Grijalva taking Cuba trip to discuss trade
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Grijalva taking Cuba trip to discuss trade

U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva is joining another congressman and two U.S. senators in traveling to Cuba this weekend. The delegation will meet with Cuban officials to discuss business opportunities in agriculture, telecommunications and eco-tourism.

Also going to Havana on Saturday will be Sens. Tom Udall, D-N.M., and Al Franken, D-Minn., as well as Rep. John Larson of Connecticut.

The Democratic group "will meet with Cuban and U.S. State Department officials, Cuban business owners and others to discuss ways the United States can further open relations with Cuba through trade and tourism and by expanding opportunities for cultural exchange between American and Cuban citizens," a spokesman for Grijalva said.

Meetings during the five-day trip will include discussions on "opening markets for Cuban and U.S. farmers; opportunities for U.S. companies to participate in the expansion of telecommunications infrastructure; expanding ecotourism; and marine conservation efforts," said Grijalva staffer Dan Linder in a news release.

While Cuba is still the focus of a U.S. trade embargo — which can only be lifted by Congress — the Obama administration has begun to normalize relations with the island nation.

The first congressional delegation to Cuba in decades traveled there in January. Earlier this month, the U.S. approved ferry service between the two countries for the first time in five decades.

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Paul Ingram/TucsonSentinel.com

Grijalva on election night, November 2014.