Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter, who has more than a passing acquaintance with Cuba
after having traveled there as a U.S. congressman and as governor, has reached out to leadership in the U.S. House and Senate calling for a complete lift of the travel ban and trade embargo on Cuba.
Otter last led an Idaho delegation to Cuba in 2007, including dozens of businessmen and government officials. An official release from the Governor's Office touted deals to sell biotechnology, seed potatoes and plenty of meat. Falls Brand Independent Meats of Twin Falls announced a plan to ship more than 50 tons of boneless pork, valued at more than $100,000, in a matter of months. But none of that happened.
Now, Otter has joined the governors of Alabama, California, Minnesota, Montana, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia and Washington in writing a joint-letter to U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and U.S. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, saying, "Ending the embargo will create jobs here at home, especially in rural America, and will create new opportunities for U.S. agriculture."
Otter and his bi-partisan colleagues say they're urging the U.S. House and Senate to take "decisive steps to support U.S. commerce and trade relations and fully end the embargo on Cuba."