The Obama administration has approved the first U.S. factory in Cuba in more than half a century, allowing a two-man company from Alabama to build a plant assembling as many as 1,000 small tractors a year for sale to private farmers in Cuba.
The Treasury Department last week notified partners Horace Clemmons and Saul Berenthal that they can legally build tractors and other heavy equipment in a special economic zone started by the Cuban government to attract foreign investment.
God, I love that the Cuban stupidity is over with!
On Saturday, Cuba announced that it had returned a U.S. Hellfire missile that it said was mistakenly shipped to Havana from Paris in 2014.
Well, yeah that's a good thing, too.
The Oggun tractor plant, named after a god in Cuba's syncretic Santeria religion, will assemble commercially available components into a durable and easy-to-maintain 25-horsepower tractor selling for less than $10,000, Clemmons and Berenthal said. The men believe they can sell hundreds of the tractors a year to Cuban farmers with financing from relatives outside the country and to non-government organizations seeking to help improve Cuban agriculture, which suffers from low productivity due mostly to excessive control of both basic supplies and prices by an inefficient, centrally planned state bureaucracy.
"I have two countries that for 60 years have been in the worst of terms, anything I can do to bring to the two countries and the two people together is tremendously satisfying," said Berenthal, a Cuban-born semi-retired software engineer who left the country at age 16.