U.S. Lawmakers in Cuba to Foster Trade Relations

Havana, Sep 7. -A group of U.S. lawmakers from the state of Illinois are in Cuba to promote trade relations, despite the five-decade U.S. blockade against the island.The delegation is headed by Illinois House of Representatives member Dan Burke, who heads the House executive committee.

"Our visit aims to foster relations between our two countries, and we also hope some business opportunities arise during our stay," the Democrat legislator told Prensa Latina.

Former Republican Governor George Ryan made the first contact between Illinois and Cuba in 1999, said Rep. Jack Franks, chairman of the Illinois House Commission for Foreign Relations and Trade.

The 33-member delegation will stay in Cuba until Sep. 12 as part of a program organized by the Taino Caribbean Services Agencies and Cuban authorities.

The agenda includes meetings with officials from the Cuban Foreign Ministry and Parliament, as well as from the Jose Marti Cultural Society and the Union of Cuban Writers and Artists. (Prensa Latina)