Central Valley Union Leaders Visit Cuba

Dillon Savory / June 15, 2016 /

In May of 2016, a delegation of 34 union leaders from California embarked on a mission to help establish better relationships between the workers and industries in Cuba and the United States. The following is an excerpt from a full article to be published in the July edition of the Community Alliance:


“The first cruise ship from Florida in 50 years has just landed in Havana. The people cheer from the famous Malecon seawall. Dionys, our taxi driver, hands me his e-mail address and cell number. “Call me when you want to go back to your hotel but if the makers of “Fast and Furious 8” call me, you will have to find someone else. They are paying $200 per day for 1956 Ford Fairlanes”.

This is how I find out that the new movie is being filmed here. How is it that a Hollywood movie can evade the trade embargo, but a farmer from Madera or Visalia can’t sell raisins to the Cuban market? The San Joaquin Valley has plenty of goods that can be sold here. Cubans want to buy our beef, wine, cotton and orange juice. If we can sell our goods to Vietnam, Russia and China, why do we continue to follow a failed 50 year old cold war policy? It makes no moral or business sense.


Only congress can lift the embargo. I would like to see our valley Representatives Costa, Denham, Valadeo, McCarthy and Nunes lead a delegation to Cuba on behalf of the San Joaquin Valley. Talk to Cubans and you might find out that you have more in common than you realize.”

-Santos Garcia, CLC