The U.S. State of Georgia looks forward to more engagement with Cuba

Image (From left to right): Lieutenant Governor of the State of Georgia, Mr. Geoff Duncan and Third Secretary Yanet Pumariega. 

Dec 5 (MINREX) Third Secretary of the Embassy of the Republic of Cuba to the United States, Yanet Pumariega, visited Atlanta (Georgia) on 2-3 December. The diplomat had the opportunity to meet with several officials there and to talk about the potentialities for and mutual benefits of improving bilateral relations between Cuba and the United States.

Pumariega was received by the Lieutenant Governor of the State, Mr. Geoff Duncan, and had a very professional and fruitful exchange on ways to move forward.

In the past, several companies from the State of Georgia benefitted from licenses granted to sell foodstuffs to Cuba, which has been limited now by a series of measures taken by the current Administration. In 2015, the World Affairs Council of Atlanta led a group of business leaders, academics and government officials to Cuba and noted endless opportunities for a two-way trade and exchanges with Cuba.

The meeting with officials of the State Department of Agriculture reaffirmed their interest in further expanding trade opportunities in Cuba, which is considered the “gateway” of the Caribbean Sea and realized that Georgia is behind other markets just because of the obsolete U.S. policy affecting their own interest.

During the visit, Pumariega also met with the Chairman of the Fulton County Commission, Robb Pitts, and the Board commissioners who coincided on a variety of areas available for mutual benefits such as joint research and the sharing of best practices in education, health and human services.

Image (From left to right): Commissioner Bob Ellis, Chairman Robb Pitts, Third Secretary Yanet Pumariega, Commissioners Natalie Hall, Lizz Hausman and Joe Carn.

The City of Atlanta Director of International Affairs, Vanessa Ibarra, also noted the existing potential for collaboration between the City and Cuba in the areas of culture, tourism and technology. Atlanta is the hometown of several companies with huge business opportunities in Cuba and of others that have been affected by the current U.S. policy, like Delta Airlines.

Image (From left to right): Atlanta City Global Engagement Officer Paulina Guzmán, Third Secretary Yanet Pumariega and Atlanta City Director of International Affairs, Vanessa Ibarra.

During a friendly meeting with State representatives and senators, it was recognized that there is plenty of room for cooperation that would benefit both their districts and Cuba. Also recognized were the outcomes that Cuba shows in health and education such as the literacy, maternal health and infant mortality rates.

Image (From left to right): Former Speaker of the House of Representatives of Georgia, Terry Coleman, Representative EI-Mahdi Holly, Senator Sheikh Rahman, Third Secretary Yanet Pumariega, Representatives and Gregg Kennard and Shelly Hutchinson.

This visit Georgia, like those to other states, has once again confirmed that the current policy of the U.S. government attempts against the interest of the majority of the U.S. citizens in more engagement with Cuba.

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