Our old friend Vanessa Arrington of The Miami Herald caught up with the Nebraska trade delegation, starring Republican Governor Dave Heineman, in Havana. Heineman is still spouting his gibberish, claiming that his trade mission has nothing to do with foreign policy:
''The question that you may have about international politics is the domain of the U.S. president, the Department of State and the United States Congress,'' Heineman said.
Arrington goes on to point out that Cuba had planned to buy $800-million dollars worth of stuff from the U.S., but after the new Treasury Department rule requiring them to actually pay for the goods before delivery, the Cubans say they will "divert" $300-million elsewhere.
The Omaha Channel (KETV-7) reports that some delegation members are very excited - the Cubans indicate they may be interested in buying corn.
Southwest Nebraska News reports that the governor was met at Jose Martí International Airport by our old friend Alimport Chairman Pedro Alvarez. Heineman went on to thank his hosts for their hospitality and to say:
“I am pleased to be able to bring together a group of people who value the best interests of Nebraska’s farmers and ranchers,” Gov. Heineman said. “Cuba is clearly an emerging market, and we are grateful for the opportunity to sell our high-quality products here.”
The shortsightedness of the Nebraskans is appalling. Of course his hosts are hospitable. They are getting what they want - food at probably less than market price - at least if I were in the Cuban's position and had a governor wanting to make political points at home, I'd demand a low price - and, since they understand they are also conducting foreign policy, they are getting material for their propaganda, too.
The Columbus (Nebraska) Telegram reports on Heineman's arrival and says Cuban officials, despite the new Treasury Department rule, plan to buy as much from the U.S. as last year - $475-million. The say they've already bought $312-million.