Cuentapropista/Private Cooperative-Only Stores In Cuba?
United States companies potentially benefiting: Illinois-based Grainger, Wisconsin-based ABC Supply, Georgia-based Home Depot, North Carolina-based Lowe’s, Texas-based Sysco, Ohio-based Sherwin-Williams, New York-based Restaurant Depot, Texas-based Sally Beauty Supply, Tennessee-based Tractor Supply Company, Virginia-based Advance Auto Parts, Wisconsin-based SC Johnson, Missouri-based Graybar and California-based Square amongst others.
Republic of Cuba nationals have one of the highest awareness and highest preference for United States brands of any country.
To accommodate one of President Obama’s regulatory initiatives, the government of the Republic of Cuba would establish stores, owned and managed by a Republic of Cuba government-operated company, which would sell products on a wholesale basis exclusively to Republic of Cuba nationals registered within the (current) 201 categories of cuentapropistas and to members of private cooperatives. To access the stores, a cuentapropista/private cooperative representative would present his/her license when entering and again at check-out.
The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the United States Department of the Treasury and Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) of the United States Department of Commerce currently authorize United States-based companies to export directly products to cuentapropistas and to private cooperatives.
The government of the Republic of Cuba does not permit cuentapropistas and private cooperatives to directly import products; requiring products be purchased through Republic of Cuba government-operated wholesale/retail channels.
With wholesale-only cuentapropista/private cooperative-only stores, the OFAC and BIS might authorize direct exports to the Republic of Cuba government-operated company managing the wholesale-only cuentapropista/private cooperative-only stores because the products sold would be solely destined for use by the Cuentapropistas/private cooperatives. The government of the Republic of Cuba would maintain its requirement to manage product imports.
Creation of the stores would provide opportunities for another Obama Administration initiative, United States-based companies engaging in, depending upon credit worthiness, payment terms, loans and leases to cuentapropistas/private cooperatives because there will exist specific products to match with opportunities.
Since the products offered by wholesale-only cuentapropista/private cooperative-only stores would be restricted, perhaps the OFAC and BIS would also permit United States-based companies to provide payment terms (including consignment), loans and leases directly to the Republic of Cuba government-operated company that is managing the wholesale-only cuentapropista/private cooperative-only stores provided that the products are sold exclusively to cuentapropistas/private cooperatives.
The Republic of Cuba government-operated company managing the wholesale-only cuentapropista/private cooperative-only stores should have an account with Republic of Cuba government-operated Banco Internacional de Comercio SA (BICSA), a member of Republic of Cuba government-operated Grupo Nuevo Banca SA.
Pompano Beach, Florida-based Stonegate Bank has a Direct Correspondent Banking Agreement with BICSA permitting a more cost-effective and efficient means of receiving payments for, payments from and payments to United States-based companies. To enable greater transactional efficiencies, BICSA should have OFAC authorization to establish an operating account with Stonegate Bank.
Currently, many products for cuentapropistas/private cooperatives are imported to the Republic of Cuba by individuals traveling on the charter flights operating from the United States to the Republic of Cuba; the government of the Republic of Cuba is not preventing these deliveries.
With wholesale-only cuentapropista/private cooperative-only stores, friends and relatives of Republic of Cuba nationals who reside outside of the Republic of Cuba, particularly within the United States, will have an efficient means of directing remittances and loans in support of cuentapropistas/private cooperatives.