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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

With an eye on trade embargo, Tampa City Council ponders way to reach out to Cuba



Now that commercial passenger planes again fly nonstop from Tampa to Havana, should the City Council send a letter of greetings to the Cuban government? Council members talked about that question briefly on Sept. 8 and in more detail on Thursday. Councill member Mary Mulhern, who took one of the first flights to Havana, originally raised the idea as a way of "basically saying hello to Cuba" and positioning Tampa to compete for trade opportunities when the U.S. trade embargo on Cuba comes to an end. Council member Mike Suarez doesn't have a problem with colleagues going to Cuba or personally lobbying federal officials for a change in U.S. policy, but he opposes anything that smacks of being a "government to government" communication. "Our role as City Council is not to make international policy," he said. So far, they've resolved to discuss it again on Sept. 22. Click here for more.

[Last modified: Friday, September 16, 2011 7:29am]


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