Massachusetts Congressman speaks of trip to Cuba, chances of more trade with the Island by Mitch E. Perry

12/19/06

Massachusetts Congressman Jim McGovern was part of a10-member bipartisan congressional delegation that visited Cuba over the weekend, the largest group of lawmakers to travel there since the U.S. trade embargo began more than 40 years ago.

The lawmakers are trying to gain a better understanding of the political situation in Cuba given the uncertainly surrounding Fidel Castro's health. They are also looking for ways to boost U.S. agricultural exports to the communist nation.

The Bush administration has followed the stance of previous administrations that no formal relations will be developed until Cuba becomes a democratic state. And last year, the Treasury Department changed its view on "cash in advance" sales to Cuba, making any buyer in Cuba pay for commodities before they are shipped, rather than when the commodities arrive at port.

Congress may even hold hearings on some U.S. policies toward the island. WMNF spoke with Congressman McGovern this afternoon (roll tape#1 o.q.�to change as well�)

That’s Massachusetts Democratic Congressman James McGovern. He was part of a 10 member, bipartisan congressional delegation that visited Cuba over the weekend. That’s the largest group of lawmakers to travel to Cuba since the U.S. trade embargo began more than 40 years ago.

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