Obama OK's First Factory In Cuba In 57 Years

Tyler Durden's picture

Last week, in “Welcome To Obama’s Recovery: Carrier Moving 1400 Jobs To Mexico,” we showed what happens the moment hundreds of American manufacturing workers learn that their services will no longer be needed thanks to cheap labor south of the border.

Carrier - a unit of United Technologies - is closing two Indiana plants and moving them to Mexico, a move that will ultimately leave more than 2,000 people jobless. The announcement that the Carrier facility on Indianapolis' west side will be closed was met with angry jeers from a crowd gathered to hear the news and was greeted with profound dismay by city officials.

Today’s surprise announcement was without warning and incredibly disappointing,” mayor Joe Hogsett said. “While I am obviously concerned about the economic impact, my top priority is the well-being of the hardworking families affected by this decision.”

Economists called the move "highly unusual."

Actually, we said, it’s not “unusual" at all. Here's why (from The Indianapolis Star): "Carrier’s workers are separated into a two-tier wage system. A quarter of the workers make about $14 an hour, or about $30,000 a year. The rest make about $26 an hour, or about $55,000, but make well above $70,000 a year with overtime."

Something tells us labor costs will be "slightly" lower south of the border.

On Monday we learn that US companies aren’t just sending jobs to Mexico. They’re sending them to Cuba, where, thanks to the Obama administration’s move to restore diplomatic relations with Raul Castro, US businesses can now operate factories.

Entrepreneurs Horace Clemmons and Saul Berenthal were notified last week by the Treasury Department that they will be allowed build tractors on the island at a $5-$10 million facility.

“Cuban officials already have publicly and enthusiastically endorsed the project,” AP reports, adding that “letting an American tractor company operate inside a Cuban government facility would have been unimaginable before Presidents Barack Obama and Raul Castro declared on Dec. 17, 2014, that they would restore diplomatic relations and move to normalize trade, travel and other aspects of the long-broken bilateral relationship.”

Clemmons and Saul Berenthal plan to commence production by the first quarter of 2017 with 30 Cuban employees, a number they hope will grow to 300 within five years.

"Everybody wants to go to Cuba to sell something and that's not what we're trying to do. We're looking at the problem and how do we help Cuba solve the problems that they consider are the most important problems for them to solve," Clemmons said. "It's our belief that in the long run we both win if we do things that are beneficial to both countries." Here’s a bit more from AP:

The Oggun tractor plant, named after a god in Cuba's syncretic Santeria religion, will assemble commercially available components into a durable and easy-to-maintain 25-horsepower tractor selling for less than $10,000, Clemmons and Berenthal said. The men believe they can sell hundreds of the tractors a year to Cuban farmers with financing from relatives outside the country and to non-government organizations seeking to help improve Cuban agriculture, which suffers from low productivity due mostly to excessive control of both basic supplies and prices by an inefficient, centrally planned state bureaucracy.


Berenthal said they are optimistic that they will also be able to export Oggun tractors to other Latin American countries, which have low or no tariffs on Cuba products, making them competitive on price. The men expect a 10-20 percent profit on each tractor.


For the project's first three years, Clemmons and Berenthal say they will export components from the United States for assembly in Cuba.


Clemmons and Berenthal will publish all the schematics of their tractors online in order to allow Cubans and other clients to more easily repair their equipment and come up with designs for other heavy equipment based on the same frame and motor that Cleber can then produce at their Mariel factory.

Berenthal is Cuban-born, so to a certain extent, this is a story about an entrepreneur that wants to give back to his birthplace and that's certainly understandable. That said, Clemmons is from Alabama and you can bet the headline “Alabama Man To Build Tractor Plant In Cuba Thanks To Obama-Castro Reconciliation” won’t go over well with Donald Trump voters.

The next question is this: how long before John Deere decides that making tractors in Cuba or Mexico might be a whole lot cheaper than building them in America's heartland? 

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KesselRunin12Parsecs's picture
KesselRunin12Parsecs (not verified) Feb 15, 2016 5:08 PM

So... CARRIER is now gonna make Scotty Cameron putters, or Cleveland wedges?

SuperRay's picture

Let them build it.  It's a perfect moment in the business cycle to start a new business.

Richard Chesler's picture

Another win for the communist muslim prick!


ThroxxOfVron's picture

<--- Latino voters in Las Vegas and Los Angeles might like it.

<--- Negroes in Flint and Baltimore and Ferguson will vote Democrat no matter what we do.

The Juggernaut's picture

Military Industrial Complex's first factory in Cuba in 57 years.  There, I fixed it for you.

