Cuban Dissidents Support Bill to End Travel Embargo

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Cuban leaders are working with House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson to pass a bill ending the United States travel and agricultural export embargos against their country.  Seventy-four prominent Cuban political dissidents have endorsed this legislation because they believe it will help alleviate hunger in their country and assist with human rights issues.  These pro-democracy Cuban leaders have expressed their belief that an increased presence from United States citizens could help facilitate a potential future transition to a democratic state, a change that is greatly desired by many Cubans.  The United States has imposed different levels of travel and trade embargos against Cuba since the 1960s when Cuba aligned itself with the Soviet Union in the Cold War. 

The current US embargos have been criticized because of Cuba’s dire need for additional food, medicine, and clean water.  Cuban dissidents have stated that easing restrictions on agricultural imports from the United States would have an enormous impact on food shortages suffered in their country.  Some Republican members of the House Agriculture Committee oppose this bill because they believe assistance to Cuba and increased income from tourism and travel will actually assist Castro’s government.  A recent poll done in the United States indicates that 40% of Americans are in favor of ending the embargo.

U.S. Agriculture Exports Are On The Rise

Corn is one of the biggest export products from the U.S.

Agriculture in the United States could see a big boost over the next year as the U.S. Department of Agriculture aggressively promotes exporting fruit products to countries like China and Canada.

Currently there is a large demand for our agricultural produce such as fresh fruits and vegetables and nuts, especially in Hong Kong.  Since the beginning of 2010 there have been $5.9 billion in export sales, which is a $200 million increase from last year.

The growing number of exports has been a major plus to the economy and speaks well of the products we are delivering.  The USDA expects those numbers to continue to increase as the Obama administration continues to pursue export relationships with other countries.

The most popular commodities grown in the United States so far have been wheat and corn with cotton and nuts also in high demand.  Countries like Russia and China have such a low harvest rate on these items that is cheaper to buy from abroad, which is great news for the United States.

With so many areas in the world having a decreased agricultural demand the United States is about to make a major impact on food supply, which benefits our farmers and foreign relations.