Alto Congressman Ralph Abraham is traveling to Cuba in April to ensure Louisiana becomes a trading partner with the country, once Congress lifts the trade embargo. Abraham says he’ll speak with Cuban officials to determine potential delivery and distribution. He says currently, the island receives imports from Asian countries, but the Port of New Orleans is only 36 hours away so a partnership makes sense.

“So they can get better food, great price, and quicker service. I mean that could be a commercial right there.”

Abraham says we’re on the tip of the spear to be the first state to get our goods to Cuba in a big way. He says Cuba imports about 80 to 90 percent of their agricultural products.

“But only 10% to 12% of that is from America. We want that number to be 80% to 90% of American crops and we want the majority of that to come from America.”

Abraham expects the trade embargo with the island to be lifted by 2017. But he understands Cuba still has some significant human rights issues to fix.

“I think the way you help the Cuban people address those issues is we send American tourists, we send American products over to their country and we power the Cuban civilians to make those changes.