State Rep. Sean J. O’Brien (D–Bazetta) and U.S. Congressman Tim Ryan (D-OH 13) will hold a press conference at 11:00am on Friday, October 30, at Congressman Ryan’s office, 197 West Market St., Warren, Ohio, 44503 to recap their recent research and trade mission to Cuba. The lawmakers will discuss future trade opportunities within Cuba and detail how a cultural exchange of ideas and innovative practices would benefit both Ohioans and Cubans. They will be joined by Dr. Milton Sanchez-Parodi of Vista Trade Group, who helped organize the trip, as well as local business leader Ron Sewell, CEO of Quality Switch in Newton Falls and one of the trip participants.
“The impetus of this mission was to share ideas and to develop trade opportunities for Ohio businesses,” said Rep. O’Brien. “While in Cuba, Congressman Ryan and I traveled to a local hospital and school to witness some of the innovative strategies being employed by Cuban doctors and educators. Through our meetings, we hope to foster partnerships that will mutually benefit Ohio and Cuba both economically and culturally. We have a lot to learn and share with each other. I am excited to see how this partnership develops.”
Congressman Ryan and Rep. O’Brien also explored future trade opportunities in meetings with U.S. Ambassador to Cuba Jeffrey DeLaurentis, Cuban National Assembly Member Dr. Jose Luis Toledo Santander, and Josefina Vidal Ferreiro, Director General of the United States Division of the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs to discuss future economic opportunities between Ohio and Cuban businesses. In addition, Mahoning Valley business leaders participated in high-level talks with Cuban officials from various sectors of the economy to discuss how Ohio businesses can foster economic partnerships with the island nation.
“Our visit to Cuba reaffirmed the vast opportunities available to our business community, and I stand ready to continue working with the Cuban government and our public and private sector to ensure Northeast Ohio will benefit from the lifting of this decades-long embargo,” noted Congressman Ryan. “I am excited about the possibilities that lay ahead and look forward to helping foster and grow a robust business relationship between our region and Cuba.”
While this month’s mission provided a launching pad for potential business investment opportunities that exist under current law, further cooperation between Ohio and Cuba will likely require future negotiations and fully lifting the U.S. embargo of Cuba—a decision that rests in the hands of Congress.