Cuba will authorize the sale of real state to foreigners

Wednesday, 11 August 2010News

HAVANA, Cuba -- Negotiations with foreign investors about construction of up to 16 golf courses and condominium communities will begin in January, Tourism Minister Manuel Marrero told reporters at the National Assembly on Sunday.

Marrerro’s announcement, based on a decision by the Council of Ministers at a meeting July 16-17, reverts the freeze on foreign real estate buying and selling imposed by the government in 2000, after a short-lived experiment with condominium construction in Havana.

Specific regulations for the purchase and sale of real estate by foreigners will be published before the end of the year, Marrero said. The immigration status of foreign buyers, as well as the types of contracts and statutes regulating the joint ventures between foreign investors and state companies are “being analyzed,” he added.

The 16 projects “have already been approved by the Council of Ministers, are in the process of implementation, and it’s being concluded,” Marrero told reporters, according to AFP.

Cuban development projects go through three stages — identifying a Cuban partner, obtaining approval of the foreign investment and tourism ministries, and finally getting the go-ahead from the Council of State.

Marrero said of the 16 golf course projects approved by the Council of Ministers, negotiations on four are “very advanced.” They include one project in the province of Holguín, one in Pinar del Río, and two located between Havana and the beach resort of Varadero.

This would be the government’s second run at residential real estate construction for foreigners, after it aborted a first run in the late 1990s.

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