Sunday, February 12, 2023

Delaware State Officials Positive Visit


State of Delaware seeks to strengthen its relations with Cuba

This week an American delegation met on the island with authorities from various ministries and state entities, and also learned about the experience of new private companies.

by avatar photoOnCuba Writing

 January 27, 2023

in Cuba-USA

The Secretaries of State and Agriculture of the state of Delaware (USA), Jeffrey Bullock (d) and Michael Scuse, during a press conference in Havana.  Photo: Ernesto Mastrascusa / EFE.

The Secretaries of State and Agriculture of the state of Delaware (USA), Jeffrey Bullock (d) and Michael Scuse, during a press conference in Havana. Photo: Ernesto Mastrascusa / EFE.


A delegation from Delaware (USA), headed by the state secretaries of State and Agriculture, is visiting Cuba these days with the intention of exploring trade and cooperation opportunities with the island.

Throughout this week, the US delegation has met with Cuban authorities from ministries such as agriculture and foreign trade and foreign investment, as well as the Foreign Ministry, while visiting institutions such as the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology ( CIGB) and has also known the experience of new private companies.

The objective of the trip is to strengthen relations between their state and the island, and "find ways to improve the lives of people in Cuba and Delaware," as explained Thursday at a press conference by the leaders of the visiting delegation, who qualified of "fantastic" the experience.

Although for the moment it is an exploratory visit, the Delaware delegation appreciated the opportunity to learn first-hand about the current situation in Cuba and, in particular, the changes experienced in recent years in its economic functioning.

Based on what was seen, they recognized opportunities to increase agricultural trade with Cuba and to collaborate in sectors such as education and research, according to the Secretary of Agriculture, Michael Scuse, who pointed out that the potential for bilateral exchange "is greater now than Never before".

In this sense, and in response to a question from OnCuba on the subject, Scuse pointed out that the emergence of private companies in Cuba "is definitely a great step both for the government and for the Cuban people in general, and deserves to be taken into account." in the United States” when establishing businesses and collaborations with the island.

For his part, the Secretary of State, Jeffrey Bullock, commented that, upon his return to his country, they will study ways to materialize these opportunities and will advocate for closer ties between the two countries, which experienced a notable setback with the arrival of Donald Trump in the White House and they have not returned to the level expected after the election of Democrat Joe Biden.

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In addition, Bullock thanked the "warm and kind" reception by the Cuban authorities and acknowledged being impressed "by how sincere and how direct the Cuban officials were in our conversations."

“They referred to practical issues, aimed at solving specific problems, step by step, which helps a lot for people like me, who work at the state level, to start thinking about how we can find a way to materialize the existing opportunities and give a next step”, he replied to OnCuba .

In this sense, the Delaware authorities said that with the possible exchanges and projects that they can carry out with Cuba they hope to contribute to strengthening bilateral relations, and expressed their hope that "sooner rather than later" both countries can return to the "thaw" reached. in the final years of Barack Obama's term.

"Our hope is that eventually we can return to where we were in Obama's time," said Scuse, who hoped that "at least" gradual steps in this direction would be achieved and the latest sanctions imposed on the island by the Trump government.

In this regard, he recognized that Cuba's permanence on the list of countries considered to be sponsors of terrorism is a serious difficulty for relations between the two countries and also for projects that can be undertaken from the state of Delaware, because "it does everything a bit more difficult".

He reiterated that the biggest obstacle to strengthening bilateral ties is "political", "the same one for 60 years", and said that "this is the barrier that we have to try to break down."

The visit of the Delaware delegation to Cuba takes place at a time when the island is going through a severe economic crisis and a strong wave of migration, and after some steps of bilateral rapprochement have been taken since last year and exchanges have taken place between authorities of the two countries.


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