sick Person”

14th May 2024 El Salvador President Nayib Bukele has pledged to improve the country’s economy and asked the population “not to complain”. Comparing the nation to a sick person, Bukele said there was a long list of issues including health, education, infrastructure, employment, housing and the economy. National critics complained about the illegality of Bukele’s […]

Ministers told economic situation still very tense, agree three priorities

10th July 2024 Cuba’s Council of Ministers has heard that the island’s economic situation continues to be “very tense.”  An official report of the Council’s monthly meeting held at the end of May, noted however, that improvements have been seen in some indicators.  At the meeting, ministers agreed three strategic priorities and a related new […]

Luis Abinader re-elected as Dominican Republic President

7th June 2024 President Luis Abinader has secured a second term in office after securing victory in the first round of the election. Abinader, who turns 57 this year, secured 57% of the vote, decisively avoiding a runoff with his nearest competitor, Leonel Fernández, a former three-term President, who won 29% of the votes according […]

Walmart Promises Billions of Central American Investment

31st May 2024  Walmart has announced investment worth at least US$1.3bn over the next five years in Central America. Of this, US$700mn has been promised to Guatemala, another US$600mn has been earmarked for Costa Rica. Cristina Ronski, Senior Vice President and General Director for Walmart Central America announced the news in which she promised to […]

Minister says reducing price inflation may take longer than expected

28th May 2024  Cuba’s Minister of Finance and Prices (MFP), Vladimir Regueiro Ale, has admitted that despite having updated the methodologies used to determine prices, Cuba’s government has so far not achieved its objective of reducing price inflation.  “We have not achieved the effects we intended. Everything we have done that is new, even in […]

Jamaica’s political parties clash on constitutional reform

23rd May 2024 The Andrew Holness Government and the Golding-led opposition Peoples National Party (PNP) are seemingly at an impasse on constitutional reform in Jamaica. Opposition Leader, Mark Golding, is standing firm, demanding a clear separation from the monarchy and the UK-based Privy Council as part of the nation’s constitutional reform process. Golding has called […]

US removes Cuba from list of nations not cooperating on anti-terrorism measures

20th May 2024 The US government has removed Cuba from its latest list of countries that it says do not fully co-operate with its anti-terrorist efforts. Despite this, Cuba remains on Washington’s separate list of nations that it alleges are state sponsors of terrorism: a designation that has made it difficult to undertake international financial […]

Mulino wins Panama Presidency; Faces Significant Challenges

5th May 2024 José Raúl Mulino is the new President-elect of Panama with 34.23% of the popular vote. With 78% turnout, the highest since the end of military rule in 1989, Mulino triumphed over nearest rival Ricardo Lombana who polled 24.6%. Mulino, who needed a majority decision by Panama’s Supreme Court the day before the […]

Haiti’s Transition Council advancing security mission

10th May 2024 Plans for foreign security deployment are advancing following the installation of Haiti’s transitional council after the official resignation of former Prime Minister Ariel Henry’s controversial government. “We have served the nation during difficult times,” said Henry in a statement released before the nine-member council took their oaths at what was reportedly a […]

Panama Election Favourite Facing Judicial Decision

3rd May 2024 The favourite for Panama’s election, José Raúl Mulino, faces a Supreme Court decision on the validity of his candidacy. Mulino’s running mate, former President Ricardo Martinelli was found guilty of money laundering and sentenced to over 10 years in jail and fined more than US$17mn for the New Business case. Martinelli claimed […]

Tourism recovering – Canadian and Russian visitor numbers steadily increasing

29 April 2024 Cuba is making steady progress towards achieving its objective of receiving 3.2mn tourists this year, but still has far to go to achieve the 4.5mn visitors it received in 2019 before the pandemic. Figures released recently by the island’s Office of National Statistics and Information (ONEI) show that in the first three […]

EU support Trinidad-Venezuela pipeline amid US sanctions

26 April 2024 The European Union (EU) has signalled its willingness to support the Dragon Pipeline between Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago despite reimposition of US sanctions on Venezuela. The 90-kilometre pipeline project between the two countries has been in the news in recent months following easing of sanctions on Venezuela and the granting of […]

