In Cuba

From left are James Berethal, Mrs. and Mr. Jose Ramon Cabañas and Ceci and Saul Berenthal. Saul Berenthal is the president of CLEBER, a Jackson County company, that has become the first American company considered for establishment of an assembly/manufacturing facility in Cuba.

A Jackson County company announced it is in the process of trying to open the doors to trade in Cuba.

CLEBER LLC has proposed to assemble and manufacture tractors in Cuba, which has been blocked to American companies due to a decades-long embargo. However, the island nation has begun to formalize the company’s proposal, according to owners.

“An Alabama company being accepted as the first U.S. company to establish a business in Cuba is significant for the entire state,” said Horace Clemmons, the CEO of CLEBER.

“The contacts and experience CLEBER has gained implementing this project will be invaluable to everyone in the state of Alabama.”

A recent agreement meets the letter and spirit of Cuba’s new relationship with the U.S. and the stated goals of the Cuba Foreign Investment Act, according to Clemmons and CLEBER President Saul Berenthal.

In a letter to Berenthal, Cuba’s director of process and procedures writes that the nation will “favorably endorse the preliminary interest … to become a user in the Special Development Zone Mariel.”

The company hopes to provide “simple, cost-effective” tractors to Cuban farmers based on the Allis-Chalmers Manufacturing Co. Model G, which was made from 1948-55.

The original tractor was made in Gadsden.

The company would work on tractors for use in Cuba, as well as for exporting. The Cuban official, Idermis Gonzales Riera, wrote that she hoped the Jackson County company would partner with local firms as well.

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