Dwight Roberts, President & CEO of the US Rice Producers Association and Bianka Rodriguez, Marketing & Western Hemisphere Promotions Director, participated in the Texas-Cuba Trade Alliance (TCTA) virtual meeting with Cuban Ambassador Lianys Torres on Monday morning.

The meeting was moderated by Ricardo Arias, Trade Development Manager at the Port of Houston. Lianys Torres, Cuban Ambassador to the United States, and Rodney Gonzalez, Cuban Embassy Official, updated the audience on the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine in Cuba. Torres commented that Havana’s population will be fully vaccinated by July and is expecting the whole country to be fully vaccinated by the end of the year. With such promising results, leaders are also expecting the Havana International airport to open by the end of the year.  Torres also commented that Cuba will end its decades-old dual currency system and have a single unified exchange.

Among the topics discussed, an improved US-Cuba relationship was emphasized throughout, especially within the agricultural sector, saying that Texas has all the elements to continue with the agricultural relations.

Dwight Roberts, USRPA President & CEO has been an active board member of the TCTA since its inception and is considered the first organization formed to address agriculture issues with Cuba in the U.S.