Foreign Investment in Cuban Real Property: The Case for American Investors
45 Real Estate Law Journal (2016)
Posted: 15 May 2016 Last revised: 16 Dec 2016
Date Written: May 12, 2016
Cuban real estate is hot today. And even though the right to own private property does not exist on the socialist island, prices are rising as never before. Change is in the wind and investors are becoming anxious about opportunities to grab a small piece of Caribbean real estate before tourists come to town. Of course, their hopes are tied to the lifting of the U.S. embargo on Cuba, which has been in place since 1992 but which seems likely to be lifted in the near future. In this article, I will review the current state of the law with respect to buying real property in Cuba as a foreign investor, taking into account not only the embargo but also a number of related U.S. and Cuban laws that may affect the would-be investor. I conclude that only a narrow channel for investment currently exists and that channel is riddled with risks, but that a removal of the embargo may pave the way to solid investment opportunities.
Keywords: Cuba, real property, investment, Latin America, embargo, Helms-Burton
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