Cuban diplomats and members of the United States Agricultural Coalition for Cubawhich defends the establishment of “normal” economic relations with Havana, had contacts this Monday in Washington, an appointment that follows the recent visit to the island by a group of congressmen.
The appointment took place at the Cuban Embassy in Washington and also attended by members of the Arkansas Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee, other groups interested in trade with Cuba and officials from offices of the US Congress with jurisdiction in the matter.
According to diplomatic sources quoted by the official Prensa Latina, during the meeting they discussed “the need to implement a new regulatory framework that does not deprive the Cuban economy of accessing monetary resourcesand capable of stimulating their growth and normal functioning”.
This would make it possible to expand “the two-way trade and cooperation for the benefit of both countries“said the attendees.
The head of the Cuban diplomatic mission, Lianys Torres, celebrated the letters addressed to President Joe Biden by US agricultural sectors, in which they requested to reverse economic policies against the Cuban regime, as well as defended the holding of bilateral meetings such as the third Conference of Agriculture, in Havana, the First United States-Cuba Business Forum and the visit of a bipartisan congressional delegation focused on the sector.
In November, a visit by congressmen from both parties took place, who spoke with Cuban officials about the current state of agriculture on the Island and food supplyaccording to preliminary announcements, but no concrete results of that trip were revealed.
Torres tied the “process of socioeconomic transformations currently being undertaken” to “greater opportunities for exchange.”
Along the same lines, the co-chair of the United States Agricultural Coalition for Cuba, Paul Johnson, invited the participants “to explore new business initiatives” in Cuba.
Despite Washington’s embargo on Havana, Cuba became the market number 55 for the exports agricultural and foods from the United States in Septemberamong more than 200 countries that make purchases of this type, after US sales to the Island increased by 88.2% compared to August.
Most of Havana’s purchases in the US are meat, mainly frozen chicken legs, meat and thighs, to which calcium phosphate was added in September; coffee; bulk cocoa; Corn fritters; vegetable juices; beer and soft drinks.
Secondly, las humanitarian donationswhich do not stop growing despite complaints from Havana about the restrictions on bilateral commercial activity imposed by the embargo, between last January and September they totaled 16,619,425 dollars, above the 11,074,090 of all of 2021.
The Cuban authorities never make public their purchase portfolio in the US or indicate the destination of this variety of products. However, they blame the scarcity suffered by Cubans on the “iron blockade” of Washington. These exports are authorized, despite the embargo, under the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act (TSREEA) of 2000, passed during the George W. Bush Administration.
In September, for example, the purchase of chicken meat of the Cuban Government in the US market reached 25,100 tonsbut the island’s population continues to suffer from food shortages.