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Panel to discuss how U.S. policy toward Cuba affects Tampa

TAMPA — Two nonpartisan groups, the World Trade Center Tampa Bay and the Florida Council of Churches, will co-host a panel discussion this week on whether the United States should take Cuba off a list of state sponsors of terrorism, end the 51-year-old trade embargo and ease travel restrictions.

At 11 a.m. Wednesday at the Hilton Tampa Downtown (formerly the Hyatt Regency), a panel will discuss legal, social, cultural and economic issues related to Cuba and their impact on the Tampa Bay area. It includes:

• John B. Grandoff III, Tampa attorney with Hill Ward Henderson.

• Rob Lorei, news and public affairs director for WMNF-FM.

• Annie Betancourt, former state representative and member of the board of directors of the League of Women Voters of Florida.

• Bill Hauf, president of Island Travel and Tours, the licensed airline operator for charters to Cuba.

• Ralph Fernandez, Tampa attorney and longtime anti-Castro regime activist.

The event is open to the public, but seating is limited and reservations are required. Tickets, which include lunch, are $40 or $500 for a corporate table of eight. To make reservations or for more information, call Sokha Im at (813) 864-4500 or e-mail Tickets also are available at

Organizers have a poll on whether restrictions on Cuba should be eased at:

Panel to discuss how U.S. policy toward Cuba affects Tampa 04/22/13 [Last modified: Monday, April 22, 2013 11:30pm]
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