he Obama administration approved the first U.S. factory to be built and operated in Cuba in more than 50 years, in the latest sign of the rapidly changing relationship between the United States and the communist nation.
Cleber LLC, an Alabama-based company that builds tractors for small farms, was notified by the Treasury Department that it could open a facility in Cuba. Co-founder Saul Berenthal said the company’s attorney was in Havana on Monday to start the lengthy process of finalizing the agreement with the Cuban government and hopes to start production by early 2017.
Berenthal said he was proud to get the approval, but it means even more for the future relationship between the Cold War foes.
“Being first is great,” he said. “But for certain, we should not be the only ones. We’re hoping and expecting many more will follow.”