Related’s Jorge Perez among business delegates visiting Cuba

Developer was Cuban policy adviser for Clinton

Mar.March 22, 2016 11:15 AM

President Obama’s diplomatic visit to Cuba this week has captured the minds of many Miamians, whose ties to the island nation are arguably stronger than those of any other city in the United States.

But while most of the trip so far has been handshakes, photo ops and speeches, a delegation of U.S. business magnates reportedly landed on the island to meet with their Cuban counterparts on Monday.

Among them: South Florida’s own billionaire condo king Jorge Perez, CEO of the Related Group, and Cuban-born billionaire Mike Fernandez, founder of private equity giant MBF Healthcare Partners.

Several business talks were held at a brewery/restaurant in Havana where U.S. executives, Cuban entrepreneurs and government officials from both nations mingled and networked, according to a Miami Herald report.

President Obama also made an appearance and called for an embargo lift, along with reforms in Cuba like a dual-currency system and allowing professionals to start their own business, according to the report.

Perez, once an adviser of Bill Clinton’s on Cuban policy, has long stood for the relaxing of ties between the U.S. and the island. His parents are Cuban and though he was born in Argentina, he lived on the island nation as a child before his family fled during the revolution in 1959.

He’s even mentioned in past interviews with the Herald that he’d love to have a hand in redeveloping the island if possible. Foreign ownership of property in Cuba is still a tricky business, however, and only in 2011 did the government allow for its citizens to sell and buy property.

“There’s a lot of change happening in Cuba,” said Fernandez, according to the Herald report. “There’s been a quiet revolution over the last few years that some in our hometown don’t want to see it.” [Miami Herald] — Sean Stewart-Muniz

Related Articles

Daily Digest Miami

54-story Turnberry Ocean Club tops off, Flagler streetscape project to break ground: Daily digest

From left: Jon Paul Perez, Alex Karakhanian, Tony Arellano and Devlin Marinoff over the site (Credit: Google Maps)

Related Group, Alex Karakhanian and partners drop $32M on Wynwood site

Jon Paul Pérez, Jorge Pérez and the downtown Miami skyline (Credit: iStock)

Miami’s biggest condo developer is going micro

Jorge Pérez with renderings of the projects

Related Group, Atlantic Pacific seek approvals for mixed-use apartment projects

233 North Miami Avenue and Jorge Perez

Related Group picks up two lots next to Miami Dade College for $9M

The Gallery on the River and Jorge Perez of Related Group (Credit: Wikipedia)

Related Group moves forward with Gallery on the River project

(Credit: Getty Images)

All eyes on cranes during Hurricane Dorian

Daily Digest Miami

Ben Carson dismisses concerns about Opportunity Zones, private equity landlord pays $10M for Palm Beach Gardens properties: Daily digest