Local Farmer Offers Unique Insight on U.S. and Cuba Relations - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Local Farmer Offers Unique Insight on U.S. and Cuba Relations

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EDEN, Md.- President Barack Obama made a historic deal Wednesday to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba after more than a half-century of isolation. While some Congressional leaders are not happy about the change in U.S. policy, some people on Delmarva are rejoicing.

It was five years ago when Worcester County farmer Roger Richardson traveled to Cuba. For Richardson, it only seemed like yesterday.

In November of 2008 and 2009, Richardson traveled on business to the island country. He was secretary of the Maryland Department of Agriculture at the time. Joined by representatives of poultry company Perdue Farms, Richardson and others went on two trade missions. Richardson said the four-day trade show included international food products and equipment.

The historic move to mend relations with Cuba came 18 months after secret negotiations. Richardson thinks Obama's decision is a good one.

"It's about time. It needed to be done," he said.

Roger said improving relations with Cuba could spur economic growth there and in the U.S.

"We have a lot of things we can offer to them that they don't have, and they have certain fruits and vegetables they can help us with," he said.

Richardson highlights the advantages of trade and touches on the need for more tourism.

"The things they have to offer; the vacations spots, it's unbelievable," Richardson said. "The beaches they have, the beauty they have."

Richardson said he hopes to travel back to Cuba, this time for leisure, in the near-future.

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