Houston mayor leads three-day trade mission to Cuba

Trip is mayor's first trade mission

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner speaks during a city council meeting in 2016.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner speaks during a city council meeting in 2016. (KPRC)

HOUSTON – Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Greater Houston Partnership Board Chair Jamey Rootes are leading a three-day trade mission to Cuba.

Officials said they started planning the mission shortly after President Barack Obama normalized relations between the U.S. and the communist island nation.

The trip marks not only the first such mission for Turner, but also the first time any Houston mayor has visited Cuba.

Among the 30-member delegation joining Turner and Rootes are representatives from the Texas Medical Center, Houston Port Authority, Houston Airport System, Houston Community College, Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, United Airlines and several City Council members and Houston-based companies.

"We can’t say that Houston is a world-class city unless we are reaching out and establishing international relationships," Turner said.  "This trip speaks to the special connection Houston has with Latin America."

During the trip, the group will meet with the U.S. ambassador, and the Cuban ministers of foreign trade, foreign investment, tourism, public health and energy and mines. They will also meet with officials from at the Cuban National Institute of Sports.

Cuba already imports many things from Texas, including agricultural products, oil, machinery, automobiles, iron and steel.

About the Author:

Aaron Barker has been a senior digital editor at KPRC 2 since 2016. As a meteorologist, he specializes in stories about the weather. He has covered Hurricane Harvey, the Astros first World Series win, the Santa Fe High School shooting, the ITC fire and Tropical Storm Imelda.