Council chairman Tom Scott to host Cuba discussion
City Council chairman Tom Scott, who is running for mayor, tomorrow is hosting a discussion on strengthening ties between Tampa and Cuba. Among those scheduled to attend the meeting: County commission chairman Ken Hagan; interim airport head John Wheat; Victor Crist, now a state Senator headed for a county commission seat; state Senator Charlie Justice; state representatives Janet Cruz, Faye Culp, Betty Reed, and Kevin Ambler; and a staff member from U.S.Sen. Bill Nelson's office. Notably missing from the list: Tampa port head Richard Wainio, Mayor Pam Iorio, who serves on the port board, and anyone from U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor's office. All three were invited to attend. Iorio and Wainio have resisted pressure for a formal visit to Cuba by port officials to explore expanding currently legal trading opportunities. Iorio and Castor, though, have advocated for direct flights to Cuba from Tampa International Airport. And Castor was the first Florida lawmaker to sign onto a House bill that would lift all travel restrictions to Cuba. As far as Cuba/Florida relations go: A federal appeals court recently upheld a state law that forbids spending public money for academic travel to Cuba.
Janet Zink, Times Staff Writer