Alabama State Council

John McMillan
Commissioner, Department of Agriculture and Industry

Greg Canfield
Commissioner, Alabama Department of Commerce
 
J.T. “Jabo” Waggoner
Former Senate Majority Leader, Rules Chairman
 
Sandy Stimpson
Mayor of Mobile
 
Vivian Figures
Former Senate Minority Leader, Finance Committee, Local Legislation

Victor Gaston
Alabama House of Representatives, Acting Speaker of the House
 
James K. “Jimmy” Lyons
Director/CEO, Alabama State Port Authority
 
Johnny Adams
Executive Director, Alabama Poultry Association
 
Billy Powell
Executive Vice President, Alabama Cattlemen Association
 
Jerry Carl
President, Mobile County Commission
 
Greg Reed
Alabama Senate, Senate Majority Leader
 
Quinton Ross
Alabama Senate, Senate Minority Leader
 
Hank Sanders
Alabama Senate, Banking and Finance Committees
 
Tom Whatley
Alabama Senate, Chairman, Agriculture Committee
 
Rusty Glover
Alabama Senate, Agriculture Committee
 
Clay Scofield
Alabama Senate, Agriculture Committee
 
Tim Melson
Alabama Senate, Agriculture and Tourism Committees
 
Gerald Dial
Alabama Senate, Energy and Veterans Affairs Committees

MICHAEL CIAMARRA
EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT & POLICY TO SENATE RULES CHAIRMAN
 
SCOTTY COLSON
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT BIRMINGHAM; SISTER CITIES
 
GEORGE HENRY
PRESIDENT, ALABAMA COUNTY MANAGERS ASSOCIATION

 

Mark Jackson
Alabama Honorary Consul General, Japan; Morrison Conference, Inc.
 
John Key
International Trade Consultant
Pan American Council on Trade, LLC
 
Jerry Lathan
President
Lathan Company
 
Scott Myers
Director
Alabama Sports Hall of Fame
 
Mitt Walker
International and Federal Regulations
Alabama Farmers Association
 
Scott Phillips
Strada Professional Services, LLC, Engineering
 
Mayra Diaz, International Sales
Amerex Corporation
 
Grey Redditt
Maynard Cooper and Gale Law Firm,
Mobile Sister Cities Commission

 
Stanley Murphy
Murphy & Murphy, LLC;
The Cuba Center, University of Alabama
 
Christina McInnis, Bilateral Trade with Cuba
GulfWise Commerce
 
D. Davies Hood, Jr., President
Induron Coatings
 
Springna Zhao, Partner
LAN Consulting LLC
 
Beth Chapman
Former Alabama Secretary of State, 
Beth Chapman & Associates, LLC
 
Mark A. Froehlich, Principal
Impact Partners
 
Sara Kate Sullivan
Universidad Torcuato Di Tella (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
 
Marty Connors
M. J. Connors Consulting

CAM WARD
ALABAMA SENATE, FINANCE, HEALTH AND JUDICIARY COMMITTEES, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
 
MICKY HAMMON
ALABAMA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, MAJORITY LEADER
 
JACK WILLIAMS
ALABAMA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, COMMERCE CHAIRMAN
 
RANDY DAVIS
ALABAMA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, AGRICULTURE AND FORESTRY COMMITTEES

 


ALABAMA & CUBA IN THE NEWS

Press release: Engage cuba, state leaders launch Alabama State Council

 

Alabama Legislature Unanimous Call for Congress to Lift Cuban Embargo Is 'Significant'

Today, the state of Alabama became the latest state to call on Congress to listen to the majority of Americans from both parties to lift the Cuban trade embargo and normalize relations with the Island’s government. 

AL.com: Op-ed: Travel, trade embargo on Cuba hurts Alabama businesses

by Mayor Sandy Stimpson, Sen. Vivian Figures, Sen. Jabo Waggoner, and Commissioner John McMillan

Despite the fact that the Port of Mobile is located just across the Gulf of Mexico, Alabama businesses will continue to lose out on Cuba's growing markets to foreign competitors until Congress ends the U.S. travel and trade embargo on Cuba.

