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Hugo Cancio


It's fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.

Hugo M. Cancio is an internationally-renowned expert on the Cuban business environment and culture. He is also a relentless activist and proponent of the lifting of the economic embargo imposed by the United States to Cuba. Over the past 28 years, Mr. Cancio has sought to build bridges of understanding and reconciliation between Cubans on both sides of the Florida coast. Over the course of 20 years, Mr. Cancio has been a big promoter of Cuban Culture. He owns a vast collection of Cuban art, has produced and promoted over 150 concerts with prominent Cuban artists as part of the cultural exchanges between the U.S. and Cuba, which helped pave the way for a change of mentality in Miami and other parts of the U.S. Some of his Cuban music productions were among the first nominated for Latin Grammy Awards. “We have a unique opportunity to set aside our political and ideological differences by focusing on those things that unite us instead of those that divide us,” Mr. Cancio said during a recent television interview. He added, “politicians and their politics usually perish, but music and arts always endure.”

As a private citizen, Mr. Cancio voiced his opinion to both the US and Cuban governments on reconciliation, before and after the rapprochement between the two countries under the Obama Administration. He was invited by the Cuban Ambassador in the United States for the opening ceremony of the Cuban embassy in Washington DC, and by the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry for the opening ceremony of the U.S. embassy in Havana. Mr. Cancio was also invited by the Obama administration to participate in President Obama’s historical keynote speech during his visit to Havana.

Since 2004, Mr. Cancio has been President and CEO of Fuego Enterprises, Inc., a publicly-traded diversified U.S. holding company focused on Cuba and other emerging markets. He was successful in gaining approval from the Cuban government to open a permanent news media bureau in Havana for OnCuba News, and creating OnCuba Media that serves as the first Cuban-focused bilingual platform, and publisher of OnCuba Travel Magazine and ART OnCuba Magazine with national distribution in the U.S. and a leading cross-over media solution for both the U.S. and Cuba. Under Fuego Enterprises, Mr. Cancio was also responsible for securing approval to start operations in Cuba for Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, the third largest cruise line in the world, where Mr. Cancio remains as a consultant and general representative for all Cuba operations. Mr. Cancio continues to advise other Fortune 500 companies, prestigious U.S. law firms in their Cuba-related practice, and investment firms around the world.

Mr. Cancio has participated and been a keynote speaker at several conferences worldwide such as Skybridge Capital’s prestigious SALT Conference and the Cuba Opportunity Summit at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Cancio has an extensive resume of national and international premier newspaper interview and television appearances such as The New York Times, The New Yorker Magazine, The Economist, Wall Street Journal, Forbes Magazine, Bloomberg, LA Times, Chicago Tribune, Cigar Aficionado, CNN, NBC, MSNBC, CBS, CGTN, Miami Herald, The Anthony Bordain show NPR, Voice of America, and many others. Among his many accomplishments is also the 1997 production of the first American film produced entirely in Cuba since 1959 named Zafiros Locura Azul, which is the story of his father Miguel Cancio, who was part of the popular music group Los Zafiros; the film went on to win the People’s Choice Awards at the Havana International Film Festival as well as 9 other film festival awards across the globe. Born in Havana, Cuba, Mr. Cancio immigrated to the U.S. in 1980 during the Mariel Boatlift. Mr. Cancio resides in Miami and travels frequently to his office in Havana.

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