Amid IMF Impasse, El Salvador Returns to Bond Market

19th April 2024 El Salvador returned to the bond market after four years with a US$1bn issuance at 12% that will mature in 2030. This is the largest debt in the country’s history and only four nations have issued sovereign debt above 10% since 2019. The rate could increase to 16% if El Salvador fails […]

Central Bank to reduce further cash in circulation, make banking more effective

15 April 2024  Cuba’s Central Bank (BCC) has said that it hopes this year to reduce further the amount of cash in circulation and make more effective measures announced last August that seek to direct state and non-state enterprises and individuals to use banks and magnetic cards for most transactions.  The policy limited cash withdrawals […]

Caribbean countries set CBI passport price floor

Four Caribbean countries set CBI passport price floor

11 April 2024 As international pressure mounts, four of the five Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) countries which have citizenship by investment (CBI) programmes have agreed to set a minimum price for passport sales. The compact, which is based on the six principles agreed by the OECS CBI countries during a roundtable discussion with […]

US Commits Further US$1bn to Central America

5th April 2024 During a regional visit focusing on the Northern Triangle, US Vice President Kamala Harris earmarked a further US$1bn to the region. The funds will be used for projects that slow irregular migration northwards. This includes US$170mn to Guatemala for development, economic, health and security assistance to Guatemala. US$135mn of this will be […]

US$2.33bn pro-business budget tabled in Barbados

28th March 2024 Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley has tabled what is largely being hailed as a pro-business budget for 2024/2025. The budget followed estimates detailing an accrual-based total outlay of US$2.33bn, including US$1.71bn allocated for current expenditure and US$622.4mn earmarked for investments in capital projects and debt repayment. While budgetary allocations to line ministries […]

IDB to Increase Regional Finance to US$112BN

22nd March 2024 IADB is going to ramp up LatAm finance to US$112bn over the next decade following a capital increase of US$3.9bn and internal reforms. These changes will see IADB and its venture capitalist arm IDB Labs focus on fewer but larger loans. This comes after member nations expressed interest in financing specific projects […]

Commentary in Granma outlines possible approach to currency reform

18th March 2023 The outline of a possible approach to unifying Cuba’s multiple foreign exchange rates and addressing dollarisation has been published in Granma. The much-needed measure is widely believed to be the key determinant in the success or failure of government’s macroeconomic stabilisation reform package. (See Cuba Briefing 2 January 2024). In a second […]

Haiti’s Prime Minister resigns as gang violence peaks

15th March 2024 Prime Minister Ariel Henry has announced his resignation following a meeting of CARICOM leaders and other international allies. “The government that I am leading will resign immediately after the installation of (a transition) council,” Henry said on Monday in a video address from Puerto Rico, as he thanked the Haitian people for […]

US$200mn Bayer Investment to open in Costa Rica by 2025

8th March 2024 German pharmaceutical company Bayer announced that it will invest US$200mn in a new plant in El Coyol, Alajuela, Costa Rica. The site is currently installing equipment and acquiring certification to begin production of contraceptives by the beginning of 2025. The aim is to provide access to long-acting, reversible contraception to 100 million […]

Habanos says its cigar sales grew rapidly in 2023 to US$721mn

4th March 2024 Jorge Pérez, the Commercial Vice President of Habanos SA, Cuba’s principal tobacco exporter, has said that sales of the joint venture’s cigars rose by 31% to US$721mn in 2023.  He was speaking in Havana during the twenty fourth annual Habano Festival which this year  was attended by more than 2,900 participants from […]

Bahamas announces top-up corporate income tax

1st March 2024 Weeks after rejecting an IMF call to implement a personal income tax on its citizens, The Bahamas has announced plans for the introduction of a corporate top-up income tax. Speaking in his midterm budget communication to the nation, Prime Minister Philip Davis said that the country is moving towards implementing the Qualified […]

