Cuban diplomats visit Youngstown State University, tour local businesses

Two Cuban diplomats told Youngstown State University students Thursday that although there were recent restrictions lifted on the embargo between the U.S. and Cuba, they would like to see the embargo completely lifted.

“There are big companies here in the U.S. that want to explore the interest of the Cuba market,” said Deputy Chief Juan Lamigueiro.

Lamigueiro and First Secretary Sergio Vazquez of the Cuban Interests Section in Washington, D.C., described industries that are going strong for the country, such as bioengineering.

“For us, it is important to talk to the young people about Cuba, and now we have a historic moment,” Vazquez said. “Our job here is to try and improve the relationship. You can travel to Cuba and see the changes firsthand.”

In January, the Obama administration approved easier travel to Cuba and a wide range of new export opportunities.

“We are trying to move ahead,” Vazquez said.

The diplomats were to tour Vinylume in Austintown and Summer Garden in Boardman. They will engage in trade discussions with local business representatives and meet with OH-PA Stateline Export Initiative partners.

The initiative, spearheaded by YSU’s International Trade Assistance Center and the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber, was launched earlier this year.

The two organizations melded their international- trade efforts and joined forces with economic- development agencies in 10 Northeast Ohio and western Pennsylvania counties to create a worldwide trade strategy.

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