HAVANA, Cuba—Listed at $1.2 million, the penthouse has broad terraces, marble floors and stunning waterfront views stretching from the Darth Vader-style Russian Embassy to Meyer Lansky’s old Riviera hotel.
That might seem pricey for a Communist country whose average worker earns around $20 a month. But owner John Jefferis, a 57-year-old hotelier from Bermuda, says his target buyer belongs to a different demographic altogether.Foreigners who made fortunes in capitalist countries; that demo.
“There are very few apartments that can be legally purchased by foreigners, and when there’s a limited supply of something, usually there’s a premium for the price,” says Mr. Jefferis, who adds that jet-setters like his expat neighbors here can probably afford to splurge. “It’s not their first or second or third home, put it like that.”What does it take for the universal laws of economics to finally will out?
The economic woes of Cuba’s latest patron, Venezuela, have given new urgency to the search for a financial lifeline from abroad.Another socialist country running out of other peoples' money, that's what.