Fascism at its best!  

FGH's picture

How many thousands of families were destroyed, innocent people gaped (sic), tortured and/or summarilily executed by the unholy Castro brothers. They even imprisoned and tortured homosexuals like the Nazis. THESE MOTHERFUCKERS SHOULD BE TRIED FOR CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY AT THE HAGUE LIKE THEY DID MILOSEVICH. Instead they are given a fucking tractor plant??? WTF!!!  

NoDebt's picture

"will be allowed build tractors on the island at a $5-$10 million facility"

You aren't BUILDING anything in a $5-10MM "facility".  That's nothing but a screwdriver operation.  Big warehouse with some Cubans in it putting the last 8 screws into pre-assembled components shipped in from elsewhere.  Coupla forklifts, some shelving for inventory and a loading dock.  That's it.

There's no foundry or casting equipment, no commerical grade sheet metal presses, no machining equipment, no nothing at that price point.


itstippy's picture

You have obviously never seen a Cuban tractor.  They're made out of wood and leather.

NoDebt's picture

Ah, for the days when tractors were made of wood and men were made of iron.

Theosebes Goodfellow's picture

And a plow was a plow! WTF? So the USA is getting invaded by the down-and-out of the world, the number of Americans not in the workforce has never been higher, and that Marxist asshat is pushing for the construction of a factory in Cuba?

Can this shit get any effin' weirder?

COSMOS's picture

TO FGH... So I am supposed to root for Team Obama or Bush or that of any other president who has thoroughly fucked up Central and South America.  Tell you what Mr Bautista Jr.  I would be more than happy to yell fire at your execution on the beaches of Cuba.  And I hope Fidel is there in his wheelchair to pull the trigger on the first shot, in your groin.

Six years ago, the reformist government of President Zelaya held out some hope for the poor peasant farmers of Honduras until he was toppled in a coup carried out by military officers trained in Georgia at the notorious School of the Americas, with the tacit support of Barack Obama and his then secretary of state, Hilary Clinton, who were carrying on a long tradition of US intervention and interference in the region.

The aftermath of the coup and the fraudulent elections that followed it presaged a wave of repression where journalists, trade unionists and human rights defenders were attacked, tortured, murdered and disappeared. The World Bank, underwritten by the US, Canada and the UK, gave and continues to give cheap loans for large landowners to grow cash crops for export on lands stolen from small farmers who are simply left to starve. Power and wealth in Honduras reside in an elite who benefit from political, military and economic relations with the US and Canada, which see the republic as little more than a resource to be exploited by their transnational companies, with scant regard for its beleaguered inhabitants.


The Cubans are not dumb, they know how team America plays when it comes to town.

Urban Redneck's picture

Meh... The Rinse, Repeat cycle of civil wars in Cuba is rather bloody. By historical standards the last one was actually pretty clean. Pulitzer, Hearst and the other yellow journalists actually couldn't hold a match to CNN/MSBC/FOX, sort of like the Cuban War of Independence couldn't hold a match to the Ten Years War, and both were more atrocious than the revolution fifty years ago.

orez65's picture

A midsize row-crop tractor in the US features 180 to 200 horsepower. 

Sounds like the Cuban tractors, at 25 horsepower, will be mostly used for mowing weeds or giving rides at carnivals.


COSMOS's picture

Why the need for horsepower, its island time and island distances.  Go too fast and you may end up in the water.

Dr. Engali's picture

Thank goodness we have a man of the people in office to protect slavey across the globe.

Took Red Pill's picture

I was trying to figure out why the US gov't was restoring relations with Cuba. Now it makes sense. Big business wanted the cheap labor, plus it's another market to sell to.

gmak's picture

Where else could you find 4th generation pet-slaves so close to home?

milking institute's picture

Yep,it always boils down to that,the immigration flood,trade deals etc. both parties are now exclusively agents for the world corp/inc.   never thought they would be this blatant about it but it looks like people are finally catching on,who is the only pol talking about it? yes the Donald,just for that he's got my vote,easy.....


What are they gonna build ?

Bill Clinton Cigars with special dipping sauce ?

Alternators for fifties automobiles ?

Castro looks like he wants to chain up Obama and put him to work on the plantation in that photo............................

Jethro's picture

Obama wouldn't last a day chopping sugar cane

ThroxxOfVron's picture

<--- North Korea seizes joint industrial park.

<--- The pale boy gets to wear a suit-coat and serve juleps on the porch.

lakecity55's picture

No, but he would do great if Raoul put him in a barrel with his lips to the hole for comrade relief.

neidermeyer's picture

That would be GENERATORS for fifties automobiles..

