Rep. Kathy Castor arrives in Cuba for four-day trip

Published April 4, 2013

TAMPA — U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor embarked on a four-day trip to Cuba this week with her staff and the Center for Democracy in the Americas, her office said Thursday.

Castor, a Democrat, is scheduled to return to Tampa on April 8. The purpose of her trip is to find opportunities to "poise Tampa as a 'gateway' to Cuba, and create economic opportunities for small businesses in this area," her staff said Thursday.

During her trip, first reported by the Tampa Bay Times last week, Castor will meet with officials from the Ministry of Tourism and the National Association of Cuban Economists.

Her trip will also include a visit with a family that has grown tobacco since before the Cuban Revolution.

Castor will also meet with John Caulfield, the chief of mission at the U.S. Interests Section in Havana, to discuss family issues regarding visas for Cubans wishing to visit relatives in Tampa Bay.

Her visit also includes a meeting at the Ministry of Energy, as well as discussions with Catholic officials, professors and other Cuban officials.