http://havanajournal.com/cuban_americans/entry/cuban_american_national_foundation_against_louisiana_cuba_trade/

HavanaJournal.com: Cuban Americans

Cuban American National Foundation against Louisiana-Cuba trade

Posted March 05, 2005 by publisher in Cuban Americans.
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By ALAN SAYRE | Associated Press Writer

Saying that Gov. Kathleen Blanco will give legitimacy to a “dying monster,” a group of Cuban Americans called on Louisiana’s chief executive Friday to cancel a planned trade trip to Cuba next week.

George Fowler, the New Orleans head of the Cuban American National Foundation, said there is very little real trade to be had with the impoverished island nation and Blanco stands only to give Fidel Castro a propaganda coup that can be used against U.S. interests - and the Bush administration, which has adopted a harder line against Cuba.

“Castro is a dying monster and if the governor goes over there, she will tie Louisiana to this dying monster forever,” Fowler said.

Blanco is leading a state delegation to Cuba for four days beginning Tuesday. She said she wants to win business for Louisiana ports and companies seeking to expand trade with Cuba, which has been controlled by Castro’s communist regime since 1959.

At the Louisiana School Boards Association meeting in Alexandria, Blanco said other states already had been in trade contact with Cuba. She said she understood the concerns of Cuban Americans, but she wanted to make the trip to help Louisiana’s economy.

“The purpose of this trip is to help Louisiana farmers,” Blanco said. “I would hate for Louisiana to miss out on this opportunity.”

The governor’s economic development secretary, Michael Olivier, made a similar trip in December that stirred up complaints that Louisianians should not be making formal visits to a country designated by the U.S. State Department as supporting terrorists. The relaxation of a trade embargo three years ago allows the sale of U.S. food, agricultural, medical and some wood products to Cuba.

During a news conference, Fowler repeated the same criticisms that were aimed at Olivier.

“This trip will make Louisiana the laughing stock of the nation and bring shame upon this state,” Fowler said.

The call for Blanco to cancel her trip comes as the Bush administration, seeking to deny Castro U.S. dollars, has tightened the trade embargo, making it harder for Americans to travel to or do business with Cuba. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has described Cuba as being among the world’s “outposts of tyranny.” Castro has called Bush “deranged.”

Although the governor’s office has said no direct meetings are planned with Castro, Fowler said that the dictator “gets what he wants” and might be able to see Blanco, despite her intentions.

Asked if Cuban Americans in Louisiana would be angered by the visit, Fowler said: “Oh no, not just in Louisiana, all over the world.”

“There are a lot of Cubans who have businesses and investments in Louisiana. They are very angry,” he said.

Member Comments

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On March 05, 2005, publisher wrote:

“This trip will make Louisiana the laughing stock of the nation and bring shame upon this state,” Fowler said.

Sorry Mr. Fowler but I think CANF and you are the ones who bring shame to most Cuban Americans.

You just keep banging your head against the wall. Lately you have been banging it more loudly. Problem is, no one cares. CANF is a meaningless organization to most Americans and even Cuban Americans. Your only influence is with the Bush Administration. You are “smoking each other’ dope” and making fools of yourselves.

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On March 05, 2005, jesusp wrote:

Categorically agree. CANF has ALWAYS been a meaningless organization.

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On March 05, 2005, bernie wrote:

  “canf” has always been meaningless.  But how do you tell
  the usa congressman and senators that, these people are
  not to bright.

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On March 05, 2005, YoungCuban wrote:

CANF = Public Donations + More $ in their already rich pockets!

I am not knocking CANF,to each his own,but it does seem that all these so called FOR CUBA organizations do nothing more then line their pockets with funds given to them by the exiles and the US government, all the while doing absoultely nothing for Cubans in Cuba!

It is very easy to take advantage of the weak,cost to incorporate a non-for profit group in Florida is less then $150.00, then just hit the streets with your cause,make it sound good enough where feeble minded people believe and BANG!

Instant $$$$$$$

Cuban exiles have been the target of this for years,many have given in the thousands and others even more,and for what?

Who has benefited from this if not these organizations themselves and their members?

I have yet seen or heard a story where a Cuban family is being kicked out of their home because they have no money and where CANF or another organization has picked up the bill (helped them),that at least would show some sort of giving back to the Cuban community here in Miami,something at least!

I’ll put it to you this way, recently someone I know told ne he was thinking of making rubber bracelets with the Cuban flag on them and sell them at $5 each with the promise of helping Cubans in Cuba (same type of bracelets that Lance Armstrong started) when I asked him what his motive was,he simply asnwered “To make money,of course”,luckily I was able to convince him not to go along with his plans unless he was truly going to help the Cuban people!

It’ disgusting to see scams aimed towards the Cuban people while others get rich from it,praying on the emotions and feelings of anyone from any country is just dead wrong in my book!

But then again one must be smarter then that to just give your money away to someone who delivers a good punchline!

Ahhhhh… whatever!