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Cuban Entrepreneurship in 2020: A Conversation with Marta Deus, Lauren Fajardo, and Liber Puente

Americas Society / Council of the Americas

October 28, 2020



Join AS/COA's Young Professionals of the Americas (YPA) and the Cuba Working Group (CWG) for a conversation with three Cuban entrepreneurs joining live from Havana to discuss their experiences running private businesses in Cuba. Entrepreneurship is always challenging, but 2020 has brought new obstacles for these pioneers, from COVID-19 to a nearly total pause in tourism to the island. Join us for a discussion on their strategies for innovation and adaptation in fashion, tech, and mobile delivery. 


  • Marta Deus, Co-Founder of Mandao
  • Lauren Fajardo, Co-Founder of Dador
  • Liber Puente, Founder & CEO of TostoneT
  • Lee Ann Evans, Director, Individual Membership and Head of Cuba Working Group, AS/COA (co-moderator)
  • Brett Perlmutter, Head of Google Cuba (co-moderator)

Hear more about the three entrepreneurs' stories on the 90 Miles Podcast.

To register, please email

This event is open to AS, COA, YPACWG members, and guests only.

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Marta Deus

Founder of Deus Expertos Contables, Co-Founder of Mandao and Negolution Magazine

Marta Elisa Deus Rodriguez is a self-employed professional and the founder of Deus Expertos Contables and co-founder of Mandao and Negolution Magazine. After living in Spain where she studied Business Administration, Deus sensed an emerging need for accounting, tax and financial services in the burgeoning private sector of her native Havana.

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Lauren Fajardo

Co-founder, Dador

Lauren Fajardo is a Cuban fashion designer. A graduate of the Institute of Design in Havana, her work encompasses a variety of international projects including films, stage performances and commercial shoots as fashion designer, costume designer, stylist and producer. She is the co-founder and creative director of Dador, a forward-thinking Cuban fashion and lifestyle brand based in Havana.

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Liber Puente Baró

Founder, TostoneT

Liber Puente Baró is a Cuban engineer who graduated from the Technical University of Havana (CUJAE) in 2000. He gathered international experience working as a diplomat officer at the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs for 12 years while he conducted international academic studies on economics and international collaboration. In 2012, he co-founded a small company name TostoneT dedicated to informatics and communication services to individuals, businesses, and companies.

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Lee Ann Evans

Director, Individual Membership and Head of Cuba Working Group, AS/COA

Lee Ann Evans is director of individual membership at AS/COA and head of the AS/COA Cuba Working Group. She draws on years of experience in the region, having most recently been vicepresident of Corporate Development for an energy infrastructure company, where she focused on market entry in the Caribbean, primarily Puerto Rico and Cuba. She served as the senior policy advisor for Engage Cuba, a national coalition dedicated to advancing U.S.-Cuba relations, and advised U.S. companies on investment opportunities, regulatory changes, and market entry strategies in Cuba.

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Brett Perlmutter

Head of Google Cuba

Brett Perlmutter founded and leads Google’s efforts in Cuba. In that capacity, Perlmutter was the principal negotiator of the first ever internet-related deal between the U.S. and Cuba which placed infrastructure in Havana to make uncensored platforms like YouTube available for the Cuban public. He also negotiated and signed an agreement to interconnect Google and Cuba's networks.

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