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Kriseman, Gerdes and other St. Petersburg officials to visit Cuba

Mayor Rick Kriseman will visit Cuba, leaving early Thursday morning for three-day visit to the island.

Accompanying the mayor will be Deputy Mayor Kanika Tomalin, City Council Chairman Charlie Gerdes and Kriseman's chief of staff Kevin King.

The group will fly from Tampa to Havana on a chartered flight. The entire trip will be paid for by the Alliance for Responsible Cuba Policy Foundation, said Ben Kirby, Kriseman's spokesman.

In Cuba, the mayor will meet with government ministries, economic development officials and take a bus tour of the Plaza de la Revolucion.

"I am excited about the opportunity to introduce St. Petersburg to the people of Cuba and to learn how our city and our residents can benefit from increased interaction between Cuba and America," said Kriseman in a statement.

The group will return on Sunday.