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Surf's Up in Cuba

Recreational travel, including "surfing", is not allowed today for USA citizens and permanent USA residents under current laws. However, we invite you to "surf" this Cuba website for information about Cuba and what legally may be pursued.. The year 2000 Farm Bill signed by President Clinton allows "licensed sales" of food and medicine to Cuba. Agricultural products from Texas have been purchased by Cuba in 2002 for the first time in over 40 years....something not considered "possible" only a short time ago. There are many great possibilities in New Cuba. We hope you explore them with us. We believe Texas can become the bread basket for Cuba.

Texas and Cuba share many historical ties. Both regions were initially explored by Spain. During the US Civil War, blockade runners traveled through Habana. During the Spanish American War, Lt. Colonel Theodore Roosevelt stayed in the Menger Hotel in San Antonio to recruit Texans to join the Rough Riders.

Texas and Cuba have the same colors in their flags and each flag has only "one star". The USS Texas transported President Calvin Coolidge to Havana in 1928. Largemouth bass from Texas were introduced into the lakes and rivers of Cuba in 1928. The boat which Fidel Castro used to cruise from Mexico to Oriente, Cuba was purchased in Mexico from a Texan. Lee Clark, M.D. from Houston helped start the biotechnology industry in Cuba when he visited Havana in the early 1980s and discussed interferon.Galveston has served as the port from which recent rice sales to Cuba have originated in 2002. Once the Embargo is lifted, non-stop flights from Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas to Havana are certain to commence.

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Passed by both houses May 23, 2001

77R14819 ELG-D

WHEREAS, The relationship between the United States and Cuba has long been marked by tension and confrontation; further heightening this hostility is the 40-year-old U.S. trade embargo against the island nation that remains the longest-standing embargo in modern history; and

WHEREAS, Cuba imports nearly a billion dollars' worth of food every year, including approximately 1,100,000 tons of wheat, 420,000 tons of rice, 37,000 tons of poultry, and 60,000 tons of dairy products; these amounts are expected to grow significantly in coming years as Cuba slowly recovers from the severe economic recession it has endured following the withdrawal of subsidies from the former Soviet Union in the last decade; and

WHEREAS, Agriculture is the second-largest industry in Texas, and this state ranks among the top five states in overall value of agricultural exports at more than $3 billion annually; thus, Texas is ideally positioned to benefit from the market opportunities that free trade with Cuba would provide; rather than depriving Cuba of agricultural products, the U.S. embargo succeeds only in driving sales to competitors in other countries that have no such restrictions; and

WHEREAS, In recent years, Cuba has developed important pharmaceutical products, namely, a new meningitis B vaccine that has virtually eliminated the disease in Cuba; such products have the potential to protect Americans against diseases that continue to threaten large populations around the world; and

WHEREAS, Cuba's potential oil reserves have attracted the interest of numerous other countries who have been helping Cuba develop its existing wells and search for new reserves; Cuba's oil output has increased more than 400 percent over the last
decade; and

WHEREAS, The United States' trade, financial, and travel restrictions against Cuba hinder Texas' export of agricultural and food products, its ability to import critical energy products, the treatment of illnesses experienced by Texans, and the right of Texans to travel freely; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the 77th Legislature of the State of Texas hereby respectfully urge the Congress of the United States to consider the removal of trade, financial, and travel restrictions relating to Cuba; and, be it further

RESOLVED, That the Texas Secretary of State forward official copies of this resolution to the President of the United States, to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate of the United States Congress, and to all the members of the Texas delegation to the Congress with the request that this resolution be officially entered in the Congressional Record as a memorial to the Congress of the United States of America.

TexasCuba.com is an information resource for Texans to learn more about Cuba within the confines of current USA laws, rules and regulations regarding Cuba.

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