Now that Myanmar is on the move, Cuba’s position in the telecom league tables is likely to decline further. Or will it? Minority partnerTelecom Italia (who says Communists are against foreign investment?) has been given USD 706 million to go away by Raul Castro’s son-in-law’s company. If they have that kind of change, perhaps they are planning to invest in the sector as well?
Raúl Castro’s son-in-law, Gen. Luis Alberto Rodríguez, is the top executive at the military’s holding company, known as Gaesa, which is estimated to control 20 percent to 40 percent of the Cuban economy.
And its role is expanding. In 2011, a financial arm of the company bought out Telecom Italia’s 27 percent stake in Cuba’s telecommunications company for $706 million. Gaesa also has a network of hundreds of retail stores selling everything from food to appliances. It is a growing force in tourism, too, controlling fleets of luxury buses, a small airline and an expanding list of hotels. And one of its subsidiaries is overseeing the free-trade zone built alongside Cuba’s largest infrastructure project in decades — the new container port in Mariel.