Thursday, April 20, 2017

Trump and Cuba should start dialogue: Mississippi governor says

Trump and Cuba should start dialogue: Mississippi governor says
By Sarah Marsh
Reuters April 20, 2017

HAVANA (Reuters) - The Trump administration and the Cuban government
need to start a dialogue, the Republican governor of Mississippi said on
Wednesday during a trip to the Communist-led island to scout trade
opportunities for his state.

"That's the first step: trying to get that dialogue going in a very
positive manner," Phil Bryant said in an interview, adding that he had
found his trip "encouraging."

Cuba watchers are looking closely for signs of how President Donald
Trump will deal with the country, given he threatened during his
campaign to roll back the fragile detente between the Untied States and
Cuba, former Cold War foes.

The White House is undertaking a "full review" of America's foreign
policy toward Cuba, press secretary Sean Spicer said in February.

The governor, who had just met with Cuba's trade minister, said it was
key "not let too much of the political conditions in the United States
become overwhelming."

"Sometimes people have a narrative of Mississippi as if it's 1960s, and
it's not, and it's not the 1960s in Cuba," he said, citing changes like
growth of private businesses.

Former U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro
stunned the world in December 2014 when they announced the United States
and Cuba would restore diplomatic ties after more than half a century of

Even with a U.S. embargo preventing most trade with Cuba, Mississippi
already exports authorized products to the island such as frozen poultry
and healthcare products, according to the U.S.-Cuba Trade and Economic

There was room to increase that trade and as establish exchanges in
healthcare and research, including perhaps bringing Cuban doctors to the
Mississippi Delta, said Bryant.

(Reporting by Sarah Marsh)

Source: Trump and Cuba should start dialogue: Mississippi governor says

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