According to the Washington Examiner House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is headed to Cuba with an all-Democrat congressional delegation, her aides announced Tuesday.
According to her aides, Pelosi and the lawmakers will arrive some time Tuesday to become “the first official House of Representatives delegation trip” since Obama moved to normalize relations with Cuba.
Eight lawmakers are traveling with Pelosi, including Reps. Eliot Engel, of New York, who is the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Collin Peterson, of Minnesota, who is the ranking member on the House Agriculture Committee.
Pelosi aides said the group will meet with “Cuban government officials,” as well as Cardinal Jaime Ortega y Alamino, local community leaders and representatives and American officials stationed in the country.
Many Republicans have expressed opposition to normalizing diplomatic relations with Cuba because of the significant history of human rights violations by government officials and the tight control over its citizens.
“This delegation travels to Cuba in friendship and to build upon the announcement of U.S. normalization of relations and other initiatives announced by President Obama,” Pelosi said. “This delegation will work to advance the U.S.-Cuba relationship and build on the work done by many in the Congress over the years, especially with respect to agriculture and trade.”
The most recent polls conducted by The Washington/ABC News and a CBS News show that the majority of the American public overwhelmingly support President Obama’s plan to work to normalize relations with Cuba.
The Washington Post / ABC poll showed that 64 percent were for re-establishing ties with Cuba, while the CBS News poll had 54 percent in favor of support opening trade and diplomatic relations.
There is big money on the table and it IS loyal to no party. Let’ begin with the Agro Business lobby one of Washington’s most active and most powerful.
You expect that because of the Obama administration’s recent push to normalize relations with Cuba, a coalition of some of the biggest farm groups in the United States are preparing to lobby the 114th Congress for more substantial changes like allowing U.S. banks to finance exports.
They expect to roll out big cash to make sure the Congress knows there are billions of dollars on the table and Big AG,” wants their part of the pie. It will be hard for anyone representing a state that has a big agricultural stake in this fight to not support some normalization of relations with Cuba.
“It’s going to take an act of Congress to get to a point to where we can compete [in Cuba],” said Devry Boughner Vorwerk, Cargill’s vice president of corporate affairs and chair of the newly formed U.S. Agriculture Coalition for Cuba, a collection of farm and food groups.
You can also count the U. S. Chamber of Commerce ready for normal relations with Cuba. Every year, the U.S. economy loses out on $1.2 billion in missed sales, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
How about the big money food sales lobby?
Coca-Cola Co. sells its beverages in all but two countries — North Korea and Cuba. The list might soon shrink to one. The telecom lobby is also excited with AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile, and other smaller groups looking to expand. Only about 5 percent of people in Cuba have access to the Web, one of the lowest rates in the world.
We can’t forget the Travel Lobby which will of course would love to start cruses from Florida to Cuba and they are amping up their push to Congress.
So this Congressional trip is see where U.S. companies can start spending their lobby money so someday soon they can invest in Cuba.