Illinois US Businesspeople Interested in Boosting Trade with Cuba

Washington, Aug 31.- The Illinois-Cuba Working Group expressed interest in promoting trade between the United States and the island during a visit of Cuban diplomats made to that state.


In a statement released on occasion of a visit by Rodney González, counselor of the Cuban Embassy, and Dariel Quintana, third secretary, that organization called for a regular collaboration with Cuban officials, and recalled that Illinois has a long-standing relationship with Cuba.

For more than 20 years, business and civic leaders in Illinois have been working with Cuban officials to support trade between both countries, the document said. ‘As farmers and agricultural producers, we need all the markets we can get, especially those that are so close,’ said Mark Albertson, who serves as director of strategic market development for the Illinois Soybean Growers Organization. .

Albertson, also founder of the Illinois-Cuba Working Group, considered that farmers in this country should be able to export their crops and products to the neighboring nation.

The statement recalls that a key barrier to selling US products to Cuba is the inability to grant credit to buyers from the island, due to restrictions imposed by the US government which made Cubans pay in cash and in advance.

According to the statement, the Law on Agricultural Exports to Cuba, reintroduced last March in the House of Representatives by Republican Congressman Rick Crawford and Democrat Cheri Bustos, may be the solution to that problem, because it would allow exporters to sell granting credits to Cuba.

The text also highlights the presence of Cuban diplomats the eve at the Farm Progress Show, an important three-day agricultural event that concluded Thursday in the city of Decatur, and where officials of the Caribbean country spoke with leaders of the sector, including producers, to explore opportunities between Illinois and Cuba.

Gonzalez spread on Twitter that at a joint press conference offered during that event, the Illinois Soy Association and the United States Agricultural Coalition for Cuba advocated the end of the blockade that Washington has maintained against the island for almost 60 years ago, and boost bidirectional trade.

During their visit to Illinois, which concluded Thursday, Gonzalez and Quintana also spoke with Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans about possible collaboration issues between the respective judicial systems in criminal and civil matters, including economic matters, and Law enforcement.