TV Marti – January 27th, 2016
On the day that the new amendments to the Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR) and Export Administration Regulations (EAR) took effect, TV Martí interviewed Mr. George Harper specifically on the issue of sales of some items to Cuba on credit. Mr. Harper explained that allowing US banks to lend money so that certain goods can be exported and sold to individuals in Cuba on credit will allow many of them to work towards those purchases. Of interest to most will be the sale of electronics, chiefly cell phones and PDAs. These amendments further implement the new direction toward Cuba that President Obama laid out in December 2014.
This Week In South Florida, Local 10 – May 31st, 2015
On Sunday, May 31st the Channel 10 news roundtable program This Week in South Florida featured James Meyer, Peter Quinter of Gray Robinson and Jennifer Olmedo of Buchannan Ingersoll who had all returned from Cuba the night before. Roundtable host John Michael Putney told the three attorneys that they represent the legal vanguard traveling to Cuba following the major move towards the normalization of relations between the U.S. and Cuba. James Meyer, Partner with Harper Meyer, helped organize the group of 38 attorneys who traveled to Cuba under the auspices of the Florida Bar’s International Law Section. He also organized a smaller group from his own firm to conduct a series of professional meetings with Cuban lawyers, high level government officials and dissidents. Roundtable host John Michael Putney asked James Meyer about his impressions on the legal environment and any advice he would give either other lawyers or those who have an interest in doing business in Cuba. James Meyer advised that there is still no independent judiciary in Cuba so there are still real risks involved in doing business and enforcing any contracts there. He also advised that changes must take place within Cuba and in our legal system before investors can enter this emerging market.
Florida Bar’s International Law Section – July 28th, 2015
James Meyer has been named Chairman of the Cuba Committee of the Florida Bar’s International Law Section.
Marti Noticias – June 26th, 2015
James Meyer along with George Harper and other Florida attorneys presented an award to independent Cuban attorney and dissident Dr. Rene Gomez Manzano for his achievements in human rights activism.
Univision – June 3rd, 2015
On June 3rd shortly after their return from an exploratory visit to Cuba with the Florida Bar, George Harper and James Meyer were interviewed by Univision. Univision Reporter Mario Vallejo said the thirty or so attorneys who traveled to Cuba optimistic about the possibilities returned with the understanding that the embargo is not the only obstacle for foreign investors wishing to do business there. George Harper said that even if the embargo is lifted, without the necessary changes within Cuba, even if and when the laws change in the United States, it is a difficult legal environment for foreign investors and the risks outweigh the potential gains. He said about 60% of the foreign investors who entered Cuba have since left the island due to the challenges they faced doing business there. James Meyer stated that the laws in Cuba and the United States need to be further changed to give foreign investors confidence that their contracts can be enforced there. George Harper and James Meyer participated in meetings with attorneys and legal scholars, including a meeting with the Havana City Historian Dr. Eusebio Leal, and with a well-known Cuban legal activist and dissdent, Dr. Rene Gomez Manzano, who was one of the original “Group of Four” and who now serves as president of a group of “independent” Cuban lawyers.
América Tevé – June 3rd, 2015
On June 3rd George Harper and James Meyer featured as guests on Pedro Servec’s program “Al Fondo,” on Americateve. The interview related to their recent trip to Cuba with The Florida Bar’s International Law Section. Harper and Meyer were asked for their thoughts regarding investments in Cuba, based on what they had observed and on their conversations with people they met while there. Messrs. Harper and Meyer both agreed that, for now, the risk of investing in Cuba is too high for U.S. persons, and that laws must change on both sides in order to provide stronger guarantees to investors. In addition, however, Mr. Meyer said that he noted an enthusiasm for business that he had not seen on any previous trips.
Telemundo – June 2nd, 2015
George Harper and James Meyer were interviewed by Alejandro Isturiz from Telemundo regarding their recent visit to Cuba. James Meyer stated there need to be more changes in the laws of the U.S. and of Cuba, but that for the moment, we are starting a new hopeful era. George Harper said that even though the government says foreign investors don’t need the Cuban government as a business partner, it doesn’t decrease the risks.
Marti Noticias – June 1st, 2015
George Harper and James Meyer were interviewed by Television Martí shortly after their return from Havana where they met with attorneys and law firms licensed by the Ministry of Justice. Ricardo Quintana of Martínoticias asked George Harper and James Meyer for any advice on investing and conducting business in Cuba. Both Mr. Harper and Mr. Meyer concluded that at the present time the potential risks outweigh the potential rewards of investing in Cuba. Ricardo Quintana also interviewed Beatriz Delgado, a Paralegal at the Firm, as the youngest person in the delegation of 38 people who traveled to Cuba on the visit organized by the Florida Bar.
Doral News TV – June 1st, 2015
Maria Fernanda Silva of Doral News TV interviewed George Harper on June 1st regarding his recent fact-finding visit to Cuba with The Florida Bar International Law Section. She asked Mr. Harper to respond to the rumor that anyone can now travel freely to Cuba. Mr. Harper responded that only certain sectors in Cuba are open for trade or business with foreign entrepreneurs. He clarified that sending comestibles and pharmaceuticals to Cuba has always been open for humanitarian reasons, but that other sectors such as banking and related services remain tightly controlled by the Cuban government. Ms. Silva asked Mr. Harper to comment on the possibility of settling corporate and individual property claims against the government of Cuba. Mr. Harper responded that the ability to negotiate a settlement of these claims will depend largely on the Cuban government’s willingness to seek a settlement, and its desire for real trade relations with the U.S.
Univision – May 26th, 2015
Harper Meyer featured on Univision as a prestigious law firm to visit Cuba. The firm’s partners, George R. Harper and James M. Meyer, were interviewed by Univision on the eve of their first visit to Cuba. George R. Harper, James M. Meyer, Steven M. Harper and Steven H. Hagen traveled to Cuba on Wednesday, May 27th to meet with Cuban attorneys and business leaders to discuss and explore the possibilities that exist there for U.S. persons.
Radio Mambi – June 18th, 2015
George Harper and James Meyer were interviewed by Humberto Cortina for Radio Mambi regarding their observations after a recent trip to Cuba. From what he observed and learned from the trip to Havana, Mr. Harper said that even if the embargo is lifted many changes need to occur within Cuba as well as in the U.S. to prepare the legal environment for foreign investors. Currently the risks of investing in Cuba outweigh the potential gains. Mr. Meyer concurred stating that the laws in Cuba and the U.S. will need to change to give U.S. and other foreign investors confidence that their contracts can be enforced there.
HistoryMiami’s 11th Judicial Circuit Historical Society – September 9th, 2015
On October 22nd the 11th Judicial Circuit Historical Society will present a panel discussion on the legal relationship between the United States and Cuba. The Miami History Museum is hosting the panel discussion in conjunction with its exhibit on “Operation Pedro Pan,” the program whereby more than fourteen thousand Cuban children were brought to the U.S. between December 1960 and October 1962. The panel will include Firm partners George Harper and Steven Harper, who recently returned from an exploratory trip to Cuba.
RPPTL Annual Luncheon – June 5th, 2015
On June 5, 2015 James Meyer was a guest speaker during the Florida Bar’s Real Property, Probate and Trust Law (RPPTL) Section annual meeting and lunch at the Fontainebleau hotel in Miami Beach. James Meyer shared experiences and impressions from his recent trip to Cuba, and focused on potential real property and probate issues which may be on the horizon. Michael Dribin is the outgoing Chair of the RPPT Law Section of the Florida Bar and helped to organize the three day annual conference in Miami Beach.