20 February 2007

Watch Your Wallets!

American Businessmen and Politicians continue to see Castro’s “state secret” of an illness as an ideal business opportunity.

"With the stepping aside of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, this is an opportune time to encourage the United States to change its trade policies toward Cuba,"

With this in mind, several congressmen have introduced a bill to ease the process by which agricultural products are sold to Cuba.

The bill introduced by Reps. Jo Ann Emerson, R-Mo., Stephanie Herseth, D-S.D., Jerry Moran, R-Kans., and Mike Ross, R-Ark., would direct the secretary of state
to issue general licenses to producer groups to travel to Cuba on agriculture sales trips and allow temporary visas to be issued to Cuban technicians to travel to the United States to inspect U.S. agricultural plants.

The bill would also reverse a Bush administration requirement that Cuban buyers pay cash to U.S. sellers before shipments leave the United States by clarifying that the financial term "payment of cash in advance" means cash payment from Cuban buyers is payable upon delivery. Finally the bill would allow Cuban financial institutions to make direct transfers of funds to U.S. institutions. Cuban officials have complained that the use of third-party intermediaries has driven up the cost of buying products from the United States and U.S. executives say the system slows up payment.

The US is already the top exporter of food to Cuba, exporting about $350 Million of food to Cuba Yearly.

Since the “embargo” was eased to allow food to be sold to Cuba in 2001, Cuba has paid in advance for approximately $1.5 Billion worth of food.

Cuba buys wheat, chicken, corn, rice and soy products account for more than 70 percent of U.S. sales to Cuba in 2006.

Since some of these industries receive US government subsidies to remain globally competitive, Cuba ironically benefits from US government capitalist subsidies.

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