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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rahtidmon's picture
rahtidmon (not verified) Feb 15, 2016 5:22 PM

How in the hell did this traitor get elected twice...the progressive maggots that voted for his communist muslim need to leave this country pronto! I will pay for several one-way tickets to a country of their choice, just get the fuck out of here!

lakecity55's picture


"If you really, really want to get elected, choose DIEBOLDtm !"

rahtidmon's picture
rahtidmon (not verified) lakecity55 Feb 15, 2016 8:38 PM

LOL, that is a good one lakecity

Sanity Bear's picture

Are there ANY factories opening in the United States? You'd figure the Teleprompter-in-Chief would do a P.R. stop at one if there were.

rahtidmon's picture
rahtidmon (not verified) Sanity Bear Feb 15, 2016 5:32 PM

Ya, that is why he plays so much golf, King Putt, has nothing else to do, except dream up ways he can fuck over this country.

Bollixed's picture

But he did show up at that Solyndra factory...

rahtidmon's picture
rahtidmon (not verified) Bollixed Feb 15, 2016 5:51 PM

Right you are, and what happened to that company? I think it went bankrupt, along with half the other ones he visited...Midas touch in reverse!

Amalgamated Tang's picture

Didn't Obama (all praise and honor be upon him) campaign for president at the CAT factory in Illinois? Didn't he promise to save their jobs? How does approving a tractor factory with slave labor help CAT or their employees? 

homericninjas's picture

Big Green has been building equipment in mexico for some time, and India and Germany. Worldwide parts supply......the Chinese chains are particularly top notch. As well as the cast parts from Turkey that look like the turks are figuring out the process from scratch in a HotPoint stove. Gearboxes from Spain are quality as are all the parts from the former eastern bloc countries. 

Infield_Fly's picture
Infield_Fly (not verified) Feb 15, 2016 5:26 PM

Whayda export those jobs Barry you cocksucking piece of shit!!!

flaunt's picture

Oh... Now the "normalizing of relations" with Cuba makes total sense... And here I had given Obama a lot of credit thinking he was making a tactical move against Russia, when really all he was doing was opening up another avenue for selling out America's interests and bringing it closer to third world status.  Nice.

Son of Captain Nemo's picture

So many achievments to boast about!... How do you capture all the fragrant essence from the word ruthless that describes him so well?...

Sure hope when he shook hands with the Cuban delegation he was able to wipe those blood soaked hands off in the "executive wash room" first!!!

gmak's picture

We are what we produce. If you produce nothing, you soon find that you are nothing. I guess ll of these companies offshoring believe that some other company will provide the jobs so that 'muricans can buy their goods.


The next mini-ice age will take care of Carrier profits.  

Benjamin123's picture

The 1% will trade among themselves, the 99% will die. Despite the loss of most of their markets its still the desired outcome for those who already have more money than they could ever spend. Its perfect.

Quebecguy's picture

Cool, my neighbor can get his golf course back now!

Donald J. Trump's picture

There's another small caribbean country US .gov could help by opening up for trade to the caribbean.  I think it's called Puerto Rico or something.  It's a bit of a stretch, I know.

MFL8240's picture

More cheap labor for the gangsters that elected this trash!

ack's picture

Nah. Just joo-biz returning to Cuba. Disapora re-dux. Parasites returning to host. Let em ALL go. Please.    

lakecity55's picture

"Reggie, all our comrades in Cuba will soon have jobs!"
"That's sooo wonderful, munchkins!"

Ms No's picture

Well it will be convenient for the employer that Gtmo is so close.  If their decades of sanction induced poverty isn't enough to keep them working hard there is always rape and torture.



homiegot's picture

I enjoy watching yellow and brown people assemble the products that I buy. 

yogibear's picture

There aren't many factories left in the US to ship to Cuba.

silverer's picture

Right. They'll fit nicely.

justanothersucker's picture

$100 says one of the great black re white ah BROWN'S croney's who bankrolled it and of course, BHO will get HIS cut.

Goldilocks's picture

10 Celebrity Tombstones Worth a Laugh

Rodney Dangerfield's headstone, "There goes the neighborhood"

PoasterToaster's picture
PoasterToaster (not verified) Feb 15, 2016 7:13 PM

What would it be like if new factories opened up in the US?  Guess we'll never find out, they are gone forever thanks to the oligarchs.

Lumberjack's picture

The Cubans will scream bloody murder when they find out the prisoners at Gitmo will have the jobs they were supposed to get.

thisguyoverhere's picture

So when the dragon finishes eating his tail and all goes to $hit.

1. Prisoners released issued one bottle of Captagon and one machete.

2. Mental patients released issued one bottle of Captagon and one machete.


Let me say that I suggest looking into buying a compound bow and getting to know your local hog farmer.