Blue isn't the only American with an eye on Cuba—not by a long shot—but many of those businesses won't find the going as easy as they may like.
President Barack Obama's decision last December to start a rapprochement with Cuba sparked broad hopes for more open economic relations. Many American companies are taking a hard look at the largest island in the Caribbean, trying to gauge the business opportunities that could await them. Last week's move by the president to remove Cuba from a list of state sponsors of terrorism is more confirmation that the island could be open for business.
"We want to be proactive ahead of time," Blue said. "We're trying to gauge what the needs could be."
American multinationals have been looking at the Cuban market for the last 20 years, said John Kavulich, the president of the U.S.-Cuba Trade and Economic Council, a non-profit organization that provides information about Cuba to businesses. Kavulich said that by June of this year, the "relationship between the two countries should be more normal than it has been for the last 50-plus years."
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However, he argued that normalizing relations won't mean easy business for Americans.
"People forget it's not only about what the U.S. does, it's also about what Cuba does," he said. "Cuba can only buy what it can afford."
The Cuban market is still a narrow one for U.S. companies trying to do business, for reasons pertaining both to the law and its consumers. And companies shouldn't assume that Cuban consumers will rush to buy their products, just because they are American brands.
"This is not Dubai just 90 miles south of the U.S., saying, 'Please sell us your products,' " Kavulich said.