HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - An expert in Cuban history at The University of Southern Mississippi is reacting to a new state initiative to encourage more trade with Cuba.
Engage Cuba wants to build congressional support for lifting the 50-year-old trade embargo with that communist nation.
On Wednesday, the group announced the launch of a new council of agriculture, manufacturing and government leaders, which will work to promote trade with that country.
Matthew Casey, Southern Miss assistant professor of history, is not affiliated with that group, but said he understands the desire to promote commerce with Cuba.
"I know this group is interested in Mississippi farmers being able to market their products in Cuba, where they consume quite a bit of rice, quite a bit of chicken and also soy products, all of which I'm sure Mississippi exporters would be happy to send to the island," Casey said.
Casey has written extensively on the history of Cuba in the early 20th century and has brought USM students to the country as part of the university's Cuban Studies Program.