Bukele Confirmed President with Super Majority in Congress

23rd February 2024 El Salvador’s Tribunal Supremo Electoral has confirmed Nayib Bukele as President for the next five years. Félix Ulloa will return as Vice President. Bukele received over 84% of the valid votes cast with over 2.7 million. Manuel Flores of the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) was second with 6.4% of votes. […]

Venezuela advances troops as Exxon announce drilling plans

16th February 2024 The Government of Guyana has revealed that satellite imagery provided by western allies are showing Venezuelan troop movements along the border in the disputed Essequibo region. Guyanese authorities including Foreign Minister, Hugh Todd, and Foreign Secretary Robert Persaud have argued that the Venezuelan government under President Nicolás Maduro is violating the Argyle […]

Gil replaced as economy minister: reform timetable uncertain 

12th February 2024 Cuba’s Council of State has appointed Joaquín Alonso, the Minister-President of the Central Bank of Cuba (BCC), as Minister of Economy and Planning, removing Alejandro Gil from the post. The decision to appoint Alonso and make other changes was revealed in a Council of State declaration on 2 February, published the following […]

Confusion over El Salvador Election, Bukele Claims Victory

9th February 2024 Despite incumbent President Nayib Bukele declaring himself the winner of El Salvador’s election, days after polling the final results have not been verified. Problems with electronic voting, voting abroad suffering early closures and local issues have contributed to a chaotic ending. On election night, Bukele stated he had over 80% of the […]

Gil says new exchange rate measures to be announced this month

5th February 2024 Deputy Prime Minister Alejandro Gil, Cuba’s Minister of the Economy and Planning, has said that the Cuban government expects this month to bring forward measures to control Cuba’s increasingly volatile foreign exchange market. In recent weeks the street rate of the Cuban Peso (CUP) has surged to close to CUP300 to US$1, […]

Record US$5.5bn national budget tabled in Guyana

2nd February 2024 The Irfaan Ali Administration has tabled a record US$5.496bn (GY$1.146tn) 2024 National Budget, some 47% higher than the US$3.75bn (GY$781.9bn) passed in 2023. The massive increase in spending is being funded largely by revenue from the oil and gas sector, which is projected to cover 29% of the budgeted expenditure. Delivered under […]

President Arévalo takes office in Guatemala

26th January 2024 Guatemala has a new President in Bernardo Arévalo despite last minute efforts to scupper the change over. Congress met for over 14 hours in an effort to declare Semilla politicians independent and check documentation of incoming diputados. At five minutes to midnight, Arévalo took office with former President Alejandro Giammattei dropping off […]

Cricket World Cup to generate US$300mn for the Caribbean

19th January 2024 The International Cricket Council (ICC) 2024 Men’s T20 World Cup is projected to bring in over US$300mn for the Caribbean in the coming months. Scheduled for 1 to 29 June 2024 across the Caribbean and the US, the ninth edition of the tournament will see several Caribbean countries hosting matches for the […]

Communist Party to focus on improving delivery in ailing sectors of the economy

15th January 2024 A proposed second National Conference of Cuba’s Communist Party (PCC) that was to have taken place during the first quarter of 2024 has been postponed. The decision, which was  endorsed at a plenary meeting of the Central Committee of the PCC held in mid-December, reportedly reflected the need to concentrate on delivery, […]

Guatemala set for transition following tense battle

12th January 2024 President-elect Bernardo Arévalo looks likely to take over as the new Guatemala leader on 14 January. This follows months of protests, criminal investigations and high level diplomacy that culminated in blocking attempts to change the August electoral results. Last minute efforts to thwart the peaceful transition of power included the arrest of […]

Trinidad issued Dragon Gas Field licence by Venezuela

5th January 2024 Trinidad and Tobago has officially been granted a license for the exploration, production, and export of natural gas from the Dragon Gas Field in Venezuela. Making the announcement about the deal, which was signed in late December 2023, Trinidadian Prime Minister Keith Rowley said that it marks a historic development in the […]

