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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Cuban delegation to visit St. Petersburg



Mayor Kriseman led a delegation of city leaders to Havana in August. The St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership led another trip in October with council member Darden Rice and a host of civic notables.

Now, the Cubans are returning the favor. A group of Cuban officials led by the Ministry of Culture's director of international relations Alfredo Ruiz Roche, who Kriseman met with in Havana, will visit the 'Burg later this month.

The group's visas are still being approved and details remain  "fluid," but the delegation should arrive in St. Petersburg on Dec. 17 and leave Dec. 20, said Joni James, the executive director of the Downtown Partnership, which is organizing the trip.

Much of the itinerary remains to be nailed down, she said.

The first evening will include a welcome dinner at the Salvador Dali museum, which is interested in an exchange with the Cuban national art musuem to bring the work of noted Cuban artist Wilfredo Lama to St. Petersburg.

The nine-member Cuban group includes Ana Cristina, the director of the Cuban museum.

As for the city's hopes to land a Cuban consulate?

"As to the consulate issue. It is not technically on the agenda, as MINREX, not the Ministry of Culture, will ultimately make that call. However, Ruiz and Rodriguez are aware of St. Petersburg’s interest in a consulate and I think it speaks to the sincerity of all those involved that St. Petersburg has a broad interest in building relationships with Cuba in as many ways as possible," James wrote in an email.




[Last modified: Thursday, December 3, 2015 1:19pm]


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