July 7, 2006, 4:37PM
Corpus port extends Cuba pact
HAVANA — The Texas port of Corpus Christi today renewed its commitment
to keep shipping American food to Cuba despite U.S. efforts to tighten
sanctions on the communist-run island.
Ruben Bonilla, chairman of the Corpus Christi Port Commission, and Pedro
Alvarez of the Cuban food import company Alimport, signed a letter of
intent to maintain their trade relationship.
“We accept the commitment to broaden our relationship with Corpus
Christi,” Alvarez told a news conference. “And they, we are sure, will
work to normalize” relations between the two nations, he added.
U.S. Rep. Solomon Ortiz, a Texas Democrat, accompanied Bonilla on the
The port of Corpus Christi signed its first agreement with Alimport
three years ago, and since then more than 100,000 metric tons of U.S.
agricultural goods have moved through the port on their way to Cuba,
Most U.S. trade with Cuba is prohibited under a 45-year-old U.S. embargo
designed to undermine Fidel Castro’s government.
Under an exception to those sanctions created by a 2000 U.S. law,
American food and other agricultural products may be sold directly to
Cuba on a cash basis.