Bloomberg: Cuba's First American-Owned Manufacturer Will Make Tractors

“Come on, boy! Get dressed! We got to go!” yells Horace Clemmons. He’s heckling his longtime friend and business associate, Saul Berenthal, who sits cross-legged on a leather chair in the living room of Clemmons’s home in Paint Rock, Alabama. 

Birmingham Business Journal: Cuba Market Would Be Lucrative to Alabama, Report Says

With American trade and travel restrictions on Cuba loosening, a new report suggests Alabama could significantly benefit from further growth in economic ties between the two nations. 

Miami Herald: Alabama Company Says Cuba Needs its Tractors, But Approval Process is Slow

An Alabama tractor company angling to become the first American business in more than a half century to set up manufacturing operations in Cuba is about midway through the approval process. 

People's World: Alabama Tractors Till the Soil of U.S.-Cuba Cooperation

Saul Berenthal and Horace Clemmons have a dream. They want to outfit the farmers of Cuba with small, customizable, easy-to-repair tractors. 

Wear-TV: Area business to sell goods to Cuba

Despite a continuing trade embargo with Cuba, Gulfwise Commerce has become an exception. Earlier this month, federal officials gave them a license to sell some goods to the island nation. 

Alabama Newscenter: The Cuba thaw will be big for Alabama and other producers of frozen chickens

Less than 100 miles off the U.S. coast sits an island nation that can't feed itself. Cuba, which imports as much as 80 percent of its food, has developed a huge appetite for American chicken, despite the decades-long trade embargo. 

WearTV: Area business to sell goods to Cuba

An area business is breaking barriers. Despite a continuing trade embargo with Cuba, Gulfwise Commerce has become an exception. Earlier this month, federal officials gave them a license to sell some goods to the island nation. 

Politico: Cuba buys ag equipment from Alabama-based company

The Cuban government has made its first purchase of U.S. commercial equipment since the Obama administration began loosening restrictions on trade with the communist country in December 2014. 

The Crimson White: New Exhibit from Chip Cooper Compares South Alabama and Cuba

The walls of Chip Cooper’s office are a collage of memories and stories more photograph than wall, and his furniture — a display of about 25 different cameras spanning the past half-century. 

The Anniston Star: Alabama Entrepreneurs Hope Cuba is Fertile Territory for New Venture

In less than two weeks, American businessmen Horace Clemmons and Saul Berenthal will board a chartered flight for Cuba. Their destination: an agricultural fair in Havana, the island nation’s capital.

Alabama News: Alabama Company Approved to Build Factory in Cuba

Cleber LLC is pleased to announce that it has received authorization from the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to build a tractor manufacturing facility in Cuba. 

Agri View: Alabama Firm to Build Cuba Plant

Cleber LLC plans to build a tractor-manufacturing facility in Cuba after receiving authorization form the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Office of Foreign Assets Control.

The New York Times: Culture Gap Impedes U.S. Business Efforts for Trade with Cuba

They have gone to Cuba with plans to build houses. To assemble tractors. To buy apps from young programmers. Even to import charcoal made from the sickle bush that grows in vast stretches across the island. 

Local 15: Local Business with Cuba

The future of trading with Cuba; Presidential candidates talked about it last night and one local company was listening in closely. Right now efforts to do business with the communist “island nation” are already underway. One local company out of Foley is hoping they can keep the momentum going. 

AL.com: Sewell Seeks Economic Opportunities for Alabama with Cuba Trip

U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Birmingham, began a five-day trip to Cuba on Wednesday as part of a congressional delegation looking into more American economic opportunities in the island nation. While there is a trade and travel embargo with Cuba, certain American agricultural products — Alabama’s biggest industry — are exempt form the ban. The Yellowhammer state exported nearly a third of a billion dollars in products to Cuba last year. 

AL.com: Cuba Embargo News: How Would Alabama Benefit From End to Travel, Trade Ban?

James Williams, the president of Engage Cuba, an umbrella coalition of private sector companies, trade associations and nonprofits that are working to help Congress end the embargo, said there are “very immediate, natural benefits” to Alabama if the 55-year-old embargo is lifted. 

