THE NEWS & OBSERVER: NC WILL GAIN FROM BETTER US RELATIONS WITH CUBA
Already, the News & Observer's Under the Dome reports, the North Carolina's agricultural products are exported to the island through an exception to the embargo for agriculture and pharmaceuticals. A recent study found the meat producers in this state may benefit to the tune of $8.4 million. The state exports chicken, turkey,grains and soybeans. David Price of Chapel Hill and North Carolina's 4th Congressional District was along on the president's trip to Cuba last week. He underlined the notion, perhaps for some of his Republican colleagues, that it's foolish to maintain the Cold War embargo: "People need to understand their constituents stand to gain here."
PR NEWSWIRE: NORTH CAROLINA STUDENTS RETURN FROM CUBA EXPERIENCE
Inspired by Fabien Cousteau’s remarks in April 2015 at North Carolina State University, Scuba Club leadership at Cary Academy decided to go for the seemingly impossible and plan a diving and cultural expedition to Cuba. Cousteau, a grandson of the late Jacques Cousteau, stated that Cuba has some of the most beautiful dive sites in the world. Almost a year after Cousteau’s appearance, eight students from Cary Academy’s Scuba Club returned from a 9-day cultural and educational spring break in Cuba (March 3-12, 2016). The students traveled over 1,200 kilometers visiting Havana, Playa Girón, Trinidad, Santa Clara, and a number of communities in the Cuban countryside.
Supporters of lifting the U.S.-Cuba trade embargo say North Carolina businesses - particularly those in agricultural, pharmaceutical and travel industries - could see new opportunities if relations with the Caribbean country improve. … Though the U.S. banned most trade with Cuba for more than 50 years, North Carolina agricultural products are exported to the island under exceptions to the U.S. embargo for agricultural and pharmaceuticals - two of North Carolina’s largest industries.
During a historic meeting, President Barack Obama and Raul Castro discussed a wide range of topics Monday, including travel restrictions, business and trade. Part of the conversation included Horace Clemmons and Saul Berenthal, two North Carolina business leaders who started a business in Cuba. “We left IBM and [Horace] and I started our own business in Raleigh,” Berenthal said. In June 2014, the two men submitted a proposal to the Cuban government to manufacture tractors for construction and farming with the people of Cuba.
President Barack Obama’s trip to Cuba marks a new era for the relationship between Cuba and the United States. He is the first U.S. President to visit Cuba in nearly a century, but a Piedmont church has been building a relationship with people there for the last several years. For almost the last five years, Shady Grove Wesleyan Church in Colfax has been working to build a national ministry center in the town of Camajuani.
Jeff Hedgepeth, of Nash County, who has visited Cuba many times, says the Cuban people “grip his heart.” He works with churches and is currently planning a trip in June. Now, with fewer travel restrictions, he said he is looking forward to a continued improvement in relations with Cuba. … Jeff Ensminger, of Durham, also frequents Cuba. He has visited 15 times and established NEEM, a North Carolina group focused on environmental and ecological management in Cuba.
As Cuban leader Raul Castro visits America and discusses policy with President Barack Obama, agricultural leaders from North Carolina are on the ground in Cuba seeking trade opportunities with the island nation. A 28-member trade delegation arrived in Havana on Sunday to meet with their Cuban counterparts, tour tobacco farms and learn more about the country’s agriculture industry. “It’s completely different from the United States,” said Keith Beeavers, a Duplin Country farmer. … “When you get right down to it, the Cuban people are wonderful, the American people are wonderful. It’s the politicians that get in the way,” Beavers said.
On Sunday, a delegation of North Carolina farmers, agribusiness executives, state agriculture officials and NC State University officials is headed to Cuba. They are hoping it is the first step in trying to sell the country agricultural products. Analysts believe Cuba could become a $2 billion a year market for American farm products. ABC11 traveled to a farm outside Havana to examine what kind of reception the group from North Carolina can expect and what kinds of opportunities they may find to boost the North Carolina economy.
A month after a North Carolina trade delegation visited Cuba, members of the group are working to find ways to move forward in rebuilding the relationship between the U.S. and Cuba. Agricultural officials and members of the North Carolina Farm Bureau toured farms and markets to get a better idea of the crops Cuban farmers produce and the challenges they face. North Carolina already exports poultry and apples to Cuba, but as the U.S. and Cuba continue restoring diplomatic relations, farmers want to see more trade between the countries.
When conversations happen in different languages, things can often get lost in translation. But in a chat between farmers form Cuba and North Carolina, tobacco is a word that crosses linguistic boundaries. And while the word may be the same, there are major differences between how tobacco is produced in North Carolina and Cuba. North Carolina’s agriculture delegation, which has been exploring new trade opportunities in Cuba this week, notice the differences right away.