Caribbean countries advance climate change agenda at COP28

15 December 2023 Despite the last-minute controversies surrounding the latest iteration of a global climate change deal, Caribbean countries may still consider COP28 one of progress.  Staged in in Dubai over 1 to 12 December 2023, the Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) known as COP, saw an early […]

Azcuba forecasts “superior” 2023-24 sugar harvest

11th December 2023  The Director of Cuba’s state sugar group, Azcuba, Julio García, has said that the 2023-24 harvest will be “superior” to that of 2022-23, while indicating that government regards the sector’s future as strategic in relation to power generation.  In 2022-23 the country recorded an all-time production low of about 350,000 tonnes despite […]

Panama Faces Consequences of Closing Mine

8th December 2023 After Panama’s Supreme Court ruled that Minera Panamá’s contract (Law 406) was unconstitutional, the country faces up to the fallout. At least 7,000 workers have had their contracts suspended, the mine’s owners Canadian firm First Quantum have announced a voluntary withdrawal that could take over 10 years to finish. The Minister of […]

Díaz-Canel optimistic about the future potential for Emirati investment

4th December 2023 During an official visit to the United Arab Emirates, Cuba’s President has said that the Cuban Government is willing “to support any type of investment that the Emirati business community wants to make on the Island.” Speaking in Doha to leading local businesspeople and prior to participating in the COP28 Climate Change […]

UK Business Mission to Guyana – Winter 2023

5 December 2023 Last week, the Caribbean Council led another successful UK Business Mission to Guyana, the third in the last 18 months.   A delegation of 12 company representatives, received a warm welcome and had the privilege of hearing from leaders in the private sector and Government regarding plans to enhance the already strong and […]

Growing Saudi influence after inaugural CARICOM Summit

1st December 2023 Saudi Arabia’s influence in the Caribbean appears to be on the rise following the conclusion of the inaugural Saudi Arabia-CARICOM Summit. Held on 16 November in Riyadh, the main sessions were co-chaired by Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince and Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and […]

Nicaragua Withdraws From OAS

Nicaragua exited the Organisation of American States (OAS) on November 19, although are obligated to maintain conventions such as on human rights. Some observers lament this will be a blow to regional democracy, others point out that the OAS will continue to report on Nicaragua despite not maintaining a permanent presence in the country. In […]

Cuba urges Washington to end policies causing irregular migration to surge

20th November 2023 Cuba has urged the Biden Administration to comply with the two  nation’s agreements that guarantee the regular, safe, and orderly migration of Cubans to the US. Speaking to the media following a 14 November meeting in Havana with senior US officials on migratory issues, Carlos Fernández de Cossío,  Cuba’s Vice Minister of […]

Trinidad’s state telecoms company hit by cyberattack

17th November 2023 The majority state-owned Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT) has been hit by a major cyberattack. Global hacker group Ransomexx disclosed that they had launched a ransomware attack on TSTT, compromising and extracting up to six gigabytes (GB) of data. This data breach included personal information such as full names, email […]

Panama Protests remain, President Proposes Mining Moratorium

10th November 2023 With four deaths, including an alleged double shooting on a motorway, Panama’s protests enter a third week. Although there are signs of splits in the various factions, the teachers’ union has stated that protests will remain. Schools have begun to reopen but only an estimated 20% nationwide are receiving students. Prosecutors have […]

Jamaica moving to refinance US$1.76bn of debt

3rd November 2023 The Jamaican government is preparing to raise new debt in the international market to retire existing global bonds totalling US$1.76bn. The bonds earmarked include three specific notes maturing over the next five years, with bondholders set to have the option to cash out their bonds. This includes two notes with a maturity […]

Chinese-built dry dock now operational

30th October 2023 A Chinese-built floating dock located in the Casablanca Shipyard in Havana and operated by the Caribbean Drydock Company SA has been inaugurated. The facility, described as the largest and most modern to offer services in the Caribbean region, has a lifting capacity of 22,000 tons allowing the shipyard to carry out repairs […]

