Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Politics

Tampa chamber backs bringing Cuban consulate here

TAMPA — The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce Wednesday came out in support of establishing a Cuban consulate in Tampa or Hillsborough County once the United States and Cuba normalize diplomatic relations.

"The chamber has been a supporter of re-instituting ties with Cuba, most recently through our support of increasing flights to the nation from Tampa," chamber president Bob Rohrlack said in a statement announcing the position. Supporting a Cuban consulate here, he said, "is an outgrowth of many years of hard work and discussions about how best to renew our status as the U.S. gateway to Cuba."

A resolution passed unanimously by the chamber's board said the consulate should be secure, and that business leaders believe "Tampa should return to its rightful and historical place as an economic engine" for facilitating trade with Cuba as relations between the two countries open back up again. Cuba's history with the Tampa Bay area goes back to the 1500s, the chamber said.

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn has been open to the idea, also endorsed by U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa, but he's not seeking it out.

"If the decision is made to locate it here we will do everything we are obligated to do by law, protect the diplomats and make sure the rules are abided by," he said in January. "Clearly the mayor of Miami has indicated that they are not interested. If the powers that be at the federal level decide, then we will live with it."

Buckhorn has said the U.S. embargo of Cuba doesn't work, but he wouldn't visit the country or support ending the embargo until it implements democratic elections, freedom to dissent and worship and other democratic reforms.

Contact Richard Danielson at [email protected] or (813) 226-3403. Follow @Danielson_Times

Comments
St. Petersburg regatta to Havana again buffeted by politics

St. Petersburg regatta to Havana again buffeted by politics

The 2017 St. Petersburg-Habana Yacht Race was celebrated as more than a competitive regatta to Cuba’s capital city of Havana.The relaunch of the maritime competition canceled since 1959 was hailed as a reflection of the detente started under former P...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Spring Hill candidate for Congress: ‘I care about this community — I will scream that from the rafters’

Spring Hill candidate for Congress: ‘I care about this community — I will scream that from the rafters’

SPRING HILL — A Hernando County woman new to the political arena has filed as the fifth Democrat to run against longtime Florida lawmaker U.S. Rep. Daniel Webster for his spot in the U.S. House of Representatives.Dana Cottrell, 49, has lived in Sprin...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Special counsel files new charge in Russia probe

Special counsel files new charge in Russia probe

WASHINGTON — The special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election charged an attorney Tuesday with lying to federal investigators about his interactions with a former Trump campaign official. A charging document filed in federa...
Published: 02/20/18
Man featured on ‘Trump Dating’ site has child sex conviction

Man featured on ‘Trump Dating’ site has child sex conviction

GREENSBORO, N.C. — A North Carolina man with a felony conviction for indecent liberties with a child was one-half of the poster couple for a new "Trump Dating" website.News outlets reported Monday that visitors to the dating site geared toward suppor...
Published: 02/20/18
Ex-workers at Russian ‘troll factory’ trust U.S. indictment

Ex-workers at Russian ‘troll factory’ trust U.S. indictment

Associated PressST. PETERSBURG, Russia — While Russian officials scoff at a U.S. indictment charging 13 Russians with meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, several people who worked at the same St. Petersburg, Russia, "troll factory" say t...
Published: 02/19/18
Trump offers support for limited effort on background checks

Trump offers support for limited effort on background checks

Associated PressWEST PALM BEACH — From the confines of his Mar-a-Lago golf club, President Donald Trump offered support Monday for a limited strengthening of federal background checks on gun purchases while staying largely mum in the past few days ab...
Published: 02/19/18
For the weary White House, Florida shooting offered a ‘reprieve’ from scandals

For the weary White House, Florida shooting offered a ‘reprieve’ from scandals

The White House was under siege.Domestic abuse allegations against a senior aide were ignored, pointing to a potential high-level coverup. Two Cabinet secretaries were caught chargin taxpayers for luxury travel. A Playboy centerfold alleged an extram...
Published: 02/19/18
President Trump expresses support for senators’ gun bill

President Trump expresses support for senators’ gun bill

President Donald Trump signaled support for one piece of gun control legislation on Monday, five days after a mass shooting at a Florida high school left 17 people dead and scores injured."The president is supportive of efforts to improve the federal...
Published: 02/19/18
Do Trump’s alleged affairs even matter?

Do Trump’s alleged affairs even matter?

One of the quotes from the 2016 presidential campaign that has stuck with me came from an unidentified Donald Trump supporter who shared his appraisal of the "Access Hollywood" tape on an episode of Showtime’s "The Circus."Having heard Trump boast on...
Published: 02/18/18
Survivors of deadly school shooting lash out at Trump

Survivors of deadly school shooting lash out at Trump

PARKLAND, Fla. — Students who escaped the deadly school shooting in Florida focused their anger Sunday at President Donald Trump, contending that his response to the attack has been needlessly divisive. "You're the president. You're supposed t...
Published: 02/18/18