Port Authorities from Cuba and the US city of Houston signed on Wednesday in Havana a friendship and commercial cooperation memorandum.
General Director of Cuban Maritime Administration José Joaquín Prado Falero and the Commercial Director of the Port of Houston, Ricky W. Kunz signed the document at the headquarters of the Transportation Ministry.
Prado Falero said that this is the 8th memorandum of understanding signed with US ports and Houston is a city with great agricultural, cattle and industrial development. Both sides are very interested in a prosperous and sustainable commercial exchange.
He highlighted that Cuba has a strategic geographic position and close to US coasts for all international maritime traffic, that is why it is important for the development of relations of its type with the US.
The Cuban authority told ACN that there is an interest of other US ports in establishing similar ties with the Caribbean island.
However, the economic, financial and commercial blockade imposed by the United States against Cuba is the major obstacle for bilateral commercial ties.
The United States requires Cuba to pay cash in advance for the purchase of any agricultural products from the northern country.
The Commercial Development Manager for the Port Authority of Houston, Ricardo Arias said that there is special interest from US exporters to sell its products to Cuba and want to establish regular services with the Port of Mariel.
Arias stressed that there is a commitment to strengthen the existing exchange protected by current US laws that authorize the export of agricultural products while the change of policy towards Cuba announced by President Donald Trump does not include the sector, which are regulated by the previous administration.
He affirmed that the island is an interesting market and praised the endless potential of the Special Development Zone of Mariel.
Arias commented that Texas has agricultural products like rice and other cereals in addition to chicken and construction materials.
He pointed out that now both sides need to draft strategies to strengthen the ties within the legal framework of the two countries.
The document signed on Wednesday foresees technology exchange and information study that will allow an improvement and increase in the level of services, market study, joint market and training activities.