News and Facts about Cuba

French Press Describes Cuba as “The New El Dorado”

French Press Describes Cuba as “The New El Dorado” / 14ymedio
Posted on February 1, 2016

14ymedio, Havana, 1 February 2016 – ’s current visit to Paris
is receiving widespread coverage in the French press, focused on the
possibilities offered by Cuba’s appearance in the international market.
The island is considered the new El Dorado by many of the publications
that trumpet the advantages of investing in a place with a privileged
geographical position and where almost everything remains to be done.

Jean-Christophe Dauphin, from the private equity company AGSM, was
enthusiastic about a recent trip to Cuba during an interview on radio
Europe 1. “I was there in July for ten days, and it is evolving very
very quickly. The last day I was in Havana I ran into Brazilians,
Austrians… the whole world is in the race. One will have to have sharp
elbows not to drown in the middle of the mass,” he said.

Appearing on the same radio station was former Secretary of Foreign
Trade Pierre Lellouche, now a deputy for the Union for a Popular
Movement party (UMP), who praised Raul Castro’s visit to and the
leadership he has taken in his country in this regard. However, he
stressed that to date trade with Cuba is negligible, “It is about 200
million euros a year, that is, nothing.” Lellouche added that France
must support the island in moving forward “toward democracy and human

L’Express published a comprehensive report in its employment section on
French investments in Cuba and again called it the Island of El Dorado.
“Cuban labor is highly skilled,” according to Didier-Pier Florentin, of
Havana Development, who is quoted in the article. The sectors with the
least presence and, therefore, greatest opportunities, are energy,
, transportation and the , according to the French
publication. Stéphane Witkowski, of the Institute of Latin
American Studies, emphasizes the importance of the geographical position
of the island: “Cuba occupies a strategic position, especially for
companies who want to get into other Latin American markets.”

The international prestige of Cuban medicine, which the government has
exported for decades, has led France to be particularly attracted to
that sector. The DMS Group, which specializes in high technology for
diagnostic medicine, is particularly interested in investing in this
area, the second highest source of exports from the island, after nickel.

“We are about to finalize an agreement with a Cuban company for the
distribution of our products,” revealed Samuel Sancerni, Deputy CEO of
DMS. “Our goal is to position ourselves in the market before the United
States reaches Cuba,” he adds.

Another French company, Abivax, born from the merger of three
laboratories, was a pioneer in proposing an alliance with Havana in 2014
in biotechnology, with the goal of becoming the world leader in vaccines.

In an interview published Monday in the Catholic daily La Croix, the
Cuban writer Jacobo Machover says that despite the enthusiasm displayed
by the international press, the situation in Cuba has
worsened since the restoration of diplomatic relations with the United
States. And, he added, “there is no will to change on the part of the

The writer, who lives in France, points out that there are strong limits
on of and on access to the internet, and that visits
by heads of state such as Hollande or Italy’s Matteo Renzi, “consolidate
and legitimate the Castro dictatorship.”

Machover believes life for the Cuban people has changed very little
since US President Barack Obama’s announcement in December 2014. “There
is a wave of that has gone unnoticed in the media, but that
is of very large proportions,” he explains. “This is the largest exodus
since the Rafter Crisis in 1994.”

At 5:00 pm, Paris local time, there will be a demonstration at
Champs-Elysées-Clemenceau Metro Station, called by a group of
intellectuals through a manifesto entitled “Against Raul Castro’s visit
to France.” The manifesto is signed by Machover, Laurent Muller,
president of the European Association for a Free Cuba, Jesús Zúñiga, a
refugee Cuban independent , the writer Zoe Valdes, and
journalist Bernard de la Villardière, all of whom live in the French

Source: French Press Describes Cuba as “The New El Dorado” / 14ymedio |
Translating Cuba –

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