The US organization Engage Cuba launched a State Council created in Georgia, which will direct their actions to end the economic, commercial and financial blockade that the US imposes against the Caribbean island. The council is made up of prominent businessmen and community leaders, who seek to expand trade with Cuba and provide opportunities for companies of this southern state.
'Georgia businesses are stuck and our foreign competitors continue to take advantage of Cuba's growing markets. Opening up trade with Cuba would provide enormous opportunities for agriculture, tourism and industry," said James Williams, president of Engage Cuba.
'It's time to end 50 years of failed, isolationist policies toward Cuba', he added.
The Georgia State Council created by Engage Cuba includes, among others, Gary Black, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Agriculture; William F. Bina III, Dean of the Mercer University School of Medicine; Mark Butler, commissioner of the Department of Labor; Justin Clay, Director of Government Relations, and Terry Coleman, Former Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives.
The list also includes Billy Crider, Chairman of Crider Inc.; John Cushnie, of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce; Larry H. Hanson, City Manager of Valdosta; John C. Key, Executive Director of Pan American Council on Trade; Jerry Lane, president of Claxton Poultry, and Jann Moore, Government Affairs Manager of the Caterpillar company.
Other members are Sam Pardue, Dean at the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences; Sean Register, Founder & CEO of Register International; Tas Smith, National Affairs Specialist at the Georgia Farm Bureau; Ron Stephens, Chairman of the House Economic Development & Tourism Committee, and Dennis Wynn, Director of Membership Development at Choice Hotels.
Engage Cuba advocates for the agricultural export expansion act of 2015 in order to allow Georgia farmers to provide financing to Cuban importers.
Engage Cuba is also working to lift the travel ban in order to expand Cuba's growing markets and provide additional opportunities so US agribusiness can export to Cuba.