WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — Cargill said on July 1 that it welcomes the restoration of formal diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba with the planned opening of a U.S. embassy in Havana for the first time in 54 years.
Cargill has long advocated for the end of the U.S. trade embargo on Cuba and was among the first companies to send food shipments to Cuba in 2002 under a humanitarian exemption. The company chairs the U.S. Agricultural Coalition for Cuba (USACC), a partnership of nearly 100 prominent U.S. agricultural associations, state groups and businesses committed to normalizing trade with Cuba.
“The lesson of the embargo is that shutting down the lines of communication and commerce isn’t the most effective approach,” Cargill President and Chief Executive Officer David MacLennan said. “It’s only by sharing the economic and social benefits of our society through open trade that the U.S. will have a productive relationship with Cuba.”
In March Cargill executives joined a U.S. delegation on an agricultural “learning journey” to Cuba to discuss potential investment in the country if the embargo is eventually lifted. Among the attendees was Devry Boughner Vorwerk, Cargill vice-president of corporate affairs and chair of the USACC.
“The re-opening of the U.S. embassy is an important step toward normalizing our relationship with Cuba,” Boughner said. “The embargo has driven up the cost and lowered the availability of quality food for the Cuban people. Both societies stand to benefit from a reconciliation.”