Report summaryFidel Castro’s death on 25 November will change little in the near term for business in Cuba. Over the years, the government has moved forward with limited opening for private sector activity. Some additional reforms may be enacted moving forward, but the regime is expected to remain intact, and the government will still control most parts of the economy. For the oil and gas sector, the current US trade embargo has slowed down upstream activity rather than halt it all together. Cuba's offshore segment experienced an uptick in exploration activity most recently in 2012, but registered no material finds. Indeed, depressed oil prices have played a greater role in dampening interest in the country's oil and gas sector than current trade sanctions. It is the regime post-2018, once Raul is scheduled to step down, that may provide more openings for investment. Even then it will be contingent on Washington relaxing current restrictions and an improving oil price outlook.
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