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However the embargo is still in effect and can only be rescinded by Congress.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