New York governor describes Cuba visit as productive
HAVANA, Cuba - New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday described his two-day visit to Cuba, along with a dozen entrepreneurs, as productive and mutually advantageous, the Prensa Latina news agency reported.
Shortly before leaving to return home, Cuomo said he will do everything in his power to achieve the lifting of the economic, commercial and financial embargo the United States has maintained against Cuba for more than half a century.
He expressed his appreciation for the attention received during his stay on the part of officials and the Cuban people and stressed the importance of the meeting he held with the first vice-president of the councils of state and ministers, Miguel Diaz-Canel, with whom he spoke about the prospects of development of bonds between the two countries.
“I am proud of the role of President Barack Obama in the process of rapprochement with Cuba, particularly his latest decision of removing Cuba from the list of nations that according to the US State Department sponsor terrorism,” Cuomo said.
On Tuesday, Cuomo visited the special development zone at Mariel and on Monday he met with the Cuban minister of foreign trade and investment, Rodrigo Malmierca. During this meeting, they spoke about the business opportunities offered by the Caribbean nation.
The New York governor arrived in Cuba on Monday, accompanied by representatives of major US companies, such as financial services MasterCard, JetBlue airline, the Pfizer and Regeneron pharmaceutical companies and farmers, among others.
These entrepreneurs held working meetings with their Cuban counterparts to lay the foundations for further cooperation.
Cuomo’s visit yielded two bilateral accords in the area of health and opened doors for further collaboration.
The accords include the commercialization in the United States of a Cuban lung cancer vaccine and the introduction of US software programs in the Cuban medical industry.
Shortly before returning to the US on Tuesday, the director of the US Roswell Park Cancer Institute of New York, Candance Johnson, said that they had signed a memorandum of understanding with Havana’s Molecular Immunology Center.
Johnson said she was happy to take the Cuban vaccine to her country and start treating patients, for which they will immediately start with clinical tests.
The other accord was signed between the US Infor High-Tech company and a Cuban enterprise to introduce specialized software programs in the Cuban health sector.
Charles Phillips, an official with the US company, announced that he found a Cuban partner interested in the commercialization of the products and that they will start efforts to train students in the use of the new technology.
“We are surprised at the high level and expertise that exist in Cuba in the area of health technology,” said Phillips.
The New York governor organized the trade mission to Cuba as part of his initiative known as Global New York aimed at expanding trade and investment by the business community in the state.
Cuomo is the first US governor to visit Cuba after the decision announced on December 17, 2014, by Presidents Barack Obama and Raul Castro of creating conditions to reestablish diplomatic relations.