Rodrigo Malmierca, Cuba’s minister of Foreign Trade and Investment arrived in the U.S. capital yesterday, February 14, to undertake a four-day working visit, the first of its kind since the process of normalizing relations between the two countries began.
The Cuban delegation includes officials from the ministry, the Central Bank of Cuba, the country’s Chamber of Commerce, as well as executives of Cuban state enterprises. Ambassador José Ramón Cabañas received the group at Washington’s Dulles Airport.
Malmierca’s agenda includes a meeting with Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, who traveled to Cuba last year to explore business opportunities and evaluate the impact of measures taken by President Obama to modify the blockade.
Cuba has repeatedly pointed out that, although the measures are a step in the right direction, their effect has been negligible, given prohibitions on the use of the dollar by Cuba in international transactions, and on Cuban exports to the United States.
The Cuban delegation will also hold meetings with members of the influential U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has advocated for closer ties with Cuba and an end to the blockade.