IDAHO STATE COUNCIL 

Chairman: Governor C. L. “Butch” Otter

ERIC ANDERSON, COMMISSIONER
IDAHO PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION

BRODY ASTON, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
IDAHO ASSOCIATION OF BUSINESS

IVAN CASTILLO, CHAIRMAN
IDAHO HISPANIC CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

BISHOP PETER F. CHRISTENSEN,
DIOCESE OF BOISE

BILL CONNORS, CEO
BOISE METRO CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

JUAN CARLOS DUQUE, CEO
CAPITALWORKSHOP

MATT ELLSWORTH
AMERICAN MINING & EXPLORATION ASSOCIATION

REPRESENTATIVE MAT ERPELDING, ASSISTANT MINORITY LEADER
IDAHO HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

KARIANNE FALLOW, CEO
UNITED DAIRYMEN OF IDAHO

MARC GIBBS, FARMER AND REPRESENTATIVE
IDAHO HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

CELIA GOULD, DIRECTOR
IDAHO DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Peter Grubb, Cuba Travel Specialist
ROW Adventures/Cuba Unbound

MIKE KENNEDY, PRESIDENT
INTERMAX NETWORKS

GREG KOENIG, OWNER
KOENIG VINEYARDS

RYAN STurMAN, OWNER
STURMAN’S SMOKESHOP

KEVIN LOVELESS, OWNER
GLOBAL TRAVEL

Dr. Uwe Reischl, Professor, Community and Environmental Health
Boise State University

Frank Muir, President
Idaho Potato Commission

Arthur F. "skip" Oppenheimer, Chairman/CEO
Oppenheimer Companies Inc.

Senator Jim Patrick, Chairman of Senate Commerce Committee
Idaho State Senate

Marty Peterson, former state budget director
The Hemingway Society

Port of Lewiston

Dan Prinzing, Executive Director
Wassmuth Center for Human Rights

Chance Requa, Farmer
Requa Farms

Jim Rice, Chairman
Idaho Senate Agricultural Committee

Megan Ronk, Director
Idaho Department of Commerce

Dr. Mark Rudin, Vice President, Research and Economic Development
Boise State University

Stacey Satterlee, Executive Director
Idaho Grain Producers Association

Terri Schorzmann, Director, Department of Arts & History
City of Boise

Bryan Searle, President
Idaho Farm Bureau

KARINA SOteras
Casablanca Cuban Grill

 

 


Idaho's Champions

                                 News Clips

Idaho Statesman: Remove federal restrictions, let Idaho do more with Cuba

The Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000 (TSRA) began the first small but critical step toward the United States reestablishing meaningful ties with Cuba.By allowing the first commercial sales of food and agricultural products, as well as medical supplies, in nearly half a century, Cuba has the potential to become an important market opportunity for American agricultural commodities because Cuba imports 80 percent of its food supply annually.

Idaho Press-Tribune: Idaho Leaders Should Push End to Cuba Trade Embargo

Some of Idaho’s top business, government and agricultural leaders are taking what might be an unpopular position with some Idahoans in their push to end the U.S. trade embargo with Cuba. Nonetheless, it’s the right position to take. Other efforts are underway in other heavily Republican states to promote the effort. The Engage Cuba Idaho State Council has members from the Idaho Farm Bureau, Idaho Potato Commission, Idaho Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and United Dairymen of Idaho and is chaired by Gov. Butch Otter. The governor has visited the island nation south of Florida many times, including a trade mission he led in 2007.

Ap, Idaho statesman, Fox, KSL: New Idaho Council Seeks to End Cuba Embargo

Idaho's top business, agricultural and government leaders are joining the fight to end the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba. According to a recently formed advocacy group, lifting the 50-year-old trade embargo could be an economic boon to the Gem State, but that won't happen without help from the business community and legislators. Engage Cuba on Thursday in Boise announced the launch of Engage Cuba Idaho State Council. So far, 10 other groups have been formed in primarily Republican-dominated states since last year. More groups are expected to pop up over the next few months. The Idaho council is a group of state agriculture, business, finance, manufacturing, education and government officials who seek to build congressional support for lifting the embargo. Members include the Idaho Farm Bureau, the Idaho Potato Commission, the Idaho Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and United Dairymen of Idaho.

