Investors poised to cash in on Cuba domain names

The day has finally come for PostCastroCuba.com.

Miami criminal defense attorney Oscar Estevez thought it was a catchy phrase when he bought the name three years ago, and he wanted to develop it into a site for discussions on Cuban business and politics when the regime changed.

But now he wants to sell it — for at least $3,000 — because he doesn’t have the time to develop the site. Plus, he said he isn’t as politically passionate as other Cuban-Americans.

”I’m Cuban, but I’m not into the whole thing as local Cubans are in Miami,” Estevez said. “I think there still is the option to make money. I don’t think I’m the right person for that, though.”

For years, Internet entrepreneurs have snatched up domain names related to Cuba, waiting for the day they can turn the website into a business — or sell it to someone who will.

Monte Cahn, founder and president of domain name registrar Moniker, said he has numerous clients that registered Cuba-related names in the ’90s with speculation that someday there would be a regime change.

Sites with names like CubanCigars.com or CubanGolfResorts.com have the greatest potential for profit if America is allowed to conduct business with Cuba, Cahn said.

”They will be one of the fastest little countries, I assume, to get back on the Internet and start to communicate,” Cahn said.

It’s the travel-related names that will be the most popular to develop, but not far behind will be the development of the service-related names, like CubanBank.com, Cahn added.

Rob Sequin, publisher of HavanaJournal.com, owns about 2,200 Cuba-related domain names, and has developed 37 of them. The developed ones include Cuba.tv, CubaLegalServices.com and CubaMed.com.

”I’ve gotten a lot of phone calls and a lot of e-mails in the past couple of days with people asking me about my domains,” said Sequin, who is based in Massachusetts. “I’ve always planned for this day, but I never planned for the day after.”

He said he has no plans to build out or unload a bunch of his sites right now, but he’s starting to draft a gameplan of what he’ll do.

“For me, it’s not about selling them, it’s about developing them.”