Panama Strikes Intensify following Second Mine Agreement

27th October 2023 A revised contract between the Panama state and Minera Panamá has resulted in a wave of civil unrest across the country. Schools and universities have suspended classes, MiBus has cancelled some bus services and medical staff followed through with a threat to join the strike. Adolfo Fábrega,  president of the Chamber of […]

Tensions rise over planned Caribbean Airlines expansion

20th October 2023 Tensions are rising in the regional aviation sector after Caribbean Airlines (CAL) announced that it is moving to significantly expand its operation in the Caribbean. The Antigua and Barbuda Government has declared its intention to oppose CAL’s expansion, specifically on routes previously serviced by LIAT (1974) as the Gaston Browne Administration continues […]

Guatemalan Protests enter Second Week, Paralyse Country

18th October 2023 Nationwide protests entered their second week in Guatemala, with groups demanding the resignation of attorney general Consuelo Porras. President Giammattei has offered dialogue, mediated by the OAS with one major group – the 48 Cantones of Totonicapan. An average of over 110 road blockages in the past week have caused an estimated […]

US$8.7bn budget tabled in Trindad and Tobago

6th October 2023 The Keith Rowley Administration has tabled a TT$59.209bn (US$8.7bn) 2023/2024 national budget in Parliament. The budget includes Total Revenue of TT$54.012bn (US$7.98bn), based on a projected oil price of US$85 per barrel, and natural gas of US$5 MMBtu. The shortfall under expenditure will lead to a TT$5.197bn (US$767.72mn) fiscal deficit (2.7% of […]

Ministers say Cuba facing serious fuel crisis affecting broader economy   

6th October 2023 Cuba is facing a serious new fuel and power crisis with uncertain outcomes for the broader economy, according to senior ministers. Speaking on the television programme Mesa Redonda on 27 September,  the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Planning, Alejandro Gil, and the  Energy and Mining Minister, Vicente de la […]

First UK Business Mission to Bahamas in 20 Years

3rd October 2023 The Caribbean Council’s large British business delegation travelled to Nassau on 2nd October for a week of high-level business and government meetings including a programme in Grand Bahama. The mission is the first of its kind in over 20 years and is an important marker of the growing interest in both the […]

Tourism struggling to recover as arrivals numbers remain weak

25th September 2023 Despite the Cuban Government’s best efforts to restore tourism to previous levels, data produced by Cuba’s national statistical office ONEI suggests that hotel occupancy rates remain low, and the country may struggle to achieve its projected 2.5mn visitors this year. Government said previously that it hoped to see the sector play a […]

The Bahamas records strong Q2 economic performance

22nd September 2023 The Government of The Bahamas has recorded stronger than expected economic performance in 2023 Q2, beating many analysts’ projections. In its Quarterly Economic Review for June 2023, the Central Bank of The Bahamas (CBOB) reported that the domestic economy continued its positive growth trend in the second quarter, indicating a transition back […]

Cuba hoping to deliver unified G77+China position on UN SDGs

18th September 2023 President Díaz-Canel, speaking in his capacity as pro tempore president of the G77+China, has expressed the hope that its 15-16 September summit in Havana will pave the way for practical action, enabling participating nations to “find and design together possible solutions to the most serious problems facing our world.”  In doing so […]

Guatemala Prosecutors Open Voting Boxes as Investigations Continue

15th September 2023 The special anti-corruption unit FECI opened an estimated 60 electoral boxes from Guatemala’s first round elections held in June. According to FECI boss Rafael Curruchiche, the raids were not in conjunction with cases against the incoming governmental party Semilla. The raids were signed off by Freddy Orellana, a district judge. Some critics […]

Anguilla capitalising on ‘AI’ domain revenue

8th September 2023 Anguilla is reaping unexpected riches from its “.ai” domain as AI development surges, with tech start-ups increasingly attracted to this domain for their businesses. Vince Cate, who manages the Anguilla domain, noted the significant change since November 2022, with ChatGPT driving AI progress. Anguilla earns revenue from domain registrars, such as Hover, […]

