Pushing Trade With Cuba

Inside Politics

Bashing trade with Cuba may win you some votes around Miami, but promoting trade with Cuba apparently hasn't hurt Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Tommy Irvin, who won re-election easily, despite his strong support for American trade with the Cuban government.



"We have been the first in line to try and open up the Cuban market and we want our Georgia companies and others to be able to sell their food to the Cuban people," says Irvin.



It has been just three months since Congress eased trade restrictions with Cuba, permitting the sale of medicine and food, so long as Cuba paid in cash.



Irvin led a delegation of Georgia companies and state agencies to Cuba in September, cutting the ribbon to open officially the first U.S. Food & Agribusiness Exhibition in Havana. Cuban officials said later that Georgia companies made "deals for a total U.S. $7.5 million — according to our preliminary figures."



Irvin hopes to see Georgia companies increase their share of the more than $165 million in agricultural and food products purchases by Cuba this year, a figure estimated to increase to $260 million in 2003.



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  • "[Sen. Zell] Miller presents a fascinating quandary for Democrats in the South and around the country: Is it better to try to win by out-Republican-ing the Republicans or to risk losing by standing up for working-class people and progressive principles?"


    — Kevin Griffis, Creative Loafing.


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    — From the Rant & Rave phone-in column in The Valdosta Daily Times.




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