My Grandfather ingrained in my brain that when Cuba opened up, the opportunity for business would be amazing. My family was in the garbage business back then. I grew up learning about trucks, front loaders, rear loaders, containers, roll offs, and most importantly the service business. He told me about Cuba in 1988 and how the infrastructure of the country would need to be rebuilt when Castro passed away or the government changed. It is 26 years later and part of the world is about to change from the news yesterday about President Obama ending the Cuba embargo.
I am a native South Floridian. My best friend growing up was Cuban. I learned all about his family’s culture and my upbringing had those influences. Cubans and Cuban Americans are a proud people with deep culture, family values, and strong work ethics. Throughout my life in South Florida I have seen how great of a people they are. I am not in a position to comment on the politics, there will be raging debates in the coming months, but I am interested in the opportunity that is in Cuba.
My Grandfather spent a significant amount of time in Cuba in the 1950s and he described how beautiful of a country it was. Towards the end of his life, he taught me about what Cuba would need when the time came; they would need a full rebuild of their infrastructure. Of course, he was interested in the garbage business side of things, but he also schooled me on the roads, their electricity issues, outdated telephone technology, old cars, lack of modern construction, opportunity for increased tourism, and some of the best fishing in the world! What he did not know when he passed away in 1989, was the coming digital revolution and how it could fuel future relations.
Now I look at Cuba in 2014 and I can see everything that I always knew was coming, and more. If this happened 10 years ago, I could see my Dad already on his way there to open a company. I have to look at the search marketing opportunities. Tourism is going to be the first area that needs search marketing, which is a no-brainer. What about all of the businesses that are going to rebuild the country’s infrastructure? Now we are talking real money, real investments, real jobs, and a dire need for marketing.
Tandem Interactive has three bilingual employees; South Florida is already the corridor to South America and now it will be the corridor to Cuba. We are ready to work in tandem with companies on both sides of the Gulfstream. The next decade should be incredible for both Cuba and South Florida. I will do my best to contribute and I believe…fulfill part of my Grandfather’s dream.