EU announce €45bn investment in LatAm and Caribbean

28 July 2023 The EU will invest €45bn in Latin America and the Caribbean for projects involving renewable energies, mobility and digital services. The financing will be made available through the European Global Gateway which will involve the Development Bank of Latin America and the Caribbean (CAF) and other multilaterals. It will include the fight […]

Gil suggests Cuba struggling to finance and deliver its economic model

24th July 2023 Cuba’s Deputy Prime Minister, Alejandro Gil, the Minister of Economy and Planning, has painted a bleak picture of Cuba’s attempts post-pandemic to turn the island’s economic fortunes around. Addressing a plenary session of Cuba’s National Assembly, he said that the country was struggling to meet its planned economic targets for 2023, and […]

Moody’s upgrades Trinidad and Tobago’s credit outlook

21st July 2023 Moody’s Investors Service has upgraded Trinidad and Tobago’s credit rating outlook to positive from stable, while affirming the country’s long-term issuer and senior unsecured ratings at Ba2. The international credit ratings agency noted that the positive outlook reflects the expectation that the country’s fiscal consolidation momentum triggered by windfall gains from energy […]

Constitutional Court Saves Guatemala’s Election, for now

14th July 2023 The second round of Guatemala’s election appears to be between Sandra Torres (UNE) and Bernardo Arevalo (Semilla). It took the intervention of the Constitutional Court to guarantee the process after the Ministerio Publico tried to have Semilla eliminated as an entity following allegations of fraud when setting the party up in 2019. […]

Caribbean to benefit from new World Bank financing toolkit

10th July 2023 The Caribbean is set to benefit from a suite of reforms to international financing announced by the World Bank Group. Ajay Bango, the new President of the Group announced what he termed as an expanded toolkit for crisis preparedness, response, and recovery, at the recently held Summit for a New Global Financial […]

Far-reaching market-related changes envisaged for Cuban state enterprise

3rd July 2023 Plans being discussed, intended to transform Cuba’s state enterprises are likely to be transformational and possibly socially and politically challenging, according to remarks made during a recent discussion on the flagship television programme Mesa Redonda. Although the detail of the changes envisaged is yet to be agreed, Johana Odriozola, the Vice Minister […]

Costa Rica best in Central America for Investors – KPMG Survey

30th June 2023 Mexico, Brazil and Costa Rica are the three top destinations for investors in Latin America according to a KPMG survey. According to an Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) analysis, Costa Rica has the potential to increase exports to the US by US$1.5bn per year. 17% of respondents thought Costa Rica was very attractive […]

Surging inflation driving state sector labour shortages and migration

26th June 2023 Official figures confirm that inflation in Cuba continues to surge. Their publication comes as many educated young Cubans and their families are choosing to either migrate or leave the state sector, causing official concern that consequent labour shortages may result in a decline in productivity. Recently published figures produced by the National […]

Caribbean agenda advanced at meeting with US Vice President

23rd June 2023 Caribbean leaders have used a recent meeting with US Vice President Kamala Harris to secure pledges of support on several issues affecting the region. “Strengthening the US-Caribbean relationship is a priority for me, as it is for President Joe Biden,” said Vice President Harris at the 8 June 2023 meeting in The […]

Some state enterprises ‘to be given market-related independence’

19th June 2023 Potentially far-reaching changes in the future organisation of Cuban state enterprises that may enable a much higher degree of market related autonomy are being considered for inclusion in new business laws.    Speaking to Cubadebate in an extended interview, Yovana Vega, the Director of the State Business System of the Ministry of […]

Panama Canal could seek Emergency Measures due to Drought

16th June 2023  Officials have warned that under extreme conditions, the Panama Canal will have to implement traffic restrictions due to water shortages in the area. May was the driest month recorded at the Canal since 1950. Administrator Ricaurte Vásquez stated if the current conditions continued then weight restrictions on ships could be implemented or […]

