Florida Drama After Cuba Shipment


Trade developments between the US and Cuba have been challenged by Florida Governor Rick Scott after he threatened to strip state funds from two South Florida seaports ahead of a visit from Cuban port and maritime officials.

The communist party daily wrote online that the main goal of the talks is to “promote the potential that exists in Cuba's maritime sector”, especially at its new deep water port in Mariel, 50 kilometers west of Havana.

However, Scott warned over Twitter that he will push to cut state funding for any port engaging in business with Cuba.

There have been varying reports about whether Port Tampa Bay was planning to enter into an agreement with the country after the Cuban delegation visits on February 1 and 2.

The Tweets came after news that Port of Palm Beach and Port Everglades would be signing memoranda of understanding this week.

Scott’s position came a day after the first legal cargo from Cuba in more than half a century — two containers of artisanal charcoal — arrived Tuesday in Fort Lauderdale’s Port Everglades.

The product will be sold at USD $420 per ton, the highest price achieved by CubaExport in over 10 years of trading the product, which normally sells on the international market for between $340 and $380.

Last year (March 2016), Scott discussed the critical issues facing US states, including the lack of funding available to ports.

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