Connecticut tobacco farmers look to new markets in Cuba

FILE - In this March 22, 2013 file photo, miniature flags representing Cuba and the U.S. are displayed on the dash of an American classic car in Havana, Cuba. (AP Photo/Franklin Reyes, File)

SOUTH WINDSOR, Conn. (AP) — As public health initiatives cut into sales of cigars and cigarettes, Connecticut tobacco farmers are looking for new markets in Cuba.

Several months after President Barack Obama renewed diplomatic relations between the United States and the island nation’s communist government, ending a 54-year freeze, proposed legislation in Congress would lift trade restrictions.

Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., is scheduled to appear Friday with a South Windsor farmer and agriculture officials urging passage of the trade measure.

Ed Kasheta Jr., whose Kasheta Farms was founded by his great-great-grandfather in 1906, welcomes the prospect of trade with Cuba. He says it’s “one more place to reach out to.”

The Freedom to Export to Cuba Act would remove the president’s authority to continue the embargo and eliminate enforcement of the embargo and ban on Cuban imports.
Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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