Mr. Fix's picture

Maybe they're due for an upgrade. I've done it myself.

Benjamin123's picture

Whats up with communists and tractor factories?

Boing_Snap's picture

ya my thoughts too, Obama does everything Communist style anyway so why not maximize tractor production?


nmewn's picture

State control over means of production.

Plus they can turn the compound into a gulag for dissidents whenever they want and the labor then becomes...Faaarrreee! ;-)

lakecity55's picture

Usually, when they kill off all the farmers, they also destroy all the tractors. So, later, they have to have a 'glorous five-year plan' to build tractors.

itstippy's picture

Soviet press release every year for decades: "Tractor production up 40%".

Apparently Bengamin123 remembers those days too.  

silverer's picture

Services the most basic need of basic countries operating as an agrarian society, just one rung up the economic survival ladder. That's because communists barely ever get higher than that. It's usually just hookers and tractors in places like Cuba, and few well off people might own a 1950's American car.

djsmps's picture

Is it a second Carrier factory?

Make_Mine_A_Double's picture

Another tractor factory - lol.

What's the 5 Year Plan comrade Barak-al-Ghetto?

Itch's picture

It beats poisoning Cuban children's milk with cement powder...great people at the CIA. 

WillyGroper's picture

guess u missed brennan's emotional propaganda on 60min last nite.

almost crocodile tears for the fallen.

Tachyon5321's picture

Carrier Airconditioner is moving 1400 jobs from it's Indiana plant to Mexico.   So under the wacky world of Obama, business moving out of the United State and laying off the employees is now a huge victory and win for Obama.    

Dr. Engali's picture

Of course it's a huge victory for him. Anything that weakens America and makes it moar dependent is a victory for him in his eyes.

Never One Roach's picture

Democrats sending [more of] your jobs overseas....



__Usury__'s picture
__Usury__ (not verified) Never One Roach Feb 15, 2016 5:20 PM

Please do not worry, the Monetary system (planned by zionist bankers in 1694) is working exactly as planned. Offshoring of jobs is a function of our debt-based money that we force you to use. If you do not like it, LEAVE

your life long friend USURY

Nanur's picture

They're not Democrats nor Republicans... they're fascists... profits before people, at any cost.  That's what fascist do.

Budd aka Sidewinder's picture

Hyman Roth is alive and well

noless's picture

I could have written that plan, so many coincidences, thanks Obama.

Nanur's picture
Nanur (not verified) Feb 15, 2016 5:19 PM

Yet another giant sucking sound.  If you can't move slaves to the factory, move the factory to the slaves... long live free trade!!!

Iam_Silverman's picture

"Nice little system."

Yep, but I bet even the Cubans can screw it up.  Remember, many of the tractor designs produced in the communist bloc countries were also copies of great American ideas.


Have you ever had to find parts for the constantly breaking-down Belarus tractors?  The air-cooled diesel ones are notorious for being problematic.

Arnold's picture

All parts made in America, assembled in Cuba,what could go wrong.

noless's picture

As long as they stick to vacuum systems instead of computer controlled they could literally fix it with chewing gum, either that or drop some individual batch semiconductor printers with the same open source specs as they're promising with their machining and they're golden.


This shit literally is not rocket science, if you can carve a wooden idle you can build every component in a tractor, as long as no one has a fucking gun to your head to "make the "right" one ".


Whose providing the machinery to seal those hydraulics though? Cause that's fluid technology....

Miss Expectations's picture

Speaking about Donald Trump and Cuba:

Several large European investment groups have asked me to take the ``Trump Magic'' to Cuba. They have ``begged'' me to form partnerships to build casino-hotels in Havana. With the influx of foreign tourists, we would make a fortune, they promise, and they are no doubt right. They are also right to say that this type of arrangement would allow me to skirt the U. S.-imposed embargo.



 Published Friday, June 25, 1999, in the Miami Herald


noless's picture

Wait, are you saying that trump, an unapologetic venture capitalist that speculated primarily in real estate and entertainment, publicly considered giving cuba a puerto Rico Makeover? Because I'm absolutely shocked.


Why are they trying to default again? I mean they have non voting reps in Congress.



Can you faggots not blast trump until we have a coordinated plan of action to post a tungston reactor in Haiti that serves as a desalination plant to provide fresh water and real change to the people of Hispaniola, the American people literally owe them that for their part in the western hemispheres revolutions, without them the united States wouldn't exist.