Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Texas to send trade delegation to Cuba

Wednesday, May 14, 2008
By ALFREDO CORCHADO / The Dallas Morning News

The state of Texas will send a trade delegation to Cuba in late May, the first official visit in more than 45 years and one that organizers hope will pave the way for broader trade in the years to come.

Led by Texas Department of Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples, the 24-member delegation will include representatives from all sectors of Texas agriculture, including grain, cotton, beans, rice and cattle. The trip is scheduled for May 27-31, organizers said.

Trade prospects include airlines, oil, technology and tourism, sectors now banned under the nearly 50-year U.S. trade embargo of Cuba.

"Texas and Cuba used to have very strong commercial ties before the embargo," said Cynthia Thomas, president of Dallas-based Tri Dimensions Strategies, a consulting firm. "This trip is intended to lay the foundation for renewing strong ties between our two economies."

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