Caterpillar chairman and CEO Doug Oberhelman, along with other Caterpillar executives and representatives from Rimco, the Cat dealer serving Cuba, are traveling to Cuba this week to meet with government representatives to enhance Caterpillar’s relationship with the emerging market.
Earlier this year Rimco, the Caterpillar currently serving Puerto Rico, was named Caterpillar dealer for Cuba. Oberhelman’s visit is the latest step in Caterpillar’s ongoing efforts to promote open markets and free trade.
“We believe in the power of engagement, and our goal is to be both a business and cultural partner in Cuba for many years to come,” said Oberhelman. “For nearly 20 years, Caterpillar has called for an end to the unilateral embargo. Our visit this week lays important groundwork for Caterpillar and Rimco to serve the Cuban market once remaining trade restrictions are lifted. We are grateful for the courteous and warm reception we have received.”
While steps remain to achieve fully normalized relations, including lifting the existing embargo, Rimco and Caterpillar will continue preparations to serve the Cuban marketplace with construction machines, power systems, turbines and engines.
“We look forward to offering the Cat solutions and traditionally outstanding service to help develop Cuba’s infrastructure,” added Richard McConnie, Rimco president.
Also during a visit, to the Cuban home of the late Ernest Hemingway, Caterpillar announced it will add to the previous $500,000 donation made by Caterpillar and the Caterpillar Foundation to The Finca Vigia Foundation with the donation of a Cat skid-steer loader. The machine will be used to support the construction of the Taller building, an onsite conservation laboratory with archival storage facilities located at the Hemingway House. The Taller will be used to house historic Hemingway artifacts and documents.
“The house is part of the cultural heritage shared by the American and Cuban people,” Oberhelman added.
Caterpillar has made philanthropic contributions to Cuba in the past through the Foundation, including the donation of generator sets for Cuban hospitals.