Russia says economic relations with Cuba moving to a new level

12th June 2023 Russia’s Prime Minister, Mijaíl Mishustin, has described Cuba as Moscow’s key partner in Latin America. Speaking at the start of an eleven-day official visit by Cuba’s Prime Minister, Manuel Marrero, and an accompanying high level Ministerial delegation, Mishustin said that relations were moving to a new level. “For us it is very […]

Bahamas Government tables US$3.5bn budget

9th June 2023 The Philip Davis-led Administration has tabled a US$3.5bn national budget in the nation’s parliament for the upcoming fiscal year. Prime Minister Davis, who is also Minister of Finance, announced a projected deficit of US$131.6mn for the period, but emphasised that there will be no new taxes or tax increases. Recurrent revenue is […]

Construction sector’s recovery ‘dependent on financing through exports’

5th June 2023 Senior officials from Cuba’s construction sector have said that they are attempting to finance its return to viability through developing an income from exports. Speaking on the nightly television programme Mesa Redonda, the Directors of the Ministry of Construction (MICONS) and the GEICON Business Group identified energy supply stability and financing the […]

Mexico to offer visas for Central American workers

2nd June 2023 President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) has announced a proposal to allow temporary work visas for Central Americans in Mexico. The visas will enable regional workers to be employed on such projects as the Maya Train. Trades such as welders, blacksmiths and other manual work as well as engineers will be required. […]

Gil says tourism’s return fundamental to Cuba’s economic recovery

29 May 2023 Deputy Prime Minister, Alejandro Gil, the Minister of Economy and Planning, has told Cuba’s National Assembly that “tourism continues to be the fundamental way to stimulate the recovery of the economy.” In a detailed address to Deputies on the country’s economic performance and priorities for recovery, he said that the sector was […]

Focus on security, climate change at UK-Caribbean forum

26 May 2023 British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly has visited the Caribbean for the UK-Caribbean Ministerial Forum which was dominated by talks on climate change and security. The 11th iteration of the forum, which was held in Jamaica on 18 May 2023, saw attendance of Foreign Ministers and other officials from across the region. They […]

Cuba-Russia business forum agrees measures to significantly strengthen ties

22 May 2023 Russia and Cuba have agreed at a business forum in Havana a series of economic and commercial measures that suggest that investment and trade relations with Russia may now deepen significantly. Remarks made there by Russian Deputy Prime Minister, Dmitri Chernishenko, and Boris Titov, the Russian Presidential Commissioner for Entrepreneurs’ Rights and […]

Regional Transport Ministers Discuss US$52.49bn Integration

19th May 2023 The Council of Central American Transport Ministers (Comitran) discussed the integration of transport networks during a meeting in El Salvador. Having received the master plan for mobility and logistics 2035, officials started the task of investing up to US$52.49bn. The plan, presented by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Central […]

Major hotel groups express confidence in recovery of tourism

15th May 2023 Announcements made during and in the margins of Cuba’s recently ended annual tourism fair FITCuba 2023 suggest that international hotel groups invested in Cuba have confidence that visitor numbers will fully return to 2019 pre-pandemic levels. Speaking at the fair, Gabriel Escarrer, the Vice Chairman and CEO of Meliá Hotels, said: “We […]

Guyana Government to appeal court ruling on ExxonMobil-EPA agreement

12th May 2023 The Government of Guyana is set to appeal a High Court ruling that the country’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) erroneously applied insurance obligations in its deal with ExxonMobil subsidiary, Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL). The Court said that the EPA breached its statutory duty by failing to enforce compliance over […]

Russia and Cuba agree to boost investment and trade relations

8th May 2023 Cuba and Russia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding intended to lead to a deepening of Russian private investment in energy, tourism, food production, civil aviation infrastructure, mining, and the development of sugar as an integrated agro-industry. At the end of a three-day visit to Havana, Makim Oreshkin, Presidential Adviser for Economic […]

India Looks to Gain Foothold in Latin America

5th May 2023 Talks between India and Central American representatives in Panama agreed to continue development of solutions to food security, connectivity and renewable energy. Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar met with counterparts from the Central American Integration System (SICA). An Action Plan will be drawn up to include other areas such as agriculture, IT […]

