U.S. senator seeks free flow of agricultural products to Cuba
Published January 30, 2015 EFE
Democratic Sen. Richard Durbin said Friday that he is working on
legislation to ease the U.S. embargo on agricultural and
telecommunications exports to Cuba as a step toward normalizing
relations between the two countries, a goal announced earlier by
President Barack Obama.
"The President's announcement is just one step of the many we must
take," Durbin told a press conference, adding that the bill he and a
bipartisan group presented this week will end restrictions on U.S.
citizens traveling to Cuba.
He said the Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act would also eliminate the
existing red tape required for banking transactions related to such trips.
"I am hopeful that we will see legislation shortly that allows the free
flow of agriculture and other products to Cuba - including the use of
modern banking mechanisms to ease such trade," the lawmaker said.
The senator cited figures from the Illinois Farm Bureau, which estimates
that the state could export corn and soybean seeds to Cuba for $6.6
million, and add $11 million in other business as the market opens.
So that Cuba stops blaming us for all their problems, said Keith
Mussman, president of Kankakee County farmers, we can help them increase
their production instead of importing all the food they consume.
Also attending the press conference was the professor of Cuban origin,
Maria de los Angeles Torres of the University of Illinois at Chicago,
who said no one can deny that the situation in Cuba is repressive and is
"economically precarious and politically precarious," but added that
"the Castro brothers' days are numbered."
Therefore, she said, any easing of the embargo would contribute to a
more positive political transition.
"The American people are ready for this change and my colleagues and I
are committed to getting it done," Durbin said. EFE
Source: U.S. senator seeks free flow of agricultural products to Cuba |
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