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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman hopes for face time with Raúl Castro on latest Havana trip



Mayor Rick Kriseman is planning to make his second trip to Cuba, hoping to catch a ride with the Tampa Bay Rays as they travel to play the Cuban national team in Havana.

But Kriseman has another objective  aside from cheering on the team with a group of diehard Rays fans, whose presence was organized by the St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership. 

The mayor wants to get some one-on-one time with Cuban President Raul Castro with the intention of making the case for a Cuban consulate in St. Petersburg, said chief of staff Kevin King.

In August, Kriseman met with Cuban officials and pitched a similar plan.  But, recently, attention has shifted to Miami and Tampa, which have larger Cuban populations. 

Castro will attend the baseball game and the mayor hopes to talk with him there, King said.

Kriseman will have competition for Castro's attention. President Barack Obama will also be at the game and security and diplomatic protocal might be obstacles. 

For now, the mayor is awaiting the details of the trip, King said.




[Last modified: Tuesday, March 8, 2016 12:34pm]


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