Upstate Congressman Wants Cuba Commerce

Bob Joseph

(Binghamton-AP) -- An upstate congressman says more New York farmers should be able to sell their products to Cuba in the future.

Maurice Hinchey, an Ulster County Democrat, visited Havana last week to speak with Cuban officials about trade and other issues. Hinchey told a Binghamton radio station (WNBF) that some New York apple growers recently have shipped their fruit to Cuba.

He said the Cubans with whom he spoke had high praise for New York's apples, saying "they're the best."

The congressman said there are other opportunities for the state's farmers in Cuba, including those in the dairy industry.

Hinchey renewed his call for the U.S. to normalize relations with Cuba. He said "it's a shame" that trade and travel restrictions remain in place.

Hinchey said his Cuba trip was organized by a group called Pastors for Peace.

It was his second visit to Cuba. The first was nearly three years ago, when he met Cuban president Fidel Castro.