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Archive for Tuesday, December 19, 2006

U.S. lawmakers promote agriculture trade on trip

December 19, 2006

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— Reps. Jerry Moran and Jo Ann Emerson, back from a weekend visit to Cuba, said Monday the U.S. government should ease travel restrictions and expand agricultural trade with the communist nation.

"It's become clear to me that personal freedom follows economic opportunity," said Moran, R-Kan. "The larger trading relationship we have, the higher standard of living that Cuban people have, the more demands they will make upon their government for change."

Moran and Emerson, R-Mo., were part of a 10-member bipartisan congressional delegation that visited Cuba, the largest group of lawmakers to travel there since the U.S. trade embargo began more than 40 years ago.

The lawmakers are trying to gain a better understanding of the political situation in Cuba because of the uncertainly surrounding Fidel Castro's health.

The Bush administration has said it will not open talks with Cuba until it becomes a democracy.

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