Cuba could be the new face in the room at the U.S’ next Caribbean Energy Summit in June. (Chip Somodevilla image)
By NAN Business Editor
News Americas, WASHINGTON, D.C., Thurs. Mar. 24, 2016: When the US hosts its third Caribbean Energy Security Summit this spring, a new face may be at the table.
President Barack Obama used his historic visit to Cuba this week to say an invitation will be extended to the Communist nation to join the administration’s next Summit in D.C. in June.
U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden hosts the event, which kicked off last year and brings together government, finance, and private sector leaders from the United States, the Caribbean, and representatives of the international community to promote a cleaner and more sustainable energy future in the Caribbean through improved energy governance, energy diversification, greater access to finance, and donor coordination.
“Our governments will also work to protect the beautiful waters of this region that we share,” Obama said Tuesday in a speech in Havana. “And we’re inviting Cuba to join us and our Caribbean and Central American partners at this spring’s regional energy summit in Washington.”
He also revealed that like with other Caribbean nations, the US will be “moving ahead with our closer cooperation on regional security.”
“We’re working to deepen our law enforcement coordination, especially against narco-traffickers that threaten both of our peoples,” he said. “And I believe that the whole region has an interest in a country that is addressing its economic challenges, is responsive to the aspirations of its people, and is a source of stability in the region.”
US BUSINESSES FOR CUBA
Meanwhile, Obama also announced several US companies will be doing business in Cuba soon or are lined up to do business there.
GE: which he said “is going to sell more products here, from aviation to energy technology.”
CleBer: which will become the first U.S. company to build a factory in Cuba in more than 50 years.
Starwood: which will become the first U.S. hotel that operates in Cuba in nearly 60 year.
The Marriot: which President Obama said plans to come “and they’ll help train Cubans in the hospitality industry.”
Carnival Cruise Lines: which is expected to land its first cruise liner in Havana in May.
Airbnb: which launched in Cuba last year.
Verizon: which is set to help deliver direct landline phone connections between Cuba and the United States.
Cisco: which has announced it will help Cuban students develop their IT skills.
Stripe: which is partnering with Merchise Startup Circle in Havana to help Cubans start ventures and do business online.
PayPal: said it will introduce its global money transfer service Xoom to Cuba.
In August 2014, Google made its Chrome Web browser available for use in Cuba, where Internet access can be difficult to find and afford, and where free communications is not guaranteed by their government and Sprint added a “Sprint Cuba 20 Plus” calling plan last June to allow customers to make direct calls to Cuba.