Alabama Public Radio: Alabama seeks to lift Cuba embargo, deadline for north AL Disaster Loans

Addie Bryant is the chief of staff at Engage Cuba. She says if the resolution is passed, Alabama can expect to see some definite economic benefits. "You'll see the Port of Mobile pick up business."

Local 15: Alabama benefits from improved Cuba relations

In the president's speech in Havana, he called for the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba to be lifted and for Cubans themselves to embrace change. But could that change create opportunities in the Port City? 

Montgomery Advertiser: Cuba Trade Expansion Could Mean Good Things for Alabama Businesses

Still, Alabama could profit from a shift in Cuba policy, said Jimmy Lyons, chief operating officer for the Alabama Port Authority, which operates the Port of Mobile. 

AL.com: Auburn University Signs Pact with Cuba: Why it Matters to Alabama

Beyond the headlines of new diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba, Auburn University is put that diplomacy into action. 

YellowHammer Radio: Byrne: Cuba Could be a Major Trade Partner for Alabama, But Has a Long Way to Go

I recently traveled to Cuba as part of a Congressional Delegation to learn more about the Cuban government, visit with the Cuban people, and discuss everything from the economy to education to trade.

Montgomery Advertiser: Alabama Could Benefit from U.S.-Cuba Thaw

Selling chickens to Cuba is complicated. “If the Cubans want to buy chickens in the United States, before they load it on a ship, they have to pay a bank outside the country,” said Jimmy Lyons, director of the Alabama State Port Authority, which oversees the docks in Mobile.

Tuscaloosa News: Cuban Novelist Leonardo Padura Will Speak at University of Alabama

Cuban novelist and screenwriter Leonardo Padura will present a free public lecture at the University of Alabama on Jan. 21. 

AL.com: U.S. Recognizes in Cuba What Mobile has Seen for Decades: Opinion

Sealing an unofficial sister city relationship with Havana, Mobile Mayor Mike Dow said during a trip to Cuba in 1994: “We must take an effort to get along and create a better world.” 

UA News: UA Establishes Center for Cuba Collaboration and Scholarship

The University of Alabama Board of Trustees approved today the establishment of the Center for Cuba Collaboration and Scholarship at UA. 

The Crimson White: Alabama Student Studies Abroad in Havana, Cuba

"My general routine is mostly the same, but the details are much different. First thing every morning in the U.S., I check the weather on my phone, but here I have to pay for Internet by the hour, and I can only use it in the lobby of our hotel."

Al.com: State, mobile leaders call for open trade with cuba

State Sens. J.T. "Jabo" Waggoner and Vivian Figures, as well as Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson, were among those on hand to establish the formation of the Alabama State Council of the Engage Cuba coalition.

AL.com: Alabama Has a Proud, Rich History with Cuba, We Should Capitalize On It

No one would ever confuse us with communist sympathizers, but Alabama has a surprisingly strong relationship with Cuba. In fact, over the last several decades, Alabama has spearheaded efforts to reopen trade and deepen the US relationship with Cuba. 

 

Alabama's Champions

Governor Robert Bentley (R) Signed SJR 43: Joint State Resolution to Urge Congress to Lift the Cuban Trade Embargo

Governor Robert Bentley (R)

Signed SJR 43: Joint State Resolution to Urge Congress to Lift the Cuban Trade Embargo

Representative Bradley Byrne (R-AL-1) Cosponsor of H.R. 525 Cuba Agricultural Exports Act

Representative Bradley Byrne (R-AL-1)

Cosponsor of H.R. 525 Cuba Agricultural Exports Act

Representative Mo Brooks (R-AL-5) Cosponsor of H.R. 525 Cuba Agricultural Exports Act

Representative Mo Brooks (R-AL-5)

Cosponsor of H.R. 525 Cuba Agricultural Exports Act

State Senator J.T. Waggoner (R) Represents District 16 Sponsor of SJR 43: Joint State Resolution Urging U.S. Congress to Lift the Cuban Trade Embargo

State Senator J.T. Waggoner (R)

Represents District 16

Sponsor of SJR 43: Joint State Resolution Urging U.S. Congress to Lift the Cuban Trade Embargo