Nine U.S. governors sent a letter to Congress asking for the lifting of travel, financial transactions, and trade restrictions codified in the over 50-year blockade against Cuba.
“It’s time for the Congress to act and remove the sanctions that prevent the normal trade between our country and Cuba,” the letter says addressed Tuesday to the leader of the Republican majority in the Senate, Mitch McConnell; the President of the House of Representatives, Republican John Boehner, and the leaders of the minority in both instances.
The text -dated October 9- remembers that agricultural purchases from Cuba to U.S. producers have been developed for years, but it notes that a “sustainable business relationship” should not be limited to one sector or one-way transactions.
“Although agricultural companies can legally be exported to Cuba under the current legislation, the financial restrictions imposed by the embargo limits the ability by U.S. companies to insert themselves in the Cuban market,” the signatories state.
Interested in a nearby market as Cuba, the governors noted the Congressional leadership that competitors such as Canada, Brazil and the European Union -subject to those limitations, although the blockade has extraterritorial implications- are occupying spaces to the detriment of the American potential.
While travels to Cuba by U.S. trade delegations occur, the governors who signed the letter are convinced that changing the policy of sanctions against the island will create jobs and new opportunities in the agricultural sector of the country, and will open a market of 11 million inhabitants only 90 miles.
The document also highlights the potentialities of exchanges between the two peoples as of the legalization of tourist trips by U.S. citizens to the Caribbean nation.
Governors Robert Bentley (Alabama), C. L. Otter (Idaho), Steve Bullock (Montana), Edmund G. Brown (California), Mark Dayton (Minnesota), Thomas Wolf (Pennsylvania), Peter Shumlin (Vermont), Terence R. McAuliffe (Virginia), and Jay Inslee (Washington) signed the letter.
Last week, U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Penny Pritzker, traveled to Havana, and had contacts with authorities and businessmen from the island.