"Nobody is in agreement…It’s that, no one says it and no one takes the risk to say it, to speak the truth. That’s what is happening. In other words, one of the foundations, of what are the regimes in the entire world, in all of history, has been fear and lies. In other words, once you are in fear that's when you don’t take a risk, where you collect yourself and don’t unite…understood? To be in fear is not to offer help to anyone because that signifies risk." -Gorki Águila Carrasco, lead singer, guitarist of the music group Porno Para Ricardo and political prisoner
"Socialist ideology, like so many others, has two main dangers. One stems from confused and incomplete readings of foreign texts, and the other from the arrogance and hidden rage of those who, in order to climb up in the world, pretend to be frantic defenders of the helpless so as to have shoulders on which to stand." --Jose Marti

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Sunday, March 25, 2007

America Governor Wants Trade With Cuba

Idaho governor seeking approval for trade mission to Cuba
Ag News, March 22, 2007.
BOISE, Idaho (AP) - State officials have filed applications with the U.S. State Department for Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter to travel to the communist island nation of Cuba on a trade mission to promote Idaho agricultural products.
Cuba has been under a U.S. trade and travel embargo since 1962, which Otter would like to see lifted.
"While in Congress, he made it clear that the embargo with Cuba has been a failure," Mark Warbis, Otter's communications director, told the Idaho Statesman. "It's not the government, but the people it's punishing."
Otter would be part of a trade mission that would include other state officials as well as business leaders. State officials hope to receive approval by the end of the month, and travel to Cuba next month.
The U.S. began allowing the sale of food and medicine to Cuba in 2000.
As a U.S. congressman representing Idaho, Otter traveled to Cuba three times in 2003 and 2004. A February 2004 visit included Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, and the two met with Cuban President Fidel Castro and negotiated a $10 million trade agreement.
But little trade resulted because Cuba didn't want to pay prices Idaho companies required, said Sid Smith, Craig's spokesman.
The Idaho Commerce and Labor department reported that Idaho exported $22,613 worth of frozen vegetables to Cuba in 2004.
Developing trade relations would be a "fantastic move," said Robin Lorentzen, a professor of sociology at Albertson College in Caldwell.
"It would be very beneficial to Idaho farmers and the Cubans as well," she said.
Nina Ray, a professor of marketing at Boise State University, said the visit is a smart idea considering Castro's failing health and the possibility of improved relations between the two nations were Castro to die.
She said that might lead to markets for high-tech products from Idaho.
"Cubans aren't ignorant about high tech," Ray said. "Although they can't afford high tech, they are very educated, and if trade does open up more it would open up for our high-tech products."
Information from: Idaho Statesman.

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