Changes in policies regarding Cuba already having an impact on business here in Colorado

Posted at 10:00 AM, Jun 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-25 19:28:32-04

DENVER -- “What it does is put a cloud over Cuba.”

That’s how Anna Alejo, Colorado Director of the 10x10K Cuba technology competition describes President Trump’s decision to roll back Obama-era policies regarding Cuba.

“The fear is that by using such harsh language in his approach with Cuba last week that the hard line within the communist party is going to prevail when Raul (Castro) leaves next year,” Alejo told Anne Trujillo on this week’s Politics Unplugged.

Alejo is working to bring more Cuban software engineers to the Colorado, and send more technology experts to Cuba to trade ideas and encourage investment.

“They’ve been spending time at places such as Techstars and Boomtown technology accelerators to expose them to the ideas of entrepreneurship and how do you build a business,” Alejo said. “What’s interesting is that because of the new regulations, some of the entrepreneurs who were looking at incorporating here in the United States, they’re looking at setting up LLCs and bank accounts and setting up the payment systems here in the U.S. are now worried it’s going to take so long from the department of the Treasury that they are looking at incorporating in other countries.”

Alejo is hopeful that despite the challenges, the exchange of ideas between entrepreneurs in the two countries will continue.

”What we’ve seen over the last couple of years is the largest growth of the private sector in Cuba in over 50 years and that’s just been very inspiring to see,” Alejo added.

Politics Unplugged airs Sundays at 4:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Denver7.