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U.S. Ports Preparing for Business with Cuba

U.S. port cities are making preparations for increased travel and trade with Cuba, in anticipation of improving relations with the island nation.

There is speculation that a Democratically led US congress and the election of Barack Obama may ease restrictions on the 47-year-old trade embargo on Cuba.

“We have the right geography, given where we’re located, as well as historic ties,” Councilman Arnie Fielkow told USAToday. “We need to start developing the relationships and getting ready for the time when the U.S. brings down the embargo.”

Other developments indicating improving US-Cuba relations include:

• Mobile, Ala., is adding its representatives to a group of 60 state and trade officials visiting Cuba in July.

• In a recent report, the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce analyzed the economic impact to the city if the embargo is lifted, even if Cuba remains communist.

• Rep. Kathy Castor, from Tampa, has requested that her city be allowed to have direct charter flights to Cuba to let Cuban Americans more easily visit the island.

Obama already announced a new rule that will make it easier for Cuban Americans living in the U.S. to visit relatives in Cuba as well as extend telecommunication service to the island.

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