The Mayor of Mobile, William Sandy Stimpson, is ready to make Mobile the most friendly city in the United States, according to what he stated during his Government manifesto, which began in 2013, came Cuba, leading a delegation made up by authorities of the main port in Alabama, and one of the most active ports in the United States.
They told the Cuban press that the trip had been satisfactory since their arrival in Havana, where they reinforced the friendship between Mobile and Havana which goes back 300 years. And the mayor, who was also accompanied by businessmen and the chairman of the local Chamber of Commerce, assured that «I’m ready to give continuity to that history and improve the relations between our city and Cuba. »
«To be twin cities since 1993 is a great honor, and the exchange of information held during the last days has been very important; we have seen and we have learned, » the leader of the government of Mobile said. He also noted the changes that make foreign investment easer, and he highlighted that they have obtained the knowledge and information to take to the United States on their return.
As long as many people can visit Cuba and see its reality, they can verify the great opportunities that this relation offers to us.
This positive vision was ratified by the Chairman of the Port Authority James Kelly Lyons, who noted that he had visited for the first time Cuba 16 years ago, later, he made two other trips, the last one was 10 years ago when he visited the port in Mariel.
So, he returned to Cuba last Tuesday as member of the Mobile’s delegation, and this allowed him to say: «I have seen all the great significance of the development in Mariel, the promise that the port and the Development Zone, represents. »
A total of 60 ships used to travel between our ports 60 years ago, and we are looking for increasing that travel movement as our relation will be improving, the director of the Mobile port, located in the Mexican Golf, in the mouth of the Mobile River, which is well-known because of its importance for the trade with South America, said.
Mobile, the ninth biggest port in the United States, is distinguished by its shipyards, its petrochemicals, textiles, paper mill, and food industries, as well as a cotton market.
Mayor Stimpson told the press that the objective of the visit —which ends today Thursday— is to have a service of containers between Mobile and Mariel ports. He added that the cargo from Mobile is made up by chicken and forest goods at present.
The U.S delegation also assessed tourist possibilities and exchanges in the cultural area, and they noted that other delegations have carried out educational exchanges. However, when they remembered that the blockade prohibits U.S citizens from tourism in Cuba, and they were asked about what Mobile can do for the revocation of that regulation, Mayor Stimpson said «I would like to have a crystal ball to see the future. The main thing is to keep us optimistic and having faith. »
Mayor Stimpson also noted that the support by the Alabama people to the exchanges with Cuba, where he mentioned the exchanges in church and cultural sectors, and the action of those elected officials who support the opening with Cuba. «As long as many U.S people can visit Cuba and they can see the great opportunities that these relations offer, the exchanges will grow up. »
And he added that the people in Mobile have been very active and many delegations have visited Cuba. «We are deeply aware of the importance of the relationship between our two peoples. We have in Mobile the statue of the founder of the city (the French Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville) who is looking toward Havana from our port, » he highlighted.
«I would like to tell you that this has been a very positive jorney which has had a great impact. I want to come back with my wife, because my parents’ honey moon was in Cuba in 1948. »
Translated by ESTI