HAVANA TIMES, August 25 – New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson is heading to Cuba this week “as part of trade mission designed to capitalize on potential agricultural and cultural partnerships between Cuba and New Mexico,” reported the New Mexico Independent on Monday.
Richardson, who had been on the Obama administration shortlist to be the US Commerce Secretary, will be accompanied by numerous NM officials including Agriculture Department Secretary I. Miley Gonzalez, Cultural Affairs Secretary Stuart Ashman, Department of Finance and Administration Secretary Katherine Miller.
The governor, who has traveled to Cuba on previous missions, said he would be paying all expenses from his own pocket. The Independent notes that the trip is the third recent visit to Cuba from New Mexico officials hoping to promote the state’s agricultural products.
US companies can sell agricultural products to Cuba, but on a cash only basis enforced by the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.
If Washington’s 50-year trade embargo on Cuba is ever lifted, the potential sales from US exporters to the island would increase considerably.