Serious fuel shortages halt May Day parade, affect wider economy

1st May 2023 In an indication of the seriousness of the fuel shortages presently facing Cuba, the country’s symbolic mass May Day parade in Havana was dramatically downsized and relocated. Announcing this just days before it was due to take place, Ulises Guilarte de Nacimiento, General Secretary, of the Central de Trabajadores de Cuba (CTC), […]

“War on guns” declared at CARICOM crime symposium

28th April 2023 CARICOM leaders have come out forcefully against the proliferation of illegal weapons in the region as they met to craft solutions for rising crime at the recently concluded symposium on crime. Themed “Violence as a Public Health Issue – The Crime Challenge,” the regional symposium was held in Trinidad and Tobago over […]

Lavrov says Russia to agree debt restructuring, wheat and oil supply

24th April 2023 Russia’s Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, has said that the terms of the restructuring of Cuba’s debt to the Russian Federation are practically agreed. He was speaking at the end of a three-day visit to Havana during which he discussed the supply of oil, wheat, and other issues with government. “Many goals were […]

Northern Triangle Banks Promise 2 million Job Creation

21st April 2023 Banco Cuscatlán, Banco Industrial and Ficohsa signed an agreement with the HUGE (Honduras, USA, Guatemala, El Salvador) Business and Investment Council to promote the generation of two million new jobs. Employment opportunities are viewed as key to halting migration from the Northern Triangle of Central America to the US. The deal was […]

Gasoline and diesel shortages paralyse parts of Cuba

17th April 2023 President Díaz-Canel has said that the shortages of fuel that have brought parts of Cuba to a standstill and affected tourism have occurred because some countries that supply the island under contract “are going through complex energy situations and have not been able to fulfil the commitments made.” Cuba’s President was speaking […]

US$214mn of spending flagged in Guyana’s audit of ExxonMobil

14th April 2023 The Government of Guyana says that oil giant ExxonMobil must justify as much as US$214mn of the company’s cost oil claims. This comes after a report of a 2019 audit completed by British firm IHS Markit (IHSM) of Exxon’s cost oil expenses between 1999 and 2017 flagged some US$214.4mn of the company’s […]

High court rules €72mn debt case can proceed against Banco Nacional

10th April 2023 The High Court in London has ruled that the Cuban State has no direct responsibility for €72mn (US$78.5mn) of accumulated Cuban debt held by CRF I Ltd, but that the Banco Nacional de Cuba (BNC) is responsible for meeting the claim (Background Cuba Briefing 6 February 2023). In a 94-page judgement, Judge […]

Dollar Diplomacy is Over says Taiwanese President

7th April 2023 Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen concluded a three-day official visit to Guatemala stating the days of dollar diplomacy are over. In March, Honduras became the latest country to switch allegiances to China, leaving 13 countries officially recognising Taiwan. Guatemala will receive US$150mn in aid from Taiwan during the 2013-2025 period. Taiwan remains the […]

Russian private sector to play a larger role in Cuban economy 

3rd April 2023 Together with Cuba’s state owned Corporación CIMEX SA, Russian private sector interests are to open a wholesale supermarket selling Russian goods, and with Russian government funding will develop a first hotel for Russians. Additionally, a joint Russia Cuba Centre for Economic Transformation is expected to be established, and a new financial settlement […]

CARICOM states join Mexico’s anti-gun lawsuit in the US

31st March 2023 Several CARICOM countries have signed on to an anti-gun lawsuit filed by Mexico in the US. Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, The Bahamas, Jamaica, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago have joined an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief filed by Mexico appealing a decision in US court to […]

Gil details priorities and programme of economic change

27 March 2023 Cuba is relying on “the dynamic recovery of tourism,” the resuscitation of the productive sector, changes to state enterprises, and a better currency allocation system to deliver growth of 3% this calendar year, according to Deputy Prime Minister Alejandro Gil, the Minister of  Economy and Prices (MEP). In remarks made to the […]