[Editor's note: This was published in GlobalPost Passport. To read the full story, join Passport.]

Ah, Cuba: Land of cigars, sandy beaches and a long-isolated populace hungry for the fruits of the Western world.

Ugh, Cuba: A country with crumbling infrastructure, economic puppetmasters like China and Venezuela, and a populace with an average monthly wage of $19.

Such are the attractions and pitfalls for the U.S. economy as it eyes the island nation on the heels of the Obama administration’s April 13 elimination of Bush-era travel restrictions and partial easing of the 47-year-long embargo.

Who cares about 11.5 million communist consumers? Businesses should.

Click here to continue reading if you are a Passport member.

Interested? Learn more about Passport.

Related Stories