Published On: Fri, Jan 6th, 2017

First Cuban exports to US in more than half a century to mark new era of trade

marabu_charcoalWASHINGTON - Reneo Consulting LLC announced on Thursday that its subsidiary company Coabana Trading LLC has finalized an agreement with Cuba Export to import into the United States marabu (sickle bush) charcoal produced in Cuba. This marks the first time in more than half a century that a Cuban-produced product will be exported from Cuba and sold in the United States.

"This is truly a momentous occasion," said Scott Gilbert, chairman of Reneo. "Marabu charcoal is widely viewed as the best artisanal charcoal in the world. Now US consumers will be able to purchase this product, as have Europeans and others for many years."

"More importantly," Gilbert emphasized, "this marks the beginning of a new era of trade between the United States and Cuba. This is a perfect example of a win-win for both our countries. The marabu plant is an invasive weed that clogs otherwise fertile organic fields in Cuba – now it can be used to produce this fantastic artisanal charcoal, thereby clearing the fields and making them available for agricultural growth."

"Marabu charcoal is cut and produced by private Cuban cooperatives, providing them with a growing market less than 100 miles away. This is but the first step in what should be a blossoming trade relationship involving many different products," said Gilbert.

"Of course," Gilbert added, "we still are severely limited in what we can do by the so-called embargo, the most severe trade and travel restrictions we have imposed on any country in the world. This demonstrably failed relic of the cold war should be consigned to the trash heap of history, where it belongs. For those who may disagree, I urge you to travel to Cuba, to interact with the Cuban people, to see what works and what does not, and then to make a considered judgment. In the meantime, we will do all that we can to expand our economic relations with the people of Cuba."

Cuban marabu charcoal should be available in the United States in early 2017.

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