Exports lacking 1 year after Cuomo's Cuba trip
New York State trip to Cuba under scrutiny
Kelly Dudzik, WGRZ 6:23 PM. EST April 22, 2016
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- It was one year ago today that Governor Cuomo was in
Cuba for a visit, and you paid for it to the tune of $200,000.
The U.S.-Cuba Trade and Economic Council is calling out the Governor.
"It was a $200,000 24 hour visit to Cuba for a photo op," says U.S.-Cuba
Trade and Economic Council President John Kavulich.
Kavulich contacted representatives of the seven New York-based companies
that went on the trip to see how they've benefited one year later.
"None of the companies have reported any solid exports or service
activities since last year. One company that was involved with
agriculture wasn't able to get anywhere. Sought the help from Governor
Cuomo's staff, didn't get anywhere," said Kavulich.
That company, according to Kavulich, is Cayuga Milk Ingredients. He says
Chobani Greek Yogurt, Pfizer, and Regeneron also reported no exports to
Cuba. And his research found Infor just has an agreement to sell
software in Cuba. MasterCard is awaiting some legal clarifications. And
Jet Blue has applied to start direct U.S. flights to Cuba and is waiting
for a decision.
The one bright spot in Kavulich's report is Roswell, which he points out
has had a relationship with Cuba since 2011, long before Cuomo's trip.
Roswell's C.E.O. told 2 On Your Side the trade mission was critical when
it came to making progress with the lung cancer vaccine that's being
worked on there. It's now marching towards F.D.A. approval for clinical
trials to begin in the U.S.
"It was the trade mission that focused a public eye on us and the Cuban
institute. It was the trade mission that allowed us to really take this
to the next step. And really without it, we would not be where we are
today," says Dr. Candace Johnson, President & C.E.O. of Roswell Park
The Freedom of Information request filed by Kavulich's group revealed
that the Governor went with 15 staff members. Seven of those people work
in his press office.
Source: Exports lacking 1 year after Cuomo's Cuba trip | WGRZ.com -