Cuban-born billionaire Jorge Pérez, known for his real estate business in the United States, predicted Thursday difficulties for the Caribbean island with Donald Trump in the White House and warned of a possible confrontation between Latin America and the United States.
“Cuba is entering a difficult period” because “Venezuela can not help it anymore” and may be aggravated by Trump if the Republican president “listens to the old Republicans, who are in favor of the embargo,” he said in an interview with Efe in Mexico.
Perez recalled that he traveled to the island with President Barack Obama as members of the delegation were “very enthusiastic, very optimistic” with what they believed “that was going to happen.” But “Cuba fell back, all the things they said they were going to do did not happen; Almost no progress in relations between the two countries, “despite some gestures, he explained.
“Flights have opened, tourism has increased but there has not been what we thought could happen,” he added.
A personal friend for two decades of Donald Trump, for whom he built five Trump Towers but today openly criticizes, especially his plan to build a border wall with Mexico, Perez was born in Argentina and is the son of Cubans.
After a brief stay in Cuba, broken by the Castro revolution, he completed his bachelor’s degree in Colombia and studied at a university in the United States, where he created a real estate empire that earned him the nickname “King of the Condos”. According to the list of Forbes magazine’s greatest fortunes on the planet, in 2016 he ranked 495 with $ 3.3 billion. Trump was in 324 with $ 4.5 billion.
In Mexico, Pérez is launching luxury residential complexes with hotels included in which more than $ 2 billion will be invested in Cancun (southeast) and Zihuatanejo (south), and intends to do the same in the capital and Monterrey. He arrived in the country for the first time in the last decade with a similar offer in Puerto Vallarta (west).
He does not hide that his interest in Mexico also has sited that the US business side may be threatened with Trump’s plans. “I am worried about my business in the United States, in Miami eighty percent of our condo buyers are from Latin America. Latin American does not feel good about coming to Miami now and as such has a very big negative effect, “he acknowledged.
As an example, he explained that “if it is more difficult for an Argentine to get a visa (for the US), then they will do the same thing against an American in Argentina.”
“If you create an enmity again, a coldness between the countries of the north and the south does not suit anybody and especially the businessmen who want to do business here and there,” he concludes.