Oklahoma & Cuba in the News
Arborists Bill Long and Jim Cortese had two goals in mind when they landed on the shores of Cuba earlier this year: See what kind of trees were there, and get a feel for what the country's tree industry was like. It was an almost unimaginable scenario for Long, owner of Oklahoma City's Southern Tree Preservation, and Cortese, an arborist in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Reyes grew up in Cuba. In his early twenties, he had a permanent gig in a Cuban hotel’s house band, but he was itching to expand -- both musically and professionally. "When you do the same thing over and over like for like a long time then you feel like you're getting stuck, musically speaking,” Reyes said. He feared his career would languish in Cuba, so he went to Mexico and, a few months later, to the United States.
This fall, 13 Oklahoma State University College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources students will have quite a story to tell after a whirlwind, once-in-a-lifetime trip to Cuba as part of the Oklahoma Agricultural Leadership Encounter Class XIII. Thanks to a recent softening in relations between the U.S. and Cuba, Americans are now allowed to visit the island for several purposes, including education, and the 2015-16 OALE class took advantage of the opportunity.
The decades-old embargo on trade with communist Cuba cuts U.S. goods off from what would be one of their nearest international destinations. That could be changing now that the two countries are restoring diplomatic relations. And as The Oklahoman business writer Leilah Naifeh reports, Oklahoma’s wheat farmers stand to benefit. A lot.
If the United States embargo on trade with Cuba is lifted, it has the potential to drastically change Oklahoma’s wheat market.Cuba and the U.S. have formally restored diplomatic relations. But an embargo restricting trade between the two has put the U.S. behind Canada and the European Union in the Cuban market.