STAFF BLOG THE N.D. CAPITOL AND BEYOND Trade trip to Cuba
North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring will lead a five-member trade group to Cuba in September.
The trip will emphasize dry edible peas and dry beans, staples of the Cuban diet, as well... Posted on 8/18/10 at 4:35 PM
In the Miami-Dade Cuban community in Florida, 65 percent now support the United States restoring diplomatic relations with Cuba, according to a Florida International University poll (Miami Herald, Dec. 2). And there is increasing pressure on President-elect Barack Obama from such business interests as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Farm Bureau Federation to work toward “the complete removal of all trade and travel restrictions on Cuba.” The Castro brothers’ political prisoners were not polled.
North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Roger Johnson says a deal to ship seed potatoes to Cuba has stalled, in part over a language barrier.
“There is zero chance North Dakota seed potatoes will be going to Cuba this fall — the calendar just got away,” Johnson said.
Johnson said one question yet to be answered is where the potato shipments will be inspected, either in North Dakota or a sea port.
The Cuban proposal, when translated to English, says potato shipments would be inspected at a “loading port” but Johnson believes it should be “loading point.”
By James MacPherson, The APress
, November 03, 2008
North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Roger Johnson says the state’s potato farmers are scrambling to gather seed potatoes for an anticipated shipment to Cuba.
The federal government has approved rules to deal with potato food-safety issues, known as “sanitary and phytosanitary measures,” that ensure the commodity is disease and insect-free, said Melissa O’Dell, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
By James MacPherson, The Associated Press
, August 30, 2008
American advocates of more “constructive” relationships with Communist Cuba have been heartened by Raul Castro’s permitting Cubans to actually buy — for the first time, if they can afford them — cell phones, DVD players and computers. Another indication that Raul is more flexible than his hardline, ailing brother are “The Sopranos” reruns on Cuban television. You know what happened to anyone who crossed Tony.
The Left’s favorite dictator, Fidel Castro, is “resigning” as Cuba’s president of the Council of State. Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.), who was born in Cuba and, at the age of 15, along with his brother, was evacuated from Cuba during Operation Pedro Pan, observed: “Castro has resigned from a position he was never elected to in the first place.”
Industry officials say the pending sale of $7.5 million worth of peas and lentils to Cuba might help maintain interest in the crops at a time when high market prices are steering many acres to wheat, corn and soybeans.
Agriculture Commissioner Roger Johnson, who is leading a North Dakota trade delegation to the island nation this week, said Thursday that Cuba is buying about 12,000 tons of peas and lentils.
Blake Nicholson, The Associated Press
, February 22, 2008
Now that Fidel Castro has retired, many Cubans are looking to his brother to let more people open businesses, own homes and even travel abroad. But it will probably fall to a new generation of leaders to ultimately fulfill or frustrate their dreams of prosperity.
Anita Snow, The Associated Press
, February 20, 2008
BISMARCK — North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Roger Johnson is in Cuba this week on a trade mission but may not yet know that Cuban President Fidel Castro announced this morning he is stepping down after nearly 50 years in office.
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