The Ports of Everglades and Palm Beach have cancelled plans to sign cooperation pacts with Cuba after Florida’s Governor Rick Scott threatened to cancel their funding through Twitter.
The ports had been planning to sign MoU agreements during the visit of a Cuban trade delegation this week.
Port of Everglades spokeswoman Ellen Kennedy told Reuters that the move would not impact trade with Cuba, which was conducted by tenants rather than the ports themselves.
Kennedy said the MoU had been designed to be a “good will gesture” to form a strong alliance with Cuban ports.
Scott’s comments came a day after the first legal cargo from Cuba in more than half a century arrived Tuesday (January 24, 2017) for one of Port Everglades' tenants, Crowley Maritime Corporation.
But this kind of trade could be stopped by President Donald Trump who has threatened to reverse Obama's executive orders to circumvent the longstanding U.S. trade embargo on Cuba if the country does not make further concessions.
The embargo, which eased some restrictions on travel and business, can only be lifted by the Republican-controlled U.S. Congress.
Port authorities along the U.S. southern coast could form strong ties for trade and travel with Cuba as it has been suggested that Mariel, located on the northwest coast of the Caribbean island, could be used as a transhipment hub. The Port of Havana (pictured) is the main port of Cuba.