Montana Governor Steve Bullock issued a statement today urging Montana’s congressional delegation to help end the embargo against Cuba. Bullock said that getting rid of the embargo will strengthen the nation’s agriculture sector and Montana Grain Growers Association Vice President Lola Raska agrees.
“We were really happy to see that the governor was stepping in there and trying to effect that policy,” Raska said. “We as the Montana Grain Growers Association has had policy on our books for many years supporting normalizing trade relations with Cuba. We’re thrilled that the governor is taking a stand on that.”
Raska said that a change in Cuba policy will directly impact Montana commodities.
“Opening up that market will allow the products that we grow in Montana to trade there, and some of those spend more interest in malt barley in that region. Most crops have been going that way,” Raska said. “Wheat we may not see as direct an advantage, but the fact that more wheat is moving out of the southern, wheat-growing states means that it will affect our prices here as well.”
The U.S. has had an embargo on Cuba since 1960. Last year, the Obama administration announced that it would pursue efforts to re-establish relations with Cuba, but the policy has faced criticism from those who feel Cuba has not adequately addressed it’s history of human rights abuses.