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The emergence of cooperatives in Cuba and President Obama’s reestablishment of relations with the country has attracted the attention of U.S. cooperatives and credit unions. About the size of California and home to 11.3 million people, the Caribbean island nation could become the next great success for the global cooperative movement.

But establishing a credit union beachhead in Cuba won’t be as easy as it may seem, according to Dr. Sandra Torres, an international management consultant, assistant professor at the Miami Dade College School of Business and former auto programs manager at the $550 million Tropical Financial Credit Union in Pembroke Pines, Fla.

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