Saturday, May 23, 2015

U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva travels to Cuba

U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva travels to Cuba
By Carmen Duarte

U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva leaves with a trade delegation Saturday to Cuba,
a trip he says will open relations, enterprise opportunities and tourism
between both countries.

Grijalva, a Tucson Democrat, said he will be meeting with Cuban and U.S.
State Department officials, business owners, and possibly President Raúl
Castro during his five-day trip.

Grijalva said he supports President Obama's move in December to improve
relations with the communist government in a desire to promote a
democratic, prosperous and stable Cuba.

"We are the only nation in our hemisphere that doesn't deal with Cuba.
We now will join the rest of the nations, including Canada. I think this
is a good step," Grijalva said in an interview Friday.

Discussions will center on ways to further open relations with Cuba
through trade and tourism, and to expand opportunities for cultural
exchange between the people of both countries.

Topics will include opening markets in agriculture, which can affect
Arizona, Grijalva said.

"The whole Yuma area would benefit with a trade relationship with Cuba.
The benefits are in exports. Arizona, Florida and other states can
benefit," he said.

Other discussion will be about U.S. companies participating in the
expansion of telecommunications infrastructure in Cuba, and
environmental issues such as ecotourism and marine conservation efforts.

Grijalva said he is looking forward to meeting artists and taking in art

Even though he does not smoke cigars, Grijalva said he plans to bring
back $100 worth of cigars for others, and artwork, which does not have a
monetary limit.

The trade delegation includes Democratic U.S. Sens. Tom Udall of New
Mexico, Al Franken of Minnesota and Democratic U.S. Rep. John Larson of

Contact reporter Carmen Duarte at or 573-4104. On
Twitter: @cduartestar

Source: U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva travels to Cuba -

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