Thursday, March 29, 2007

Cuba trade

Granma has an article about Nebraska’s governor signing two trade agreements with Cuba and calling for normalization of relations.

The U.S. government doesn’t prohibit such agreements, but the transactions must be up front, in cash. According to the director of Cuba’s food import company, Cuba has bought $108 million worth of U.S. goods so far this year, and $560 million last year. In fact, he said the U.S. was Cuba’s leading source of food and agricultural products.

Most politicians haven’t been particularly interested in Cuba, and were willing to delegate decisions to the small minority that are. As such trade agreements increase, however, that could potentially change. The Nebraska governor, a Republican, makes a very big deal about trade with Cuba, and he took 31 people with him—other Nebraska politicians are also on board. The Alabama state legislature passed a resolution last year in favor of more trade with Cuba. You can find many similar examples from other states.

The question is at what point such advocates can actually manage to push the issue to the forefront, face the opposition within their own party, and change our ancient policies.


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