Cuba's New Look

Havana is open for business, and eager U.S. firms are calling for an end to four decades of embargo

For 37 years Cuba's communist dictator, Fidel Castro, has chafed, rattled and raged under the cold-war headlock of a U.S. trade embargo. But this past summer the wily presidente sensed an opening. Philadelphia health-care-products giant SmithKline Beecham (a subsidiary of SmithKline Beecham in Britain) got the Clinton Administration's O.K. to pay Cuba some $20 million for the rights to test and market, in the U.S., a meningitis vaccine developed by Cuban scientists. Embargo rules still require SmithKline to pay initially in barter instead of dollars--a Yanqui condition that aides expected Castro to reject. To their surprise, he approved it. "We'll do...

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