Improving relations between the United States and Cuba

cuba hoy conference

In anticipation of the U.S. moving towards a policy of engagement with Cuba, as portended by the steady series of changes announced over the last couple of years, the New Orleans-based International Cuba Society invited the head of Cuba’s Interests Section (now embassy) in Washington to visit the Crescent City. The visit in April, 2014 was a resounding success. The Cuban delegation was warmly received and conducted meaningful engagements with every group they had asked us to arrange meetings with. Historical ties were explored and future cooperation was discussed. This act of friendship placed New Orleans in the position of having offered a conciliatory hand to Cuba, as a past and future friend and partner, despite decades of hostilities. Plans were immediately put in place to hold the Cuba Hoy Conference in Havana to further position New Orleans and Louisiana for future opportunities for trade and tourism.

The December 2014 announcement by President Obama loosening restrictions on American trade, investment and travel has unleashed a veritable tsunami of interest in Cuba. All who have an interest in New Orleans and Louisiana should be eager to reestablish our historical position as Cuba’s number one trading partner. The embargo has hurt New Orleans and our state dearly, taking away the city’s core business – 6000 jobs lost according to Tulane studies. Ask yourself, what would our political, business and cultural leaders be doing if a corporation was considering moving to Louisiana and bringing 6000 jobs with it?

The Cuba Hoy Conference offers a timely, well planned opportunity to enter into renewed relations with Cuba. It is also a unique cultural opportunity that is not to be missed. Every civic-minded person in our area should be a part of this event. Come join us on the first direct flight from New Orleans to Havana since 1958, and be a part of history.

– Romualdo “Romi” Gonzalez
Chairman of the International Cuba Society


Join us for this first-of-its-kind trip to Cuba.

We invite business and civic leaders to travel with us for a week of seminars on law and policy, cultural exchanges and visits to some of Cuba’s interesting and historic sites.

Learn more and register >>