Anti-Cuban embargo movement picks up steam in US

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

HAVANA (AP) — Big businesses are putting their muscle into new Washington lobbying efforts to end the U.S. embargo on Cuba as the two countries press ahead to re-establish diplomatic relations.

James Williams says Engage Cuba, the new bi-partisan lobbying group he heads, is launching operations this month with the backing of more than a dozen Fortune 500 firms ranging from hotel companies to agricultural businesses.

A political action committee called New Cuba PAC holds its first fundraiser Monday evening in the Miami home of attorney Scott Gilbert who represented former U.S. government contractor Alan Gross. Gross was held on espionage charges in Havana for five years before being released in December.

Williams said Monday that Gross will speak at the fundraiser, which New Cuba hopes will raise more than $50,000.