Local politicians recently took a trip to Cuba to meet with their counterparts.
On Monday, April 20, Senator Jeff Klein, along with Governor Cuomo, Assemblyman Carl Heastie, Senate minority leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and New York business and education leaders travelled to Havana as part of the NYS Trade Mission to Cuba.
For the two-day trip, officials from both the Bronx and Cuba centered discussions based on fostering new economic ties and trade partnerships during a time when the United States is attempting to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba.
The mission included a working lunch meeting with the governor and Rodrigo Malmierca, Cuba’s Minister of Foreign Trade, along with both Cuban and New York officials, which was followed by a speech from Cuomo at the opening of roundtable meetings as part of the NYS Trade Mission to Cuba. Afterwards, Cuomo met with first vice president Miguel Diaz-Canel.
The local political leaders’ trip to Cuba also included a walking tour of Old Havana, which contains the core of the original capital.
Additionally, the delegation met with Cardinal Jaime Lucas Ortego y Alamin and also visited the Port of Mariel, about 25 miles west of Havana.
Senator Klein called the trip an exciting step forward for improving relations between the United States and Cuba.
“I was pleased to join Governor Cuomo as part of the New York delegation to Cuba,” Klein said. “This trip was a positive first step in exploring ways we can grow and expand economic opportunities that will build an even stronger New York.”
Klein and Heastie, both Bronxites, felt as though it would be important to be part of this first historic trip to establish economic ties with Cuba, which may potentially result in Bronx businesses being first in line when trade between the United States and Cuba is restored.
“We’ve made great strides towards getting people back to work in the Bronx and I’m always open to innovative and targeted approaches that offer us the possibility of creating even more good paying jobs in my borough as well as throughout the state,” said Klein.