US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Visits Cuba

US Sec. of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. Photo:
US Sec. of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. Photo:

HAVANA TIMES — US Secretary of Agriculture of the United States, Thomas Vilsack, arrived in Cuba on Wednesday for a working visit, reported dpa news.

Vilsack, the third member of the Obama cabinet to visit Cuba since the two countries resumed diplomatic relations in July, met in Havana with Ricardo Cabrisas, one of Cuba’s vice presidents.

The US official and Cabrisas spoke on “the interests of United States agriculture” and the restrictions of the US embargo against Cuba, said the Cuban news agency.

Vilsack’s delegation includes three members of the US House of Representatives, Democrats Terri Sewell (representative of Alabama), Kurt Schrader (Oregon) and Suzan Delbene (Washington) and Senator Jeff Merkley, also from the Democratic Party .

The agriculture secretary came to the island for a two-day visit. He follows Secretary of State John Kerry, who was in Cuba in August, and Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker who came in October.

Many US politicians have traveled to Cuba after the two countries announced a historic diplomatic rapprochement in December 2014, after years of disruption and ideological hostilities.

As part of the thaw, the Obama administration has relaxed some of the restrictions of the trade embargo Washington imposed on Cuba since the early 60s, for example in the telecommunications, agriculture and travel fields.

However the embargo is still in effect and can only be rescinded by Congress.

Companies in several US states with a strong agricultural industry have shown interest in the Cuban market this year.

3 thoughts on “US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Visits Cuba

  • Despite its hostilities against Cuba, America is not a country unto itself. It needs trading partners; it needs to export its goods so that the state or states could feed its inhabitants. The whole world is dependent upon each other. If the bully called America would only realize this, ceases its hostilities against other countries, live in peace and harmony with all countries, cease being the policeman of the world, cease imposing its way of life on the world, cease creating wars so that the share holders in the military industrial complexes could reap huge profits, the world would be a much better place in which to live. We need each other. We cannot exist without each other. The drafters of the United Nations Charter had vision of a peaceful world in which differences could be settled amicably through negotiations. But, you see, America believes that it was Divinely Manifested that it rules the world. Is there any difference between Hitlers Germany and the post Hitler America? Same difference!! The world is longing for lasting peace!

  • Well, I have a few more weeks before the end of the year where I posted some very significant news out of Cuba/USA would be forthcoming. We shall see… This is a good beginning..

  • Let’s be clear. Agriculture exports to Cuba have been permitted since 2000. Cuba has been a good market for US producers of grain and chicken for a long time. Auburn University recently reported that roughly half the chicken consumed in Cuba came from the state of Alabama.

    Medicine sales have been permitted since 1992. Telecommunications equipment sales have also been permitted for quite some time although it does not appear Cuba has ever bought much.

    Exemptions to the travel ban have been permitted for a long time. Obama has followed other Presidential steps to widen the exemptions including the 2015 modifications that have blurred the lines between what is permitted and what is still disallowed.

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