Cuba Business

Tampa Port Authority cautious on US Cuba shipping

Posted February 22, 2009 by publisher in Cuba Business.

By TED JACKOVICS | Tampa Tribune

Tampa Port Authority commissioners on Thursday postponed a seemingly inevitable showdown on aggressively marketing Cuban trade after one of them volunteered to “go to Cuba tomorrow” while calling U.S.-Cuba policy “insane.”

Commissioner Carl Lindell, who rose to local prominence as a car dealer before becoming a developer, suggested the port send an emissary to Cuba to establish local trade interests.

“I’ll pay my own way,” Lindell said before the five other commissioners present chose to slow things down.

His proposal followed a brief presentation by Albert Fox Jr., president of the Alliance for Responsible Cuba Policy, at the board’s monthly meeting. Fox said that if the Port of Tampa took an aggressive stance on marketing Cuban trade, it could encourage change on federal policy that restricts exports to Cuba to food and agricultural products.

Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio, also a port commissioner, sought more discussion for a proposal she said was not part of the port’s strategic plan. The board asked port staff to report back next month on Cuba trade issues.

Port director Richard Wainio said trade between Tampa and Cuba would require compliance with federal law, having cargo to ship and finding shippers.

“Maybe somebody is afraid of being criticized politically,” Lindell said after the meeting, referring to the authority’s apparent hesitancy.

Reporter Ted Jackovics can be reached at (813) 259-7817.

Member Comments

On February 22, 2009, publisher wrote:

Sounds like the old exiles have their teeth into this Board which is costing the port millions of dollars in lost revenue.

On March 06, 2009, Laurie Mates wrote:

It might be ibeneficial for the Port Authority to attend the upcoming Cuba Trade Expo conference in Miami from March 19-21.  You can also watch a video on the conference at

On March 07, 2009, publisher wrote:

Are you a paid promoter of the event? Sounds like self promotion which is fine so long as the person leaving the comment makes that clear to the readers.

On March 10, 2009, Laurie Mates wrote:

Hi, yes I am working on the promotion of this event.