KIVI-TV: ENGAGE CUBA IDAHO STATE COUNCIL MEETS FOR THE FIRST TIME, STRATEGIZES BETTER BUSINESS WITH CUBA

The distance between Boise and Havana is more than 2,300 miles, but business, cultural and political leaders in Engage Cuba Idaho State Council gathered to discuss and take advantage of the warming political and business relations with Cuba. Their main goal is to seek support for congressional action to end the travel and trade ban on Cuba. Engage Cuba is a nationwide effort that focuses on US-Cuba legislative advocacy. Their mission in part is to provide updates on business opportunities in Cuba for US businesses.

KTVB: ENGAGE CUBA ENLISTS IDAHO

The call to end the Cuban trade and travel embargo just got another voice, with the launch of the Engage Cuba Idaho State Council. It's a group of the state's agricultural and business leaders being led by Gov. Butch Otter, a longtime proponent of easing trade restrictions against Cuba. Last March, President Barack Obama made the first turn to open the door to trade when he visited the island nation. The goal of the trip was to continue the work of reopening diplomatic ties to the communist country. On Thursday, that task took root in the Gem State with the announcement that Idaho will be the 11th state to join the Engage Cuba coalition.

The Spokesman-Review: New Idaho Group Calls for an End to Travel and Trade Bans on Cuba

An array of Idaho state and business leaders launched the Engage Cuba Idaho State Council on Thursday, following the lead of 10 other states pushing for Congress to end the travel and trade ban on Cuba. Gov. Butch Otter, who led a state trade mission to Cuba in 2007, is chairing the new council. “I’ve long been a supporter of opening up trade and other relationships with Cuba, even if our governments are unable to come to some bigger accommodation,” Otter said in a statement. “My travels to Cuba convince me that the people there have the same goals, the same ambitions and the same needs as we do here in Idaho. We both want more freedom; we both want more self-determination; and we both want fewer restrictions on our ability to participate in the global marketplace of goods and ideas.”

 

 

THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW: END CUBA TRADE EMBARGO

The trade embargo with Cuba might be defensible, if it worked. But in the six decades of its existence, it never has. No reason to think it ever will. Cuba continues its restrictive human rights policies, and merely imports food and other products from other countries, such as Canada, Brazil and the European Union. It’s American exporters who have been punished, because the embargo has kept them largely shut of a market that’s a mere 90 miles from the United States, a distance shorter than Moses Lake to Spokane.

BOISE WEEKLY: DESTINATION CUBA: IDAHO WATCHES OBAMA'S HISTORIC HAVANA TRIP WITH GREAT INTEREST

History is being made in Cuba, as President Barack Obama arrives Sunday in Havana, making him the first United States president since Calvin Coolidge to visit the island nation. As recently as October 2015, Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter joined eight other governors in calling for the suspension of travel and trade embargoes. Otter last led an Idaho delegation to Cuba in 2007, including dozens of business leaders and government officials.

IDAHO STATESMAN: VISITING CUBA: "WE'RE PUNISHING THE WRONG PEOPLE" 

Cuban joke #1: Before the revolution, we had a wealthy class, a middle class, and a huge class of the poor. Then came the revolution and now we are all equal. Everybody’s poor. I heard that last month when I joined other Idahoans for the first of several trips to Cuba sponsored by the Boise-based Wassmuth Center for Human Rights. U.S. travel to Cuba is possible only under certain conditions, and we each had to agree that we would attend all tour activities and not run off to the beach.

BOISE WEEKLY: OTTER, EIGHT OTHER GOVERNORS, URGING CONGRESS TO LIFT CUBA TRADE EMBARGO

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter, who has more than a passing acquaintance with Cuba after having traveled there as a U.S. congressman and as governor, has reached out to leadership in the U.S. House and Senate calling for a complete lift of the travel ban and trade embargo on Cuba. Otter last led an Idaho delegation to Cuba in 2007, including dozens of businessmen and government officials.

IDAHO PRESS-TRIBUNE: IDAHO LEADERS SHOULD PUSH TO END CUBA TRADE EMBARGO

Some of Idaho’s top business, government and agricultural leaders are taking what might be an unpopular position with some Idahoans in their push to end the U.S. trade embargo with Cuba. Nonetheless, it’s the right position to take. Other efforts are underway in other heavily Republican states to promote the effort. The Engage Cuba Idaho State Council has members from the Idaho Farm Bureau, Idaho Potato Commission, Idaho Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and United Dairymen of Idaho and is chaired by Gov. Butch Otter. The governor has visited the island nation south of Florida many times, including a trade mission he led in 2007.

 

Butchotter.jpg

Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter (R)